My author copies finally arrived! And I am thrilled: Spear is a very handsome book indeed. Obviously it looks fabulous—and I’ll talk more about that in a minute—but what really struck me is how it feels in the hand. First of all, the jacket has a seriously matte, tactile feel, with a little process on my name and title—not a lot; it’s subtle, just enough to feel substantial. But what’s really lovely is the size and weight.

When I was a teen I preferred reading library hardcovers; paperbacks were okay but they felt flimsy. Over the years, though, I’ve found my preference changing to trade paperbacks and I realise it’s a size issue. Many modern hardbacks are massive and heavy, too unwieldy for comfortable reading unless you have big hands, which I don’t.1 This book is perfect! I could hold it for hours—which of course I wouldn’t need to because it’s only 184 pages long.

Given its length I worried the book might feel too thin, but look: it’s beautifully proportioned. And the spine of the jacket is very attractive. (Whenever I hold it I just want to stroke it.)

We’re always told not to judge a book by its cover but, hey, we all do. But I can tell you, this book just gets better and better the more you explore.

The front flap is nice—nothing massively special but nice:

Ditto the back, and here I’m pleased by the colour coordination: Black and white photo with black end papers; red titles to match the red title and author name on the front:

But it’s when you start to take the jacket off that you start to get a sense of the glories within:

Just look at that foil stamping—see how it glows! You can see the individual rivets on the shield. The spine is shiny, too, but I couldn’t get as good a picture of it.

Then there are the interior illustrations by Rovina Cai: five altogether: the perfect moody complement to the text.

The whole thing is just very nicely designed: exactly what a hardcover should be. I hope you enjoy reading it as much I enjoyed writing it.

Buy it anywhere books are sold. But if you want a signed, personalised hardcover, then order from Phinney Books, Third Place Books, University Books, Elliott Bay Book Company, or Brick & Mortar before tomorrow at noon. Anything after that—except if you get them signed in person—will be just a plain signature. But, as you’ve seen, the book itself is far from plain, very far…

IndieBound | | | Barnes & Noble | Apple |

1 This, apparently, surprises people. Perhaps because I have big shoulders and muscled arms people expect big shovel hands at the end of those arms, but, no; my hands are small.