February 2024 – Production Update

February 2024 – Production Update
It’s that time of the month again, what’s going down with your books at Curious King?! A lot it transpires. Despite it being a short month, I feel we’ve made some very good progress on the titles we’re working on.
Currently we’re working on numerous books at various stages of production, and appointing artists for new titles. As mentioned before, this is to give us some flexibility when waiting for art to be handed in, as I’m finding that part hard to schedule.
Without further ado…

The Blade Itself

I finally have the prints and packaging here after a lengthy delay in customs. This means I am able to put these up for sale!
These Tommy Arnold signed and numbered prints of his incredible cover of The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie are giclee printed on 310gsm Hahnemuhle “German Etching” and are 16inches x 20inches.
There are 50 of these in total up for sale, and the price is £110 plus postage. I will be putting these up for sale on:

Tuesday 5th March at 20:00GMT

For future reference, the covers of both Before They are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings will also be produced as a limited print when the time comes. There will be no rights between prints, as some people may only want one.

The Fifth Season

We are just one piece of art remaining to be handed in, then we’ll have all the pieces of the puzzle. The dustjacket is currently being printed at the moment, and after listening to some customers I have put foil stamped book title/author etc on the spine. Whilst I personally am a very big fan of textless dustjackets, I appreciate collectors who want to display this on their shelves.
I visited Ludlow last week and was pleased to see great progress on all the slipcases, and the book casings were also being produced while I was down there. Once the final piece of art is in, the books can be finished sewing and the final stages of the book can be done.
I’m also toying with having the letters in the Roman Numeral stone tablet gilded, so they “pop” a bit more from the stone. I’ll be reviewing that this week to see whether it’s worth doing to the final amethyst boxes.
Progress is good, and I’ll keep you posted when I have a concrete shipping date.


Litho-printing the interior B&W images has been done on both papers and has already been shipped down to Nomad for Letterpress overprinting. There are two colours being letterpress printed on chapter pages and title pages.
The plates are made and we’re just waiting for Pat at Nomad Letterpress to finish his current job (which has run quite far over) to start printing. This is a slightly shorter run as it’s just Lettered and Deluxe, so I’m hoping the printing will be done by the end of May. Again, this is an estimation based off the information supplied by the printer.
Once printed we are good to go for the binding as the art is pretty much all handed in now. It’s worth mentioning Jaime Jones will have some of the original oil paintings for sale, as well as the pen and ink’s. Those interested please message me and I can share the pricelist.
I have also made a decision to change the blue leather we’re using on the Deluxe Edition. After a few more tests, the bindery struggled to repeat the heavy indentation on one of my earlier prototypes. So we’re going with a slightly different blue leather which seems to take the blind stamping much better. It’s a darker blue, and I’ll be updating the foils to fit in better.
The Roman Numeral continues to rumble on. The good news is the book design has been finalised and is being made as we speak (think I gave Ludlow a few headaches with this concept). The case needs some work still, so it is going through a quick update. Once finished we’ll be able to build the interior for the books, and hopefully share images.
Still projecting Summer for shipping on this title, should follow after The Fifth Season.

Before They are Hanged

Next on the block is number 2 of the incredible First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. As mentioned we’re working with Vance Kovacs on this title and I’m very excited to share some of the artwork including the Dustjacket.
The prototypes are nearly finished and fit in nicely with The Blade Itself. The big news is I’m going to print both Before They are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings at the same time. I’ve finished the interiors and they are being sent to Nomad for proofing. Having both on at the same time is fairly obvious, it means I don’t have to worry about the ever-lengthening queues at the letterpress printers. This means it should be done ahead of schedule awaiting the art, and can be bound as soon as it’s handed in.
I’m very excited to press on with this series, and by printing early and getting the art for books 2 and 3 done concurrently mean I’ll be able to get both out in a reasonable time (famous last words). I am still yet to announce the artist of Last Argument of Kings as we’re still in advanced negotiations, but this person is a real legend of the game. Watch this space.
Still aiming for March for pre-order, likely toward the end of the month. There will of course be a pre-order window for current owners of The Blade Itself.


Moving along nicely with most things. There is however a snag with the art, as Justin has had some very unfortunate personal delays which I am very sympathetic about. The goal is still to have the art finished mid-year, but I’m not sure how realistic that is given the situation.
I’m making good progress on the design of the bindings and concept. Really excited to be working on this one as it’s such an iconic novel, especially for the British! Will we be seeing lots of Druss? Of course we will.
Due to absolutely insane price increases that don’t seem to be stopping I’m only going to print this in one colour (it also has something like 35 chapter/title pages). This should hopefully stop the price from increasing based upon The Blade Itself. It does still have 400+ pages, which is costly in letterpress form, but these are the books I want to publish. There will of course be numerous colour images tipped in and the B&W images included within the text.
I’m currently working on the interior layout and title pages. Once finished I’ll just need to add in the B&W images and it’s ready for printing. I’ll be working with Hand and Eye on this project, and I’m very excited to link up with Phil Abel.

Hitchhikers Guide

I’ve seen a first draft of the interiors by Gary Gianni and Marcelo Anciano which has been incredibly exciting. Gary is still at sketch stage, but Marcelo is working on the pacing of the book with the colour/B&W images. It’s looking great so far and is absolutely packed with art you’ll be pleased to hear.
As mentioned, concepts are being progressed for the bindings of each version. One thing I’m particularly pleased about is that this book is only around 270 pages (compared to the 400+ monsters I usually work on). We’re lining up the printers at the moment and this one is definitely two-colour on the letterpress!
I’m also working on securing some worthwhile contributors to this book, so watch this space!
Art is due in toward the end of the year, to be followed immediately by printing/binding. Summer 2025 for shipping on this one currently.

Other Titles

Aside from the fantasy series I mentioned in last months update, we are working on a few other bits. The obvious one is The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin (second book in the Broken Earth Trilogy). I’m making a start on the design/concept for the bindings, and the extensive R&D for the Roman Numeral and Lettered has already begun.
The plan is to pre-order on this before the end of the year, but again this could well change depending on a few factors. I’ll keep you posted as the months go by.


I’m also trying to secure some standalones as well, as I appreciate the number of series may be a little intimidating to some collectors. However, whether standalone or as part of a series, I’m going to try and keep my output at the same level so your financial commitment shouldn’t increase.
One more thing I wanted to mention is the transparency and detail that I try and give everyone on each project. I do realise that being this open about processes can sometimes blow up in my face (particularly with scheduling). I could be more vague and give shorter less detailed updates to cover my back, but I feel my collectors deserve to know more about the progress of their books.
Unfortunately Fine Press publishing hinges on several key parts with few alternative options. In my inexperience I didn’t know quite how often delays happen and how much of a knock on effect they have, so I am calibrating to the pace of the industry still. So while I have always tried to be cautious with dates/times, they still regularly go backwards and I can only apologise for this.
As mentioned I now have numerous projects being worked on now, so by next year the delivery times should be much more palatable as I’ll have plenty of titles nearing completion.


Very excited for the year ahead and to see more books come to life!