August 8th, 2012

Ah ha.  Look what just dropped onto my doormat.

Why, it’s only an uncorrected manuscript proof of Joe Abercrombie’s latest, Red Country.  I can’t wait to read it.  Except of course I already have.  About thirty times.  Still, it looks most handsome I must say.  There are only 90 in existence, this time around.  Not sure why they’ve done such a small run, but small run they have done, and the chances are high that if you have to ask for one, you ain’t going to get one.  Sorry.  Not my call.  Nor do I know exactly when they’re planning to send them out.  On the other hand, if you do get one, imagine how incredibly smug you can feel about it.  And despair not, reviewers, as they’ll be sending out finished copies for review some time before publication.  Let’s have a look at the back, I’m always interested to see what outrageous lies my publisher are spreading about me lately…

 It’s all true, damn it!

Posted in process by Joe Abercrombie on August 8th, 2012.

28 comments so far

  • Daveboy says:

    Truly an object of damn fine beauty!

  • Phil Norris says:

    I seen over on Twitter that if you ‘Like’ Gollancz on Facebook you could win a proof copy!

    Whooo and frakking Hoo!

  • Iangr says:

    My prrrreciousssss!

    Joe, how’s about a lottery to give away a copy?
    C’mon,where’s your Olympic spirit of …er…giveawayness?

  • Richard says:

    Natural successor in the genetic sense?

  • Slogra says:

    I love you for making these books.
    And I despise you for dangling this in our faces, like juicy strips of meat in front of a dog.

    Okay, now I’m hungry for red meat AND Red Country.
    Dammit Joe, dammit.

  • Aaron says:

    “The Natural Successor of George R. R. Martin”? I’m not just sucking up to my favorite author in saying this, but Joe, it is a compliment to George R. R. Martin to be compared to you, not vice-versa.

  • Fantasist says:

    Not that my opinion weights much, but that back cover seems to rather blatantly ‘sell’.

    ‘Red Country is perfect for fans of strong historical fiction and best selling fantasy fiction alike’—- Really? Most of you readers (I’m plunging with a guess) are adults. I don’t think they’ll appreciate that. I certainly didn’t.

    Also, sold a million copies? Doesn’t that merit a blog post?

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    It’s a proof. It’s intended for professionals, booksellers, reviewers, foreign publishers. The actual books won’t look anything like that.

  • thorne says:


    It must feel great to have the (nearly) finished work in your hand.

  • Dogman'sBladder says:

    UK only? Why can’t Orbit be as ace as Gollancz?

  • Dogman'sBladder says:

    I think I have the names confused, but either way the UK publisher seems to be on top of things. They previously had an earlier release date, and now are doing amazing promotions like this.

  • Frank Fitzpatrick says:

    For your next book I think you should run a competition on your blog. It should be that we (the fans) get to decide upon a single quote to go on the back.

    i.e. “Joe is an incredibly mediocre writer,” – Tom the Tithead

    Of course, Tom the Tithead is an arse so he wouldn’t win not would that quote be chosen, but I think you catch my drift.

  • Jeff says:

    THIS is why I order your books from the UK. The American covers are not nearly as good.

  • Adam says:

    “The Natural Successor of George R. R. Martin”?

    I understand it’s a means of expanding the readership of newly minted Martin fans from the teevee show, but I’d hate to think of every fantasy author needing to make that comparison just to hawk their craft. And I’m sure there are going to be tons now…

    And of course, after the Hobbit hits theaters, everyone will be eager to make Tolkien comparisons again… =/

    I’d like to see what the actual conversion numbers on those statements are. One would think that someone browsing a fantasy shelf already know what they’re looking at and don’t need to be coddled by the familiar.

    You need to put that amazon negative review from yesterday’s blog post on your back cover. I don’t know a single fantasy reader who wouldn’t be turned on by something like that. Erm… except for the reviewer, of course.

