In 2019, George R. R. Martin has published 5 out of a planned 7 novels in the series A Song of Fire and Ice (commonly referred to as Game of Thrones based on the TV adaptation and the title of the first book).

Searching on Amazon.de for English language series of books, I observe that it is possible to purchase the first 5 books as a set of new paperbacks for less than 30 Euro.

However, when I search for German language translations, it seems that the most prevalent German translation is published by Penhaligon and that the price for a new book is 30 Euro per book and the price for the set is 150 Euro.

It's understandable that book translations would incur additional costs to cover the translator fees, however I'm wondering why there is an approximate 5 fold increase for the German editions especially considering that this book series is one of the most successful book series in the modern era.

  • 3
    While there still seems to be a difference, your specific examples are comparing a paperback against a particularly ornamental hardcover. May 19, 2019 at 23:22
  • 2
    The general situation of ASoIaF translations does seem to be a little odd indeed, though. Different editions seem to have different amounts of parts, where the earliest translations kept to the 5-part structure newer ones seems to have split them again into 10 parts. And now this one seem to be a completely new edition with entirely different titles, and also under the Game of Thromes trademark. It's a little confusing indeed and the German distribution likely tries to capitalize on the TV-show (or more aggressively than the original publisher), which could explain the pricing, too. May 19, 2019 at 23:31
  • @CahirMawrDyffrynæpCeallach: The ASoIaF books are just short enough to be publishable and profitable in single volumes in the U.S. They have been broken into multiple volumes in other countries, where the economics of the publishing industry is different.
    – Peter Shor
    May 20, 2019 at 15:35
  • Is this really on-topic for this SE? Apr 15, 2020 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Looking at the links and the pictures used to represent the product, it is likely that the price difference is simply the difference from paperback to hardcover.

Even here in the United States a hardback set is around $125 while a paperback set can be had for as low as $35.

While it is not quite extreme as a 500% increase, it is close at 350%. Keep in mind as well you are comparing a set to individual books in your links, and a set is always going to be cheaper.

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