Baseball may be America’s national pastime, but it doesn’t have as strong a following in other countries. So while Swing!, Rufus Butler Seder’s sports-centered follow-up to last year’s bestseller, Gallop!, goes on sale in the U.S. next week, other countries will see a slightly different version of the book.
Swing!, which arrives with a 450,000-copy first printing, also uses Seder’s trademarked Scanimation technology, which makes it appear as though images in the books move when the pages are turned. (Visit Seder’s Web site for an example of the animation.) Gallop! used the technology to showcase the movements of different animals, and Swing! shows children engaging in activities from bicycling to swimming to—as referenced in the title—swinging a baseball bat.
But in the U.K, where Gallop! is still a bestseller, baseball isn’t as popular as it is in America. So Workman developed Kick!, a variant edition of the book, with a cover image that shows a youth kicking a soccer ball—or rather, football, as the game is known overseas. (The image of the baseball batter does appear within Kick!, just not on the cover.)
A few other minor changes were made to create Kick!, most noticeably swapping the yellow cover on the domestic version for a bright blue one; additionally, the promotional blurbs come from British and New Zealand media sources. According to Kristina Peterson, director of international publishing at Workman, Kick! is set to arrive in warehouses in Britain, Australia and New Zealand this week.
Meanwhile, Gallop! has been strongly embraced globally, Peterson says, with more than 450,000 copies in print in international co-editions, in 12 languages. At next week’s Frankfurt Book Fair, Workman will promote both versions of the sequel. Peterson says that rights for Kick! have already been sold in Germany and Brazil. And the publisher may be able to sell Swing! in at least two countries: Peterson notes that publishers in Japan and Korea, where baseball is popular, are interested in the original version.