Little Boxed Sets on the Hillside

August 30th, 2012

As of today, 30th August, The First Law, a series that pulitzer prize winning author Junot Diaz, no less, described as “the best fantasy trilogy in recent memory” (and he’s famous for his well long memory) should be available throughout the UK in a magnificent boxed set.  Yes indeed, three parchmenty B-Format mass market paperbacks united in sweet harmony within a wonderfully designed war-chest of purest cardboard.  RRP is £27.00, but you may have noticed that a small amount of discounting tends to go on in British bookselling these days, and I observe that, for example, have this item on sale for a mere £13.23, a 51% discount.  Why, at that price you’d be a fool not to become the envy of your extensive social circle by buying five and arranging them in an eye-catching pyramid, like this one:

Alright, I’ll admit, I can’t expect everyone to be enough of a true fan to invest in their own First Law Boxed Set Pyramid, even at the ludicrous, knock-down price of £66.15 including free delivery for the entire thing.  Many of you, I must concede, will already own these books.  What may be of more interest is that you can now buy the boxed set on e-book for the even more ridiculous price of £9.99.  Yes, I work that out to be somewhere around 1.5p for every 1,000 words of ultra-high quality genre-defining fiction.  Obviously it doesn’t come in a box, though.  Or perhaps it comes in an electronic box, I’m not sure…

LATER NOTE: Seems to be some confusion on Amazon, with a couple of different entries, some available, some not.  The one which is currently shipping is at the slightly less excellent price of £18.90.

Posted in announcements by Joe Abercrombie on August 30th, 2012.

36 comments so far

  • ErikNL says:

    Are you even a fan? Duh, there should be another box on top to make a true pyramid!

    Sidequestion regarding the Amazon sale: do you still get the same amount of money per unit sold as when the trilogy was first on the market? Or is this lower/higher now?

  • Eaque says:

    Already got mine 🙂 and I concur with Junot Diaz, the best fantasy trilogy in recent memory. Dark and gritty… Congrats from Australia.

  • David says:

    I see a bent corner on the left of “The Blade Itself” in the left top-most box. If even authors don’t get their books adequately protected during shipping, no wonder Amazon doesn’t bother too much for its customers. I hate bent corners!

  • Shahriar says:

    I’ve always liked your UK covers. They seem a bit more durable compared to the US ones and I just like the rugged feel to them while I’m reading. And now that they are available in a such a pretty little package, I might just grab one!
    By the way Joe, can you give us a hint as to when the limited edition of Heroes will likely be available? cheers

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    The question of royalties is fiendishly complex. Let us say that it depends.

    Mine come straight from the warehouse, not from amazon…

    Any statement on the Heroes limited would be a total guess. The Best Served Cold limited is finished, I think, but I don’t think it’s shipped yet. Sub Press have the rights to do The Heroes and obviously have the text, so I imagine they’ll start talking to Swanland about the artwork relatively soon, but I imagine he’s pretty busy. I would be surprised if it appeared within the next year.

  • ColinJ says:

    Joe, your books so pretty they’re edible. Did you know that?

  • Shahriar says:

    Already ordered BSC limited edition. The lettered edition was sold out but I think there are a few more limited editions left. It hasn’t shipped out as yet.
    I have to say the cover art for BSC is spectacular. Definitely among my favourite from Swanland. A year away for the Heroes? Long way away but thanks for the update.

  • Luke Kidson says:

    There was a tower of these bad boys in Forbidden PLanet yesterday – eyewitness account

  • Jakub dan Worst says:

    Joe, only five?! Why, you can buy a whole lot of ’em and build your very own House of the Maker!!!

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:


    *Changes underwear*

  • americangirl says:

    Will these be released in the US as well or should I pony up for the extra shipping?

  • Mitchell Lurie says:

    Is there any way you can let us know when our spec. ed. copies of BSC might be shipping out?

  • Phil Norris says:

    If I didn’t already have all three I’d get them, but the ebook offer looks tempting. That way I’d have them with me all the time…hmmm…

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    UK only, sorry.

    Should be soon, I think they’re all done, but only Sub Press will know for sure when they’ll ship.

  • Chevi77 says:

    I agree with you, Phil Norris, I was weak and bought the 1.99£ kindle edition of The Blade Itself, but the whole trilogy at that price is very, very tempting…
    By the way, I know is early days but, is there a date for paperback edition of Red Country??? Don’t take me wrong, Joe, but I am not very much into hard cover books, they are too pricey and bulky for my taste…

  • Thomas J says:

    And on Amazon US the kindle trilogy is more expensive than buying the three kindle books individually. Weird…

  • AntMac says:

    More to the point, Oh Venerable One, why does the biggest bookseller chain in New Zealand have not one bit of information about when we get your new book on the shelves?.

    They know it exists, but the publishers have sent them NOTHING about release dates.

