Oct 18, 2014

Where In the World Is PRETTY GIRL 13?

Nearly two years ago, I fell hard for this unknown book, PRETTY GIRL-13. (Check out my review!) This book was brilliantly written and quickly became one of my favorite contemporaries of all time. While the book slowly slipped out of everyone's minds, it's been gaining traction globally. Liz Coley, author of Pretty Girl-13, is here today to talk about where her book is and what's been going on. She also comes bearing gifts, so be sure to check out the bottom of the post!

Where in the World is Pretty Girl-13?
One of the coolest surprises about my debut novel Pretty Girl-13 is the reception she’s received in foreign translations. My German publisher has just sent me this amazing cover image, revealed here!

At the moment, there are overseas editions in Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, France, the UK, Taiwan, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the Spanish speaking countries. Coming next year are Norway, Germany, and mainland China. A lot of people are curious about how the whole international publishing biz works, so here are some basic FAQs.

How did you find foreign publishers?
My literary agency in New York works with a foreign rights co-agent (also in New York) who specializes in this aspect of selling an author’s work. My foreign rights co-agent maintains relationships with literary agents in many other countries; she gets to know them and keeps tabs on the kind of work they like to represent. When she reads a property (manuscript) she think has international appeal, she will pitch it to her overseas literary agents to represent in their own countries, and if they agree with the potential, they will take it on and attempt to sell it. In this chain, with three agents ultimately involved in the sale, each one typically get 10% of advance and royalties for their work. You don’t have to publish in English first, but that’s the more usual path; the American or English publisher edits the manuscript to its final version with the author.

How did you find translators?
Foreign publishing houses read manuscripts in English and if they acquire rights for their territory, they hire their own preferred translators. There is no need or desire for the author to lift a finger, which is a good thing, since I only speak one of the translated languages of PG13, and at that, not well enough to read my own book!

Was it fun picking all the different covers?
It was fun SEEING all the different covers as the files were sent to me, well into the production process. Unlike the domestic editions where the author can intervene in cover design to some extent, the foreign covers are a “fait accompli” as they say—a done deal. I love seeing not only how each country has decided to package the story for its audience, but also how they have decided to title it (another fait accompli). The Taiwan edition (Sun Color) includes tear out trading cards of Angie’s alter personalities. You need to buy two copies to get the full set. Clever.

Do you get any input?
Several publishers have asked for a special author’s note or letter for their readers, which gives me a chance to personalize that edition just a bit. I wrote a brief note in French for the first French edition and a letter to readers about Dissociative Identity Disorder for the mainland Chinese edition.

Which is your favorite cover? 
Ha! Do you have a favorite child? I love different things about each one. The eyes of the girl on the Russian cover captivate me (yes, pun intended), as does the faraway expression on the Taiwan edition. The French title “Hear Us” is really smart—thank you my dear editeur Frédérique!. The two brilliant red covers—the UK snow globe girl and the German girl of shards—complement each other so well. The Swedish title “Bereft” emphasizes what is lost. The title “Return from Darkness” for the Czech and Slovakian editions emphasizes what is found. In a way, each new translation helps me understand my own work even more.


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About Pretty Girl-13:
Pretty Girl-13 is a disturbing and powerful psychological thriller about a girl who must piece together the story of her kidnapping and captivity and then piece together her own identity.

When thirteen-year-old Angela Gracie Chapman looks in the mirror, someone else looks back--a thin, pale stranger, a sixteen-year-old with haunted eyes. Angie has no memory of the past three years, years in which she was lost to the authorities, lost to her family and friends, lost even to herself. Where has she been, who has been living her life, and what is hiding behind the terrible blankness? There are secrets you can’t even tell yourself.

With a tremendous amount of courage and support from unexpected friends, Angie embarks on a journey into the darkest corners of her mind. As she unearths more and more about her past, she discovers a terrifying secret and must decide: when you remember things you wish you could forget, do you destroy the people responsible, or is there another way to feel whole again?

About Liz Coley:

Liz Coley writes fiction for teens and for the teen in you.

Her first published work was science fiction short stories, published in Cosmos magazine and several anthologies.

Self-published YA novel Out of Xibalba features a contemporary teenager thrown back to ancient Mayan times. 
The story starts when the world ends.

Pretty Girl-13 from HarperCollins will be released in at least ten languages on five continents, in print, ebook, and audiobook.
There are secrets you can't even tell yourself. 

Liz lives in Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, her teenaged daughter, 18-year-old Tiger the cat, and kittens Pippin and Merry. When she's not involved in writing-related activities, she can be found sewing, baking, shooting photos, playing tennis, and singing.

Liz loves reading aloud.


  1. Oh, I remember this one! Good to hear that it's gaining traction around the world. How completely exciting for the author!

  2. I love that German cover, and this is super cool. I liked Pretty Girl 13 too so it's fun seeing the traction it's getting internationally!

    -P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

  3. Awesome German cover. I love seeing all the international covers


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