  • Ray Z says:

    Joe, you really need to think up some ridiculous contest to make your most avid readers do some stupid shit to win a proof copy.
    Also, will the waterstones exclusive hardcover have different artwork? it’d be a real shame if it does, cause this one is amazing.

  • Jacob says:

    Aren’t you up and coming authors (also, established) afraid of these things getting copied and bootlegged? Happened with the music industry and all the metal bands I loved. Send out a review CD, some random fan gets a copy of it, DC ++.

    It happens with some authors, but because of the whole “I still like to hold the physical copy of the book in my hands” belief, this mode of thought will, thankfully, not cross anyone’s mind.

  • Mark C says:

    I didn’t know you used to sell the Sunday Times? And lots of them, apparently!

    Seriously, the new book is looking great Joe. Mine is pre-ordered already!

  • Michela says:

    Shy South and Lamb, sounds good to me! So another girl in the lead, it seems, can’t wait! As usual, the cover looks amazing.

  • Chris says:

    What was it like growing up as George RR Martin’s first born son? What are you going to do with his millions when he passes away?

  • Eric says:

    Blankety blank blank Awesome!!!! When are the ARCs going out? And who do I have to kill to get one at my store. I am a loyal bookseller who pushed your wares. Let me push your future wares….I just realized that sounded sketchy.

  • AntMac says:

    That is a Boss cover. The best cover yet.

    I will make a little stand for my one, that has

    ” You can never have too many ”

    on it.

  • Xan Perillan says:

    No preview chapters online, somewhere? 7 or 8 would be nice…

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Well, again, this is a proof, so the statements on the back are all aimed at booksellers more than they are book buyers. The George comparisons are suggesting to a bookseller, foreign publisher, etc. that the books could be marketed to the same readers. He’s obviously getting a shed load of ‘general’ readers who wouldn’t necessarily normally read fantasy, and we’d like some of those readers too. But naturally anything very successful promotes a lot of comparisons to it, and GRRM has long been very successful, and now way more than ever. Whether these phenom successes create a great deal of interest in their wider genre is a very interesting question. Do readers of 50 shades of grey go out and buy a load more erotica? Probably not. My guess is the vast majority of these itinerant readers, if you will, just read a succession of what’s huge regardless of genre – so they’ll read Girl with the dragon tattoo, but rather than necessarily looking for more scandinavian crime afterwards they’ll pick up The Hunger Games next, then 50 shades, and so on. But I don’t doubt that Game of Thrones has had (and hopefully will continue to have) a significant effect on the perception of fantasy.

    Well, sadly or not, piracy and bootlegging and so on is pretty much an inevitability. You’d do yourself a lot more harm by stopping all marketing and publicity attempts prior to release. Attempts to fight piracy aggressively strike me as totally self-defeating and a waste of time at best. I think your best defence as a writer is pushing for a reasonable price point on your e-books, and the provision of a good, slick, widely available service, then I think the great majority of customers will be more than happy to pay.

    Don’t know exactly when they’re going out, or who’s getting them, it’s in the hands of my publicist…

    There’ll be a sample chapter posted here start of September.

  • Dave says:

    Nice one Joe.

    Now whats the story with WHSmiths? I don’t see Red Country listed on their site. Do Amazon have priority or did you run over their dog?

  • Adam says:

    Aha… thanks for the thorough explanation, Joe. I didn’t think there would be a certain level of marketing gamesmanship in the pre-release stages, when dealing with booksellers and foreign pubs, but I guess that makes sense.

  • Steve says:

    Totally sure this has already been brought up already, but on the preview of RC on the home page, it shows the cover and then says there’s an excerpt. However, the takes you to one of Best Served Cold. Is it just my computer?

  • Looks like I’m just keeping my fingers crossed for a review copy a little closer to the time. Either that or I start selling my cute little… ahem. Never mind

  • I’m supposed to have been receiving one of these, but – alas – it still hasn’t arrived. Hopefully a finished copy will be arriving in its stead. Oh, the difficult life of a bookseller, eh?

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