New York Times  Bestselling Author

They're the Same Book!

same book.jpg

I’m very concerned! In the last few days, I’ve heard from several readers who are upset because they ordered two different books written by me. . . or so they thought. They’d each read Before the Storm and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and they loved them so much they wanted more. So they ordered A Beautiful Lie and The Lost Daughter. Imagine their surprise and disappointment when they realized that both these books were The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes in disguise. These readers are not happy with me, but I’m here to profess my innocence, as well as my distress that they feel duped.

You see, CeeCee was published in Australia with the title A Beautiful Lie, and in the United Kingdom with the title The Lost Daughter. The publisher in each country comes up with the title they think will work best in their particular market. I think CeeCee is–so far–the only one of my books to have multiple English titles.  I’m not sure where or how my readers have been finding and ordering these books, and I’m so sorry for any disappointment they may be feeling–I’d feel the same way. I hope, though, that they’ll continue to read my other books, and as always, let me know what they think. 

21 Comments

  1. Julie on February 27, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    Occasionally, I’ve ordered books from closeout sites (like bookcloseouts.com) and they’ll have foreign versions. I wonder if they found them on a site like that, not realizing which versions they were? They usually state on the product page what version it is, but if you’re not used to looking for that, you might miss it, I guess.

  2. Ann on February 27, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Diane, I have run into the same problem. I order books by favorite authors from Amazon.UK. They later come out here in the USA with a different title. I order them for Amazon.com and find that I already have a copy with a different title. Some of those authors have posted both titles on their websites so now I always check the websites before ordering a book.

  3. Margo on February 27, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    Goodness, I had no idea that titles were changed in other countries but were actually the same book! I’ve never seen this done so I wonder where readers found these duplicate books with title changes…
    On another note, I went to 3 bakeries today and could not find crumb cake…maybe it’s an Eastern or Southern recipe?…at any rate, I settled for my favorite bismark with white whipped frosting on top and filled with white cream. (-O:

  4. Denise on February 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

    This same thing has held true of Cecelia Ahern and (I think) Cathy Kelly books (Irish authors)…same books published in the US with different titles and covers. I really can’t understand why they do that. I know that Diane has mentioned this to us in the past. It can be very confusing if you are not aware of it, though.
    If I’m searching Amazon or another site for books by a particular author, I read the book descriptions to find out what the book is about. I usually notice if two books with two different titles/covers) sound exactly alike, though. When it happens, I usually go to the author’s website to see if I can figure it out.
    Regardless, although I can understand someone being upset by ordering the same book, it isn’t your fault, Diane.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on February 28, 2009 at 11:31 am

    When I update my website in the next few months, I’ll see if I can add the UK and Australian titles to help avoid confusion.
    Margo, maybe it IS an east coast thing. Actually, what you got sounds much more sinful. Part of the lure of the crumb cake, I think, is that it brings back childhood and tradition. And calories.

  6. Michelle Richmond on February 28, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Ah, interesting!
    Yes, as an author I can attest to the fact that we have no control over the titles under which our books are published in foreign editions. I think readers might be surprised to know how little say we have in matters like covers, titles, and anything that happens once subsidiary rights have been sold.
    In some cases, U.S. publishers even release an author’s formerly published, less well-known works under a new title in paperback–a sort of “repackaging” to garner new fans after a once-unknown writer has become established. My publisher even briefly considered this for my first novel, Dream of the Blue Room, which had a very small distribution and which they will republish in 2010, hoping to appeal to readers of THE YEAR OF FOG. (Fortunately, I have a bit more say in this matter that Diane had with the foreign publishers).
    It would make it easier if Amazon only listed U.S. editions of the book! Diane, I like your idea of adding links to the UK and Australian titles.

  7. brenda on February 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    “A Rose by Any Other Name…” The books are still your books-perhaps the fans can give them as gifts…pass them on…after their disappointment at not finding NEW books by Diane…I noticed in England that Cathy Kelly, etc., books were under different titles…I bought one I had already read…After reading it (into the night) in the bed and breakfast in Stratford (read it again)…I passed it on to a fellow teacher/traveler…
    Diane-I did not get to do the chat the other night-I had a slight relapse of the flu-am still dragging…but trying to get better!!! Hope it was great!!!!

  8. Gina on February 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    We missed you the other night in Chat, Brenda. I hope you’re feeling better.
    Just finished reading The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Clayton. It’s her debut novel. Pretty good.
    My local bookclub’s pick for March is Loving Frank. Has anyone here read that?

  9. Diane Chamberlain on February 28, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    Michelle, it’s so nice to have you visit the blog! I agree that I don’t like when publishers repackage an old book with a new title. So unfair to the readers, unless that fact is very very clearly stated on the cover. As in your case, my publisher is reissuing some of my older books, and they will be repackaged but with the same title (and believe me, some of those old covers definitely needed a facelift!) You and I both benefitted from being Target bookclub picks and our older books now get a second life. It’s wonderful for us and even better, I hope, for our readers.