    Second the refusal to buy hardbacks. They don’t fit on my bookshelf, they don’t fit with the other books, they are not something you can curl up in bed and read.
    I do not know why people continue to make them, they are an archaic effectation, people trying to be “Lord CrimCon in his noble study, turning the pages of his leather bound tomes”.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    On paperbacks,
    Not sure precisely, but my guess is a trade paperback (that is hardcover size pages in a paperback binding) will appear maybe 6-9 months after the hardcover, mass market probably not until 6-9 months after that, I’m afraid.

    As for why people make hardbacks, plainly some readers do like them, but also there’s the small detail of the entire accepted methodology of publishing being based around the much larger profits you make, both as author and publisher, if you can establish a solid hardcover market…

    Australian release dates should be about the same as the UK ones, I imagine. I certainly hope so, as I’m going to be touring over there in November and need some units to shift. I’d imagine New Zealand dates would be about the same, but I’m not entirely sure who’s responsible for distribution in NZ.

  • ColinJ says:

    Speaking of your Australian visit, Joe, do you know yet if you are doing any panels and what the schedule is?

    I checked the Genrecon site and they still have nothing on there. Maybe another update on this blog would be good when you have the details.


  • Nisse says:

    When will we see hardback editions of the first law books? will they ever be printed in hardback again(ive heard there are some 1500 copies of the blade itself hardback edition)?

    Quite a few people would be interested in buying them for sure.

  • Jacob says:

    Have these ever been in hardcover?

  • Jacob says:

    And Joe…

    In the UK bookstores are there glaring banners advertising your books (as evidenced by the sign in the above photo) since you’re a native? Over here in the States I most often see your novels thrown beneath the “If you like Game of Thrones…” sign. You’re there with Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, and Patrick Rothfuss.

  • AntMac says:

    6-9 months . . .



    Nothing for it I suppose, I will have to take up drugs and debauchery again, to pass the time.
    I know you guys make more money out of the hardbacks, and I am the last guy in the world to want to shortchange you, believe me please. I just don’t like handling the things, they detract from my reading pleasure, I feel I ought to be wearing a collar, sitting at a reading desk, with my coat buttoned up and a pious look of disdain on my lip.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    There were very small hardcover runs of the first three, the first two especially small, in the UK, most going to libraries and collectors, the main release edition being a trade paperback. The limited runs make them quite collectable, though, they go for a few hundred quid each these days.

    Doubt they’ll be reprinted in hardback, unless there’s some massive surge in interest, that very rarely happens, people just aren’t interested enough when they can get a mass market.

    Don’t know about glaring banners, but there’s a bit of advertising goes on. That there was a poster from the London tube.

    Guess I never felt the experience of reading a hardback was all that different to a paperback.

  • bta says:

    Ah, yes. Those trilogy hardbacks….
    Some of us got lucky and were exposed to Joe’s awesome talent early on. Once the Tbk was read there was this overwhelming compulsion to grab collectible copies. I think Joe’s bank manager had insisted that the covers be impregnated with a level 3 glamour. No chance of resisting that.

    For those depressed about shipping costs from the UK, try The Book Depository.
    World-wide shipping – postage free.

  • Nion says:

    As I own German editions only by now, I’ve just ordered by box. 🙂 The shipping costs somehow reduce the offer, but still. Nice price. Thanks for the tip.
    Best regards, Nion

  • Joe, I’ve come to accept the fact that I’m mediocre at best in regards to arithmetic and geometry.

    How many boxed sets will it take to create a proper FIRST LAW Ziggurat?

  • Thursday Week says:


    Am glad to see you have all had your box sets – can anybody tell my why Amazon are saying that my pre order is indefinately delayed?

    Why do I do this…..

  • Growl says:

    Thursday Week, I also had this problem, as I pre-ordered from Amazon. However it looks as though they’ve gone back on their pre-order price promise. It’s now being offered under a different listing:

  • Thursday Week says:

    Thankyou Growl for your reply. I complained to Amazon earlier thisafternoon about what I thought was sharp practice and rather quickly received an email from them which basically stated they would honor the original price as a ‘goodwill’ gesture. So complain, you never know!!

  • Tom Lloyd says:

    Oh the jealousy abounds, they look so good!

    on another note, the world is apparently even smaller than I’d realised. Fi’s new publisher, Lionel, is a friend of yours I hear!

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Llloydimus Maximus,
    Ha! Yeah, Lionel is my brother’s best friend. We were in a band together growing up in Lancaster, and he was the one who originally passed my manuscript on to Gillian, funnily enough…

  • Tom Lloyd says:

    So I hear! Sounded like she was REALLY reluctant to read it at first so the twenties stapled to page one must have done the trick…

    Apparently Fi told him you were annoyingly successful so expect a demand for a share of royalties soon! ;0)

  • Why have a pyramid, when you can have an arch?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Ellison Hawker,
    Oh, man, I love it.

    But where did you get the freakishly lifelike cardboard Inquisitor Glokta?

  • I think the garish colours really bring out the depths of his character.

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