New Covers

October 7th, 2008

The UK Mass Market editions of The First Law are being given a new cover treatment, to be phased in over the coming months in preparation for the mass market release of Last Argument of Kings in Februrary. Check out these bad boys:

Of course it lacks the full impact created by the oft-praised grip-friendly paper, debossing of text and sundry features, and precious foils in gold, icy blue or bronze, applied to the edges of text and the symbol in the background to make the covers glitter from afar like the setting sun upon a stirring sea…

But I think you still get the idea. Note in particular how MY NAME now appears above the title, and in bigger letters. Why so? Because I is a BRAND, biatches. I must say I find it slightly weird, but sales have insisted, and when sales insist … names are … made bigger, I guess. I’m sure I’ll get used to the idea. It continues with the cover of Best Served Cold, which I daresay I’ll be discussing in due course, at great length, ’cause it is frakking ACE.

My grovelling appreciation to Laura, the designer, and Gillian, dark mistress of editorial, responsible for these works of art. You could sell any old crap with THOSE on the front. Which is just as well…

And in case you’re thinking – man, it doesn’t say it’s part of a series and which number in the series it is, and that’s like well annoying – it does say. On the back. Oh, and while we’re talking about The First Law, check this out:

“Abercrombie has written the finest epic fantasy trilogy in recent memory. He’s one writer no one should miss.”

Junot Diaz, winner of this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. That’s right. Let me bullet point it. Junot … Diaz … Pulitzer … finest epic fantasy … no one should miss. In fact, he expressed well-deserved approval for Pyr’s ouput as a whole.

One more time. Pulitzer … epic … miss.

Posted in artwork, process by Joe Abercrombie on October 7th, 2008. Tags: ,

14 comments so far

  • rooben says:

    OK nobody buy “Best Serve Cold” just to keep Joe’s cortical circumference in check….

  • Anonymous says:

    So, the Last Argument of Kings’ cover style will be different from The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged’s covers (that I already have and I’m not going to buy again)? This is BAD.

  • Susanne says:

    Shiny. What a compliment! And justified! Well done.

    You’re a brand?? You need to exploit that and embark on a new career in alcohol brewing. Imagine going to your local and being able to order a ‘Scrumpy Abercrombie’! Sparkly, and rather heady.

    Whoa, see what I did there???

  • rooben
    Buy it, just tell me you thought it was shit.

    Not going to buy again? How dare you? But seriously, it’s always a problem with series. Covers are the main sales tool and publishers will always tinker with them if they think they can sell more books that way. The longer a series, the more likely the covers will get changed half way through. I find the mismatch between the mass market and trade editions kinda weird, since if you get into the series late you’re stuck with books of all different sizes. If it’s any consolation, the three trade books never looked THAT much like a series. These new ones should match up together a lot more nicely. And hey, look on the bright side. It’ll match the lovely hardback of Best Served Cold I’m sure you’ll be buying…

    Abercrombie small beer will be out later in the year. Flat and characterless.

  • Anonymous says:

    The longer a series, the more likely the covers will get changed half way through.

    Ah! I know. I usually wait for the end of a series before buying the first book just for this reason. But last July I thought “Come on, the new book is going to come out in a few months and it IS the last in a trilogy… they’re not going to change the cover now!” and I bought The Blade Itself and soon after it Before They Are Hanged.

    Next time, I’ll know better.

  • Susanne says:

    You’re making ale? Aw, heck, Joe. 🙁

  • no-ron says:

    and of course we completely agree with what Díaz had to say about TFL. or i do, anyways..

  • But you didn’t answer the most important question:

    Will the new editions have maps?


    (round of canned audience laughter and applause)

  • Anon,
    Pain in the ass, I know. But it is the same book…

    What could be more fantasy than ALE?

    He knows his fantasy, that Pulitzer winner…

    These won’t have maps, but Best Served Cold will.

    (collective gasp of amazement)

    Yes, you heard me right.

    Kind of…

  • Susanne says:

    Conceded, Joe. Actually, no! You can’t go writing books that transcend the boundaries of fantasy as we know it, and do it all fresh and new and GOD knows which other fancy words the reviews employed, and then visit us with ale. It won’t … wash.

    I’m here all week.

  • Anonymous says:

    Pain in the ass, I know. But it is the same book…

    Easy to say for you. But it will trigger my OCD and I’ll probably spend hours following my parquet’s woodgrains.

  • Derek says:

    Thank christ theres a map in the new book, about bloody time!

    and sorry but the new cover style is slightly erm….dull…

    I’ll still buy the book mind you but the first two books felt like the publishers were putting a lot of effort in.

    Its not usually till later printings that publishers put boring covers on like Robin Hobbs Assasin Quest, those horrible black Terry Pratchett covers…

  • Wolfgang says:

    Now, the second last line says "Post a Commend", the very last line offers "Home".
    No use in clicking "Home" – would be silly, that's where I am right now (looking into the fridge, just to make sure).
    So, there's no other way then to follow that suggestive >>Post a commend (do it NOW, tomorrow it might be too late)!

    Never thought that this much thought would be spent concerning covers. Honestly, I've seen (and purchased) books with the most ugly covers any thinking soul could come up with – just to find that the pages between the covers would have rectified any other – & maybe even more ugly – coverdesign.
    In the end it all ended up in looking at how many pages there are per book (got four bibles because of that), along with reading the reviews at Amazon (the local book stores seldom have English books in stock, and I hate translated stuff).
    Because of the often weird looks of the covers (you can't get books without them, sadly) – whenever you see somebody hunched over a book, taking every efford to camouflage the outside of what he's reading >> it might be me.

    In the end – covers really do not bother me half as much as maps do. And, from the point of selling old books again just because of a new cover: how about adding a few more pages to every book sporting that new, exiting cover?
    Just think of Glotka confessing he's gay & teaming up with Bayaz??
    Surely the crowd would be most willing to get this pearl of additional stuff to read!?

    (side note, other cover: Glotka REALLY does not look like THAT!)

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