  10. Diane Chamberlain on March 1, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Brenda, the chat at the Happy Bookers Club was fun, as always. Gina has such a great group.
    Gina, I read (well, listened to the audio of) Loving Frank and look forward to your thoughts on it. I didn’t know much about Frank Lloyd Wright’s life, so found it intriguing, but I certainly had some issues with his and his lover’s choices. It’s a great book for discussion.
    I just read Escape, a memoir by Carolyn Jessop who escaped from polygamy. Engrossing. Now I’m reading another engrossing memoir, Jack and Rochelle by Jack and Rochelle Sutin, who, as Jewish teenagers living in Poland, escaped annihilation by fleeing into the forest. I’m reading that one for bookclub and it’s very good.
    Today, I went to Borders looking for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, where my brother Rob has a story. I didn’t find the magazine, but $80 worth of books found me. They are all research related for my work-in-progress. I was happy to find them, but I left feeling sort of sad that I have to put my pleasure reading on hold for a while as I do my research. 🙁

  11. brenda on March 1, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    I enjoyed LOVING FRANK…intriguing…
    Sorry I missed the chat also, Gina…I did read the transcript…enjoyed that…
    Diane-what type of research are you doing? Hint…
    Will look for the magazine with your brother’s article…

  12. brenda on March 1, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Escape was interesting also…Diane, are you reading memoirs for research or for your own interest??? How you have time to read and write-you amaze me…
    My students ask me the same…how I get their papers back so quickly plus read so much…I am a speed reader which is not always good…
    One of my former teachers died while I was out with the flu (I didn’t know about it)…She was my 7th grade Speech teacher…Each day when we finished our work, she permitted me to go to the school library to get a book…That is when I first became intrigued with Abraham Lincoln…after reading everything else, I read a series of pretty long books about him-can’t remember the author…
    I love reading about him and the Civil War period, and of course, anything about The Vietnam Era and the 60’s…
    Hope all of you are doing well-I am trying to get over the relapse…and am thankful-so far today-that the cold rain has not turned into snow…

  13. Diane Chamberlain on March 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    The way I manage to read, Brenda, is that I stay awake until 2 or 3, which is NOT a good thing! I am a very slow reader and always have been. Being a writer only makes it worse, because I sometimes stop to think about the punctuation the author used, or the structure, or a pretty sentence, etc.
    Glad you’re feeling better!
    The research I’m doing right now is on Doctors without Borders and Ecuador. Unless I change my mind, the story is going to be set in Ecuador in 2003 and Beaufort, NC in 2009.

  14. brenda on March 1, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Ecuador and Beaufort…that is so so intriguing…
    Diane-doesn’t the punctuation drive you absolutely nuts??? I teach English, so you can imagine that sometimes I just have to skip the mistakes. This one drives me nuts: Comma before because…which is so so so common…
    Standard for English is no comma (most of the time) because BECAUSE is a subordinate conjunction–not a coordinate conjunction…I really wonder if anyone is checking what people are writing…I don’t know when it became okay to start a sentence with AND, OR, BUT…however…I tell my students, “When you are Diane Chamberlain or Stephen King, you can start your sentences with but, or, and…until then…NO!!!”

  15. Diane Chamberlain on March 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

    I’m certain I’m guilty of using ‘because’ incorrectly. And as you no doubt know, starting sentences with ‘and’ and ‘but’ is practically my hobby. (See? I just did it!) But (did it again), you’re a good teacher to give your students that foundation. I recently read a book that had no commas separating the clauses, and it drove me nuts. It was a “literary” type book, to boot. I think the rules are changing. . .

  16. Michelle Richmond on March 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Brenda, if you like books about the Civil War period and Lincoln, you might enjoy DAYS OF DEFIANCE (nonfiction).
    Gina, Meg Clayton is a friend of mine. We just enjoyed a very long urban hike together in San Francisco on Friday. I also loved The Wednesday Sisters. She has a terrific website with photos from her law school days and bits and pieces about the women who inspired the book.
    Diane, Yes, GO Target! I was always a Target fan, but am even a bigger one now.

  17. Gina on March 2, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Michelle!
    Yes, I loved The Wednesday Sisters. And, it sounds like I need to browse around her website and I will!

  18. Sarah on February 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

    Hi there. I have just been given Before the Storm as a present and am delighted, as I have heard a lot about your books. however do I have read The Lost Daughter and The Bay at Midnight first for them to make sense ?
    Many thanks.

    • Diane Chamberlain on February 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Sarah, The Lost Daughter (The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes in the US) and The Bay at Midnight are not connected to other books in any way. Before the Storm is the prequel to Secrets She Left Behind. If you check the BOOKS page of my website and click on Printable Booklist in the upper right hand corner, it will help you know if any books are linked.

      Enjoy!

  19. anitha on September 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I spent two nights at a resort recently and was a bit bored. I stumbled upon THE LOST DAUGHTER…. and it was wonderful ! Kudos for writing such an amazing book…it really felt 3-dimensional…..and it’s definitely a cannot-put-downer !

  20. jennifer on March 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Loved Your books

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