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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm asking because I've recently seen a few threads in the Writers Cafe about how English writers aren't selling as well in the US.  I find this surprising - I'm American, and although I don't always know the meaning of words like "torch" and don't have a sense of how much 30 pounds is, I would never stop a book over this.  In fact, my favorite indie book so far is Remix, by an English writer (Lexi Revellian) and I'm halfway through her second book, Replica, which I also like a lot. One writer, who's name I have forgotten, said she wrote a UK and a US version of her book after her first English book didn't sell well.  The US version of the new one is selling like gangbusters in the US. 

Does it matter if a writer uses American English vs. UK English?  One of my favorite mystery writers, Elizabeth George, is an American who writes in Great Britian style English.  Her characters are English, her stories take place in England, and she spells "tire" "tyre."

Julie
 

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Nope. I'll read a book set pretty much anywhere, if the story looks good. =)
 

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Just finished one Monday and loved it. Once I figured out "Right" seemed to be the British equivalent to "Okay," it cleared up the dialogue for me.  :)
 

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Considering that I'm currently reading C.J. Sansom's "Heartstone", set in 16th century England, and that in the past few months I've read several P.G. Wodehouse novels, "The Hound of the Baskervilles", and the first book of the Narnia series, I'd have to say that no, I'm actually okay with books set in the UK (or its historical predecessors).
 

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/begin rant

I'm Canadian and, I gotta tell you, I'm starting to roll my eyes and put books back on the shelf that are based in a US city. Why? I'm getting sick to death of every.single.urban.fantasy I pick up being based somewhere in the US. I've been actively seeking out others. I'd give up one of my kids and maybe even a cat for an urban fantasy set somewhere new, like Saudi Arabia or India.

/end rant
 

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Krista D. Ball said:
<snip> I'd give up one of my kids and maybe even a cat for an urban fantasy set somewhere new, like Saudi Arabia or India.
/end rant
Must be some set in India, perhaps even by Indians! Probably as many English speakers there as in the U.S.A. ;)
 

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I am a Brit. It never struck me that anyone would have a bias about where a book is set, or in what English style it is written. I've read and understood books by American authors since I was a youngster and they never bothered me once. I've watched films made by Americans, and set in the US - and never batted an eye-lid. Why shouldn't Americans be the same?

Without Reproach and Treachery are romantic suspenses set in Spain (where I now live) - does being a Brit writing about Spain, preclude them from the US market? Surely overall content matters more than a few words or spellings that are different.
 

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Krista D. Ball said:
I'd give up one of my kids and maybe even a cat for an urban fantasy set somewhere new, like Saudi Arabia or India.
Why not try River of Gods or Cyberabad Days from Ian MacDonald? I've read the first -- very good. Met the author too, a very enthusiastic guy.
Or try Brasyl, which is more cyberpunky and not set in India but... Well, I'm sure you can work the setting for yourself...

BTW: I've enough kids already, so no need to email me another ;)

Tim
 

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I'm Australian... adore books set in Europe and the UK but not really a fan of books set in my home country. Maybe the grass is greener on the other side of the fence!
 

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One American here who is not aware of any bias against British locations in books. (I even have a couple Anglophile friends who probably would prefer such locations over American ones.) If British authors are, in fact, losing market share here (and I have absolutely no idea if that is so), I would guess it's more likely due to not latching on to whatever genres/themes are "hot" here right now -- maybe due to the social turmoil of the last decade or so changing readers' tastes differently here than in the old country?
 

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Julie Christensen said:
... One writer, who's name I have forgotten, said she wrote a UK and a US version of her book after her first English book didn't sell well. The US version of the new one is selling like gangbusters in the US.

Does it matter if a writer uses American English vs. UK English? One of my favorite mystery writers, Elizabeth George, is an American who writes in Great Britian style English. Her characters are English, her stories take place in England, and she spells "tire" "tyre."
It doesn't matter to me... The author you mention--did she have a lot of returns? Because otherwise, I'm not sure why her book wouldn't sell unless there were reviews that stated it was hard to read due to "UK English."

Betsy
 

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I have read a lot of books by British authors and seen many British TV shows and movies. British spelling and terms don't bother me, but I keep finding new ones no matter how many I have learned. Recently it was "whingeing," which I thought was just a misspelling of "whining" but someone here on KB told me it was a British word. Then I heard Matt Smith say it on Doctor Who.

American publishers have traditionally "translated" British books, but now that ebooks are being sold without borders there will be some adjustment necessary.
 

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In historical romance, settings in England are a must (we've put more fake dukes on the continent than there is land for them to stand on). In women's fiction ("chick-lit") the Bridget Jones effect is still very much in effect (I, for one, can read Jill Mansell all day, and often have).

If anything, I hear the complaint (especially in historicals) that you can't set books anywhere BUT England. Publishers like Carina Press actively seek unusual historicals and settings.
 

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Although I generally hate to generalize, I like books set in the UK. . . . in general. ::)

Of course, it does depends on the book! :)

And that doesn't mean I don't like books set elsewhere! :eek:
 

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I haven't heard about or seen any bias against books set in the UK.  I certainly don't consider that when I'm looking for my own reading.  A good story is a good story.  Fun characters are fun characters.  I sort of enjoy getting a peek at places different from where I live as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
So far, everyone agrees - British writing is not a reason for a book to sell poorly in the US.  But I've still notice and heard others report that British indie writers are selling poorly here, even with great writing and marketable genres.  It's wierd. 

This line of discussion reminds me of something I keep meaning to ask.  Since Kindle has English and American dictionaries, is there a way to set it so that you can use the English dictionary to define terms in book?  I can usually guess on British terms I don't recognize, but I don't know British slang at all and it's fun to see what the dictionary says about the root of the word.
 

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I read all sorts of books, but I especially enjoy well-done English mysteries. In spite of this, my favorite author of English mysteries, the late John Dickson Carr (aka Carter Dickson) was actually an American!

Another favorite Brit author whose mysteries are definitely not traditional is Ray Banks. If you like tough-guy fiction you really ought to read him.
 

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I'm a Brit writer and set most of my books in the UK - this is the bare bones of one of my Amazon reviews-

I wish I had known this was a UK book. The hero is British, the heroine is British. The Britishisms are overwhelming and distracted from the story. Bugger off that, fancy this, and the word "wanker" was used WAY too much. I have nothing against British books but I wish I'd known. I kind of got lost in the story and not in a good way with all the quirky sayings and such.

So i got a 2 star review for that when all the others had been 5 and 4. I've never had anything said like this before, but obviously this Texan didn't like the British element. I don't mind that - I mind the 2 stars!
 

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I read them all the time. 

In the past they may not have sold well due to delayed distribution or no distribution at all.  In this day and age, it's a marketing thing.  If someone is getting their book in front of my eyeballs and I like the sound of it (setting is only sometimes pertinent--a mood thing) I'll buy it.

I do have favorite settings and it happens that the UK is one of them.
 
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