Monday, September 13, 2010

Enhanced E-Book of 'The Heroes'

I know, people are very passionate abut their books.  I am, too.  It took me a long time to understand that books are not sacred objects and that they can be sold or given away once finished.  Two of the last three books I've read were e-books consumed via my iPad and I found reading a digital book to be a very satisfying experience; convenient, and with added benefits (like a backlight, and not having to awkwardly hold a book open while reading laying on my side, in bed).  I would describe myself as an e-book convert.  And, while still in its infancy, with all the growing pains that entails (what's with the horrendous typo and grammar errors in the Kindle editions I read?) I believe it's only a matter of time before the e-book industry gains momentum and more general acceptance.

To help things along, Joe Abercrombie has just announced an enhanced e-book edition of his new novel The Heroes:
For those of you who might have more than a passing interest in fascinating insights into the development of my writing, and of The Heroes specifically, here’s the package we’ve come up with for an enhanced ebook of The Heroes.  Alright, alright here’s the package my editor’s come up with:



  • Full Text of The Heroes
  • Unabridged Audiobook of The Heroes, narrated by Stephen Pacey
  • Introduction by the author
  • Afterword by the editor
  • In depth behind-the-scenes interview with the author (in text, audio, and possibly video), covering genesis of the idea for the book, influences, discussion of the six central characters, the writing process, the revision process from plan to completion, the importance of maps, the development of the cover
  • Five maps showing the battlefield, and unit positions at the start of each day of the battle
  • A dramatis personae
  • A 20,000 word planning document, with rough early plans, character sketches, and more detailed plans for each part
  • Several chapters presented at varying stages of revision, annotated by the author to illustrate the editing process
  • Cover file – all the briefs, sketches, and rough versions of the different elements of the cover, and of the combined cover, hopefully with some commentary from the award-winning artists and designer
  • Author biography
  • Links to other interviews and relevant websites and blogs
  • Archive of all blog posts during the writing and editing period
  • In due course, I hope we’ll be able to add The Fool Jobs, a short story featuring characters from The Heroes, though that may not be available until later in 2011
That extra content looks fascinating, and resembles the kind of special edition treatment that movies often receive on DVD.  I'm surprised no one thought of doing this before.  Perhaps they have but no one told me.

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