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I get book covers

UK Labyrinth Index

Yes, this is the British cover for "The Labyrinth Index", the ninth Laundry Files novel, coming in the second half of this year.

I'm not providing a pre-order link because, on a slightly less happy note, the publication date is going to slip back a couple of months from July. Amazon tends to botch pre-orders if that happens, and I don't want to add to your confusion—I'll provide an order link when we've got a definite date for it.

(The slip is due to cascading delays due to me being late handing it in: there just isn't time to rush it through production at two publishers who need to publish simultaneously in different territories between now and June. Me being late is down to recovery from a death in the family. Sorry, shit that's beyond my control happens: I'm working as fast as I can.)

37 Comments

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1:

Do I spy Cthulhu doing a Kitten Kong in the background?

2:

I hope the Book Depository handles the changing publication date better - I checked and had this already pre-ordered...

Also, I consider a death in the family a perfectly understandable reason for being late. Don't overwork yourself - it's better to have more books in the future than one a bit sooner and then no books.

3:

Stercus accidit, as our learned friends put it. Looking forward to the book - better late than never.

The Warren Ellis blurb is impressive.

4:

No apology necessary Charlie. Your books are always worth the wait.

5:

So presumably the Woman is Mhari does the second figure mean a new male character maybe from another as yet unheard from US Inteligence service I am assuming its not Alex.

6:

The UK cover of "Nightmare Stacks" also had a tentacular theme which didn't represent plot points. In general the cover backgrounds seem to be generically "occult/creepy". Add a UK skyline silhouette, a couple of generic people-with-gun silhouettes, and Bob's your uncle. (Well, perhaps not uncle since they don't seem to have family who've sprogged, but at least friendly-possessed-monster-next-door.)

7:

Nope, the cover is non-representational of the content. (If you want representational art, look to the American book cover.)

8:

As we machinists say when managers want something precise and fiddly doing yesterday-do you want it now, or do you want it right? I shall wait eagerly but patiently.
In the meantime, wish you all the best.

9:

Better than what iBooks shows at the moment....

10:

That is an accurate representation of the howling void between universes that is home to the mind crushing horrors in the book. You can't see it because it is behind you.

11:

No apology necessary Charlie. Your books are always worth the wait.

Yeah. Things beyond your control are not your fault.

12:

And now for something completely different.

We're going to be in Scotland this summer, coinciding with the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Any chance you'll make a reading appearance there?

13:

I remember a time when the illustrator of the cover artwork was mentioned somewhere on the same page as the copywrites etc. Now it's just Crush Creative on the paper cover backflip. They do seem to be channeling James Bond intro sequences (black silhouettes with guns).

14:

No idea — the EIBF don't book panelists quite this early. Also, the EIBF traditionally took rather an anti-genre stance. That's slowly changing: last year Ken Macleod got to run a program stream, and I was on it. But that's probably not an every-year fixture yet.

As and when I get a revised publication date for "The Labyrinth Index" I'll schedule a launch reading/signing at Blackwells, as usual. But, again, that's not going to be determined until about a month before the publication date, which is in flux right now.

15:

Ahem!

Just leaving this here to give you some idea of how the UK publisher is handling graphic design for the series.

16:

The really do want to emphasis the series nature of the books, don't they?

I live in Canada and it's always a crap-shoot whether we get the UK/Commonwealth or the USA/North America versions. At least there doesn't seem to be a significant lag between versions, at least for your work.

17:

Just reminded me, I still don't have the new covers for the first two - I've got the 'Red Hand' and 'Rain Face' versions.

To be honest they were one of the reasons I bought them - their abstractness really appealed.

Still would be nice to get them to match up.


There are clues in the covers, just not very big ones.

18:

Replying to my post - bad etiquette. ahem.

My last sentence was to the wider audience rather to OGH.

19:

And about older books: I'm most of the way through Nightmare Stacks, enjoying the hell out of it (other than all the Real Cassie, and all the other collateral damage...). I do have to say that I have a fondness for Real Nasties from Out There who look at us as a tasty snack... and then discover, to their shock and dismay (usually right before they lose it all) that we humans are not, in fact, their Happy Meals.

Which may fall under the heading of "don't make us mad, you won't like us when we're mad."

20:

>>>I hope the Book Depository handles the changing publication date better - I checked and had this already pre-ordered...

I have some bad news for you, sir.

Book Depository is Amazon. Amazon acquired it in 2011, and did a pretty good job of not drawing public attention to it, apparently.

21:

Just reminded me, I still don't have the new covers for the first two - I've got the 'Red Hand' and 'Rain Face' versions.

I have the cubical farm cover on "The Atrocity Archives" and underwater cage cover for "The Jennifer Morgue". I had the mermaid & gun cover Jennifer Morgue, but someone borrowed that copy & I had to replace it when I realized it was never coming back.

The others I have the standard USA first paperback edition covers, except for "The Nightmare Stacks", because there is no USA paperback so I had to order the paperback from a UK bookseller.

"The Delirium Brief" isn't out in paperback yet. Big river has it for pre-order, but it doesn't show up at my preferred book seller. I'm trying to keep the whole series in paperback so the spines look right when they're all in a row on the shelf.

