BSC Artwork – Proofs

November 21st, 2008

The final step of the process is for proofs to be made, that is some examples of the final cover printed in the same manner and on the same paper as they’ll appear on the finished book, to make sure everything works properly. The main difference here, apart from the colour balance being slightly changed, is that any ‘specials’ – that is features like foil and embossing – will be present for the first time. On this cover the sword and the coins are embossed (they stand out a little from the paper) the title and author name are debossed (stamped into the paper), which gives the whole thing some added depth. It’s quite a subtle effect, in fact, almost more impressive to the touch than to the eye, but it certainly adds a little something, and it continues all the way round the book, which is sweet.

The foil they’ve used this time around is pretty damn cool, from most angles it looks almost black, but hit it just right and…

Oh, yeah. You want it. You need it. You MUST have it.

But I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until June…

Posted in artwork, process by Joe Abercrombie on November 21st, 2008.

19 comments so far

  • Anonymous says:


    I hate, hate, HATE you.

    I wanted to wait for the MMPB and now I’m going to buy another expensive hardcover.

    I work for a living, I don’t crap money, you know? Why do you want me to spend all of my money? Have you no sense of decency?

  • Anon,
    Have I no sense of decency? Clearly not.

    But the hardcover will only be £12.99. The same price as the trade paperback of Last Argument of Kings. It’s a bargain for THE COVER ALONE. And you get a 220,000 word book inside it! That’s 169 words per penny! I’m CUTTING MY OWN THROAT for your benefit!

  • Erik says:

    No! Don’t do it Joe! Put DOWN the knife! Go, go and get filthy rich!


    I luvs hardcovers! I wish there was a HC boxset of First Law 😀
    The most important, though, is how they look in my bookcase. For instance, I hate the fact that LAoK stands higher then tFL and BTAH! But i think a smaller version of LAoK will be available lateron…

    Buts anyway, BSC looks amazing. I hope you can bring a copy of this print to Holland when you come over.

    Im abit sad tho now 🙁 I bet you wont do a cool blogpost every day of next week…

  • mickymanga says:

    The cover looks darn well compelling, even more so than what we’ve seen last time.

    Is that actual “metal gun grey”?

  • daft sod says:

    That sword looks almost real. Need I say more?

  • oteckre says:

    ok, ok, i capitulate!
    i just pre-ordered the book on amazon. great advertising.

  • isis says:

    Hardbacks are stinky. But if that’s all there is…

  • Melanie says:

    It’s cool that you’re so involved with your cover, Joe. Why is the hardcover so inexpensive for this one? I didn’t say cheap because your book is most certainly not cheap.

  • Henry says:

    Your covers are perfect. I first picked up The Blade Itself because of its cover. I JUDGE books by their covers (they cost a hell of a lot). You have not just cracked the fantasy cover here, you’ve cracked THE cover, to my mind at least. I think its because it depicts real things. I hate covers that look like… like… that don’t look like this. I like the cover.

  • Erik,
    Hardcover box set, you say? You never know. The smaller version of LaoK is coming in Februrary.

    Gunmetal grey is how they describe it, but it actually looks kind of ultra black in most lights, then quite bright silver in others.

    Daft Sod,
    I wouldn’t try and defend yourself with it.

    Mwa ha ha hah. My evil plan has worked.

    Hardbacks are ace. And yes, that’s all there is, at least until the mass-market comes out the year after. Interesting that you don’t like them. Most people who express a preference seem to hate trade paperbacks as the worst of both worlds…

    Basically because they are going with a different publishing model for this book, where the hardcover will be the main trade edition rather than a trade paperback. They’ll print a lot of ’em so economies of scale mean they can offer it much cheaper. Not sure about the economics of it beyond that, but probably the fact that there’s more of a body of work to promote with the trilogy being all out in mass-market at the same time makes a difference too…

    Well I can only take a fragment of the credit for the great covers, but that’s ok, because I enjoy totally disproportionate financial benefits compared to everyone else involved.

  • mickymanga says:

    Well, it’s undeniable that you got incredibly lucky with the covers of your books.

    I’ll pray that you will get this luck for your future books, too. It feels like an incredibly tasty cherry on an incredibly tasty cake, if you get what I mean. Hell, I bet that’s what you’ve been planning all along, haven’t you?

  • FayeFAye says:

    I hate, hate, HATE you too, Mr Abercrombie, but for different reasons. Why can’t you have the decency of other writers and hide away in a monastery or cave or someone else’s villa in Tuscany (why do writers always have friends with villas?)and only pop up when you have a book printed? No, you have to tease us with glimpses and morsels of your novel which I want now now now NOW NOW! Son of a bitch.

    I also hate British publishers who would not release hard and soft covers at the same time, for I cannot let my boyfriend near the hardbacks; the first thing he does is take the dust jacket off than sit on it or fold it in half or something equally monstrous. Wish they did child and adult friendly covers in all books, like they do for Harry Potter.

    I very much like the cover, by the way.:)

  • Chris says:

    Its a good job this book isnt out for a few months yet, itll let me get through my back log before getting completly lost in another of your fantastic stories.

    Now all I need is a large format paper back copy of “The Blade its Self” maybe a signed one. Any idea where Id find one Joe??

    Love your work by the way keep going.

  • Henry says:

    Hey can I use the picture of the cover as the background of my myspace, it’ll be like advertising and it looks… amazing

  • susban says:

    I wonder what Glokta would say, but when I saw a new book on the way my heart gave a little jump. The cover art had me drooling. Still longing to see the cover of the Second Law: Book One, however. Say one thing for this fan. Say she’s addicted.

  • lannasdad says:

    Hi Joe, re-reading the trilogy for the third time whilst having man flu. Would love to see some full size hardcover versions, but would keep the paperbacks for reading on the loo. Speaking of which, after that starting trilogy, I personally would be shitting myself about trying to follow that. No pressure mate….

  • mickymanga,
    With any luck, it’s also the cherry that makes people actually BUY the cake.

    Thank you, I hate you too. But it’s the hardcover at the price of a trade paperback, surely the best of both worlds. You can buy two, one to treasure, one for your boyfriend to destroy.

    Sod the backlog, lose yourself.

    As far as I’m concerned, no bother, but be aware the copyrights probably still belong to the artists in question…

    Be still your heart…

    Ah, a man after my own heart. All the best reading is done on the loo. Shame about the old pink bottom-ring, though.

    And I was shitting myself about trying to follow that, now I’m quietly confident with the result…at least until I see how people respond.

  • Anonymous says:

    That's te one I've got and I fucking hate it. I mean, the book is really great so far, but hardcovers just piss me off. Completely unusable, really hard to read when in bed, can't turn the cover over to the backcover side, really a fuss to read. And don't get me started on that removeable sleeve.

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