Proofs of The Heroes have arrived:
Have some of that. Aren’t they beautiful? Chunky, though. Don’t know if it’s the paper, or the way they’ve been set, but it’s way the heaviest proof I’ve produced even though the book is actually one of my shortest (well, 202,000 words, it’s not short by any estimation, but it’s about 12% shorter than the last couple).
For those of you unfamiliar with the workings of the industry, bound proofs, ARCs or galleys (basically different words for the same thing) are the rough versions sent out to booksellers, publishers, and reviewers prior to release in order to build excitement, stimulate orders, and ensure review coverage at the time of release. The text is the vast majority of the way there, though it hasn’t yet been proof-read or, in this case, copy edited. Sometimes proofs will be bound in anonymous brown paper, sometimes will have rough versions of the covers though usually without any specials (things like embossing, texture, and foil that will be found on the final edition). Typically they will have various persuasive stretchings of the truth on the back cover to entice would-be buyers. Things like, in the case of this proof: “Abercrombie has a unique, smart, wry voice and an ability to make fantasy cliches his own.” or “The Heroes is his best novel to date: a stunning war novel, impeccably written, with superb characterisation.” “One for fans of George RR Martin and Bernard Cornwell alike!” Actually those are all true. Understatements, really.
Now, oftentimes proofs will be sent out to reviewers straight away, but I suspect in this case we might hold off for a month or two to prevent a spate of reviews sweeping the interpipes in early september followed by three months of stony silence prior to release. Still, folks at my publisher, at other publishers, and key booksellers around the place may well already be reading it. Not to mention my wife. That gives me a bit of a shiver, I must confess (people reading the book, not mention of my wife). I mean, obviously, the book is objectively ace, I have never doubted that for an instant. My publisher’s carefully wordered marketing spiel on the back of the proof prooves it and my mum agrees, or at least says she does. But will the fickle readers realise its aceness? Or will, as has occasionally happened with my other books, the sheer onslaught of aceness, the crackling electricity of quality, overload the aceness recognition centres of the brains of some readers (possibly rendered over-sensitive by years of reading dross), causing them to come away with the badly mistaken, if not to say sadly deceived, impression that the book is actually quite poor. Only time will tell…
Naturally, I will be scouring the internet for any early opinions, and will report back as and when they should appear in all their gory glory. Unless they’re negative opinions, clearly caused by neurochemical imbalance. In which case I will treat them with the contempt they deserve.
Scott Pilgrim vs The World
Yeah, yeah, good fun all round. Hopeless nerd Scott Pilgrim falls for the cool new girl in town, only to discover he must battle her seven evil exes in order to win her heart, the whole a kind of kung-fu comic book manga video game beat ’em up pastiche. Kind of Tekken vs Ninja Scroll […]
V Festival 2010
I was at the V Festival over the weekend, working in my old job as a video editor – something I did for some seven or eight years before I started writing, but that I’ve been doing less and less over the last few years as the writing has gradually become my main employment. Basically […]
Curnden Craw Week
This week I have mostly been revising the sections of the story featuring what is, probably, the closest thing to a central character The Heroes has. Curnden Craw is a Named Man, advanced in years, whose knees and nerves are giving out after years of weather and war. He was once Second to Rudd Threetrees, […]
Prince Calder, and an Extract
Editing on The Heroes over the last week or so has centred on Prince Calder, one of the main characters on the Northern side of the issue. The sharp-minded among you may remember him turning up near the start of The Blade Itself. But things have changed a little for him since then, and not […]
Man, it’s a long time since I talked about a film. You know why? It’s a long time since I managed to get to the cinema. Kids and books and building projects and all that other, you know, LIFE, can do that to you. So imagine my delight when I chiselled free an afternoon to […]
The Heroes Copy
Final copy for The Heroes: “They say Black Dow’s killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbour, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have […]
Gillian Redfearn Week
Last week saw a quick run through of the last of the point-of-view characters on the Union side. Finree dan Brock is the daughter of Marshal Kroy, commander of the Union forces in the North. She has also made a risky marriage to Hal dan Brock, the honest and loyal son of the disgraced Lord […]