Overseas Editions
J.V. Jones
Apr 17th : 2008

The French edition of The Barbed Coil is being published this month by Calmann Levy. It's titled La Ronce d'Or, which translates as The Gold Thorn. It's being split into two books, the first of which is subtitled Le Motif De l'Ombre, which translates as Patterns of Shade. European editions of English books are frequently split in two as the text often grows in translation, sometimes as much as forty percent. Most of my German editions have been split in two, along with some editions from the Netherlands and Spain.

The decision whether or not to split a book into two volumes is made by the publisher. The writer has no say in the matter. Itís purely a decision about cost. Publishing a thick-as-a-brick paperback is expensive. The paper and binding costs are considerably higher, yet the publisher cannot pass along these increased costs to consumers as the majority of mass market paperbacks share the same price point. So in order to make profit, publishers often decide to split the original book in two. While the production costs for two regular-size books are higher than one super-size book, the combined profits will be higher too. The downside to the publisher is increased financial risk. When they make the decision to split a book into two volumes they commit to publishing two separate books. Two pieces of cover art must be commissioned, two books designed, cast-off, typeset, and put into production. Itís not a decision publishers make lightly.