August 08, 2008

Oh ... the French.

So we've sold the rights to a Quebec publisher to do a French version of HIAV. This is the new cover.
What is it with publishers wanting to mess with success? At least it's infinitely better than the UK version.

They've also retitled the book "So You're a Vegan?" because the pun of "How It All Vegan" only works in English! The equivalent doesn't make sense in French.

Oh... The French. Je t'aime.

8 comments:

Rudy said...

Oh dear...

leigh said...

it IS better than the UK one.

Anonymous said...

I ditto the Oh Dear...., the original cover was wonderful, and part of what attracted me to the book, why can't they use it???

Josiane said...

Oh, that's awesome news! I'm glad that both your work and veganism will get more exposure over here, and I'm really curious to find out who's going to be your publisher; I can't guess simply by judging the cover's layout.
I know we are a distinct market for most things, and what works in the rest of North America usually doesn't work here, and vice versa (ad campaigns, for example: take the most successful one in Canada and the USA, and if you show it here as is, it will most certainly be a huge flop; they have to do completely different ones if they want it to work with us). However, I would have loved to be able to tell you why this cover would work better than the other one, but I can't. I can't guess the specific reason why the publisher has chosen to play this cover, but I bet they know! I have worked in the publishing industry here for a while (and am still indirectly involved with it), and I know that they certainly have good reasons to believe this cover will help sell the book; after all, that's what the cover is for a publisher: a marketing tool.
What I don't get, though, is the title (which, by the way, actually translates back to "Did You Say Vegan?") - I'm extremely surprised to see that they've kept the word "vegan" in it (and made it the most prominent thing on the cover), as that word doesn't mean anything *at all* in French. Are they trying to reach French speaking people who are bilingual enough to know what "végétalien" is in English? If so, it doesn't make much sense to me: those people would simply buy the book in English. And the others may not necessarily read the tiny description at the bottom of the page finally telling them in their language what the book actually is. In my opinion, choosing to use a keyword (and an important one at that!) that most of the target market won't recognise quickly nor understand well, and making it the most prominent thing on the cover, are the weirdest of the publisher's choices about that cover.

Josiane said...

Oh, I forgot to add: sorry about that *long* comment! :)
Just a few days after I told you in an email that I'm not much of a commenter, you've found a surefire way to get me out of lurkdom!

Eve Love said...

good for you sarah!

i HATE french version. i am french, but i always buy the original.
but i'll surely buy it for my mother-in-law who doesn't understand a word in english. i always have to translate recipe for her.

and i mostly agree with what josiane said, but i think th word végan is getting more and more popular over here. i don't really like to say "végétalien"...

Natalie said...

Agreed with Josiane above... "vegan" is not a French word. Weird! I guess "végétalien" is too long for the cover and they would have to reduce font size. Very, very odd. But hey, I'm bilingual and I have the original and it's awesome so why do I care? ;-) I hope it does very well in the francophone market.

Anonymous said...

I think more people actually say "vegan" than "végétalien" in French, because people tend to get it confused with "végétarien" (vegetarian) and it seems to sound cooler, if I might say so.
I think the title is good the way it was translated.