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British books adapted to the American market?

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Showing 1-13 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: May 9, 2011 6:17:11 AM PDT
Hi, everyone

I know some authors have adapted their books to the American market, meaning they changed the spelling from colour to color, from favourite to favorite and so on. Same with the dialogue attributes, as they differ, too.
In the UK, we are used to read American spelling and just accept it as it is, I wonder if this is the same vice versa.

I heard from a few BE authors that they have been criticise(z)d by readers for their spelling by American authors.

What is your opinion on that? I'm asking because my short stories don't sell as well over here than in the UK (BE) and I've a novel, set in London coming out end of this month, which I think would be suitable for the American market, but people might be put off by the BE, spelling.

Guess I'm not the only one wondering. :-)

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 7:20:55 AM PDT
I'm not a fan of short stories, but I will say that if an author is British, then I'm fine with reading their book with UK English.

Posted on May 9, 2011 9:19:53 AM PDT
I'm asking in general, for novels, but thank you for the thumbs up for BE. :-)

Posted on May 9, 2011 9:21:28 AM PDT
J. R. Tomlin says:
I hate when the original novel is changed although maybe I'm being hypocritical on that since, in spite of the fact that because I used US spelling in my novels set in Scotland. I felt that the primary audience would be American so I used US spelling in spite of using a lot of Scottish words.

But that is a little different than "translating" a novel as though Americans are incapable of understanding UK spellling and words. I think it's insulting to Americans.

I doubt that the problem is spelling. The fact is that the US market is very highly competitive (putting it mildly) and that short stories have pretty limited popularity. It's not that they can't sell but they aren't easy by any means.

J. R. Tomlin
Freedom's Sword 99 Cents through May 14

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 9:24:42 AM PDT
I have no problem with spelling differences. But in sometimes the cultural differences make it difficult to follow a story line. I find myself out of the story and trying to figure out what the author meant.

In reply to an earlier post on May 9, 2011 9:32:37 AM PDT
I should delete the reference to my short stories. I'm not asking if you guys like short stories, I'm wondering if the spelling would put people off. :-)

My next book, a romantic comedy with a paranormal twist is set in London and used BE spelling/words. I personally wouldn't want to change it, other than single quotes into double quotes.

Posted on May 9, 2011 9:47:41 AM PDT
Scott Nagele says:
Hi Stella,

My preference is that UK authors not change anything about their writing for the US market. I like to learn about language and culture from what I read, and having everything Americanized would hinder that. For people who don't get to travel the world very much, reading can be something of a substitute, but not if all the foreign-ness has been culled out of the writing. I have found that, even if I don't know what an English author means by a certain word or phrase, I can usually figure it out by the context, and then I've added to my cultural vocabulary. I mean, who hasn't come across vocabulary they don't know, even in books written in their own countries?

As for short stories - if you ever find the formula to make Americans flock to them, please let me know!

A Smile Through a Tear: Stories

Posted on May 9, 2011 11:29:55 AM PDT
LOL. Well Scott, it's not that I didn't sell any, but it's far less than in the UK.

I think I have my answer: stay in the BE. So be it! Less work for me and that's good. Have spent bloody two years to bang this baby into shape.

Posted on May 9, 2011 11:50:55 AM PDT
Mel Comley says:
Hi Stella, I honestly can't see the point in altering a book once it's written. All the books I buy are American and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. ;-)

Posted on May 9, 2011 3:44:06 PM PDT
Um, Mel, yes, as I said, us Brits reading AE is not the problem, but Americans reading BE, might be, so I heard. This is why I'm asking.

Posted on May 10, 2011 7:19:08 AM PDT
Right, I'll take it then, you guys want it original. But don't complain about bad spelling. hahaha.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2011 10:52:26 AM PDT
Don't worry about it, hehe.

The one thing I can't stand is the lack of double quotation marks, however. I've never read the Lord of the Rings because I get OCD when I see a line of dialogue like this: 'This is a sentence.'

I like: "This is a sentence."

The first example is fine if it is not verbally spoken though. I equate that with thoughts.

Posted on May 10, 2011 11:49:47 AM PDT
Yes, I'm going to adapt it for both countries.

Cheers, Ryne ;-)
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  13
Initial post:  May 9, 2011
Latest post:  May 10, 2011

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