22:

If you want paperbacks, from Nightmare Stacks onwards you're doomed to buy UK imports.

That's because the US mass market channel is shriveling up and dying and sales have fallen off to the point where neither Ace nor Tor were able to do a mass-market paperback profitably. So it's hardcover or ebook.

The UK has small-format trade paperbacks, which you can buy as imports — the ones in the mosaic of covers above. In fact, if you want a run of pleasingly similar-sized and designed Laundry Files novels, the British Orbit paperbacks are the only way to get them.

23:

Book Depository is Amazon. Amazon acquired it in 2011, and did a pretty good job of not drawing public attention to it, apparently.

Yeah, I know - should've been more clear. I don't know how it works behind the scenes, but at least from my customer point of view they haven't been integrated wholly with Amazon, and they at least seem to work differently.

At least their web gives me mostly books, and they don't show multiple vendors when I'm buying something - it's not always clear on Amazon who is selling me the items.

Of course, the money goes to Amazon - I'd be happy if there was as good a store which was independent. (There are a couple of Finnish bookstores which I would like to support, but their selection and customer service leave something to wish for.)

24:

If you want paperbacks, from Nightmare Stacks onwards you're doomed to buy UK imports.

I ordered the "Nightmare Stacks" paperback from the UK. It arrived before the date the vendor promised, so I don't think having to order paperbacks of future books is going to be much of a problem.

25:

USPS discontinued trans-Atlantic surface mail about a decade ago. Everything is air mail by default now (except for extra-large parcels) and delivery time UK-USA or USA-UK is 4-5 working days by mail.

Within the UK first class mail is normally delivered within 24 hours (except for some isolated parts of the highlands and islands); not sure what domestic postal time is in the USA but I seem to recall 48-72 hours ...?

So if you're American there's barely a difference between mail-ordering books from across the Atlantic, and ordering them within the USA.

(Also, in the UK physical books are exempt from VAT — sales tax. They tend to cost somewhat more, but that's because it's a smaller market, fixed production costs like typesetting or design are no cheaper, so they have to be amortized over a shorter print run.)

26:

So if you're American there's barely a difference between mail-ordering books from across the Atlantic, and ordering them within the USA.

I'm pretty sure I got it from an American bookseller that specializes in supplying UK books. I ordered just as soon as it became available. They didn't have it in their warehouse yet, so it had to ship from the UK. IIRC they quoted 7 days and it arrived in 5.

27:

Wordery works for me as a non-Amazon option (and has free international delivery). I do slightly worry that their business plan is to set up an online bookshop and then sell it to Amazon for a large fortune as and when. But meanwhile, they do the job very well for my money.

28:

Thanks, I have to check that out!

29:

Harking back to "artists who are only good at one thing" Coco Solid is not like that. She's also a kind of Aotearoa special ethnic mix: "a Māori, Samoan, German woman who is a rapper, producer, essayist, comedy-writer and comic-maker, walking multiple paths in life is just how she is".

https://thespinoff.co.nz/music/02-02-2018/they-didnt-disempower-us-after-all-coco-solid-drops-a-waitangi-day-mixtape/

I think that's an amusing counterpoint rather than a demolition of the original argument.

(on that note "The Spinoff" is a satire-and-news site rather than satirical-news).

30:

When I've ordered sweaters from Woollovers (whom I *adore* - lovely wool, really good prices, and no, I don't get kickbacks from them) - it takes about a week and a half to get to my door.

31:

When I've ordered sweaters from Woollovers (whom I *adore* - lovely wool, really good prices, and no, I don't get kickbacks from them) - it takes about a week and a half to get to my door.

That's timely. I have a strong preference for natural fibers in my clothing. I was looking for good quality, fairly priced wool sweaters (I think y'all call them jumpers) just last week.

Looked 'em up & they have a US site. After a quick look, I think they may do.

32:

Dying off? Or becoming extinct from lack of living space what with more and more book stores being killed off leaving a very chain stores like Barnes & Nobles, with its increasingly anemic selection, or of the smaller chains and independents hidden away? There are probably plenty of people who want to buy paperback, but finding a near by store that has it in stock is challenging.

Where l live over thirty bookstores with in fifteen miles just disappeared and not because that individual store was not making a profit. Too often the chain either died or pull the individual store because it was not making enough profit. And a lot of stores lost their lease because of insane rent increases.

The invisible hand of the free market seems not to work sometimes. Too often it seems just an excuse to clear cut the market.

33:

My pre-order from Amazon (Kindle format) here in the US seems to have been handled ok so far. I got an email the other day (don't remember exactly when) telling me the release date had been pushed back to 30 October.

A minor bummer, but I've still got plenty of books in the backlog to read in the interim. It'll just be a nice Halloween present if that date holds.

35:

No, they're offering a pre-order. They do that a lot.

36:

Huh! I didn't know about that.

While there won't be a US mass market edition, Tor did say they'd consider a small format trade paperback if sales were good — and first month sales were, indeed, looking good. So maybe this is that.

37:

Hence my confusion. :) Clarity dawns.

I guess it is difficult to discern between MMPB and small format TPB without actually seeing the book. That WOULD explain why so many of my other series suddenly changed size in paperback, though....

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on January 31, 2018 11:01 AM.

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