Hello and welcome to the first instalment of Black Library Weekly in 2017 – Happy New Year! As usual, I’m going to be taking a look at the Black Library-related news from the week just gone, which this time round involved a new campaign of special offers as well as a small but interesting handful of new releases.
As with the last couple of weeks I’m going to look at things in a slightly different order to usual – once we’re back in the usual swing of things I’ll revert back to the Monday/Midweek/Weekend format again.
The 12 Days of Christmas
The Advent Calendar had barely finished when this brand new promotion was announced! Running from Christmas Day to the 5th January, Black Library are revealing a new offer each day – so far it’s been a mixture of mostly ebooks and merchandise, although the second day did include some physical books as well. Here’s what we’ve had so far:
Day 1: A free short story (as mentioned this last week).
Day 2: Two limited edition hardbacks – £40 for the two.
Day 3: Three messenger bags – £40 each.
Day 4: Three art print bundles – £82.50 each (there were probably going to be 4 originally).
Day 5: Five Time of Legends series – £44.97 for all three trilogies/fifteen books.
Day 6: Six half price classics – £3.49 or £4.99 each.
Day 7: Five T-shirts – £15/£20 each. (missing the numbered theme memo again)
Day 8: Eight Age of Sigmar audios – £39.96 for all eight.
Clearly this is designed at least partially as a way of clearing out old stock, especially for the merchandise, but it’s actually working out quite nicely. I wouldn’t say there’s been something for everyone (apart from the free short story, I suppose) as yet but there’s certainly been some variety there, and most of the offers have been genuinely good value. I suppose you might be disappointed if you’re exclusively into physical books, as the LE bundle was still £40 and the other books/audios have been all digital, but then I think we have to acknowledge that digital products are more likely to be used in these offers.
Whatever you think, we’ve got four days left so it’s going to be fun to see what comes up next. Hopefully the last few stick to the numbered theme – days four and seven have rather jarred (not that this really works with the song, anyway).
It’s not just been the 12 Days of Christmas this week, as there have been a few new releases as well. We started the week off with the second of two ‘digital premieres’ – i.e. ebook versions of novels getting an earlier release to the physical editions. After Sunday saw Garro released, on Monday it was the turn of Carcharadons: Red Tithe by Robbie MacNiven, the much-anticipated novel which sees the Carcharadons get their own book for the first time. It’s priced at the usual £9.99 for ebook novels, and remember that it’s available via the Black Library website, iBooks and also Amazon.
Midweek didn’t bring much in the way of releases, just a reminder that you can still buy a range of mugs direct from Black Library’s website. Priced at £10 each there’s a few different options, so if you want to drink from BL-branded mugs, check ‘em out! My personal favourite is the Munitorum Recaff Mug – “fuelling guardsmen since M30”…
The main release of the weekend was the standard hardback/ebook/MP3 of Rob Sanders’ Horus Heresy novella Cybernetica, about 16 months after its original Limited Edition release. Priced at £15 for the hardback, £4.99 for the ebook and £14.99 for the MP3 it’s actually pretty good value – most of the novellas have been more like £7.99 or £9.99 in ebook, so £4.99 is apparently a price drop! Most unusual. I’d definitely recommend this one – it’s not perfect, but it’s an enjoyable read.
On top of that, Saturday also saw a paperback release of Toby Frost’s Imperial Guard novel Straken (£8.99), and a new book in the Space Marine Battles series – Shield of Baal (£9.99 for ebook and paperback). I say ‘new’ book – it is in fact a collection of the three novellas (were they novellas? Short novels maybe? I can’t remember.) released to tie in with the Shield of Baal campaign book back in 2014. It contains stories by Josh Reynolds, Braden Campbell and Joe Parrino.
Thoughts on the week
In terms of actual releases it’s been quite a quiet week, but then that’s to be expected for the week between Christmas and New Year. Those releases we did get weren’t bad either, especially as we got an early release novel that’s been getting quite a few people excited! If you’re a Horus Heresy fan but can’t or won’t get hold of the Limited Editions, it’s also a great time to pick up Cybernetica – especially for £4.99 on ebook!
The 12 Days of Christmas offers are certainly proving interesting as well. For me personally I’m not much fussed for the t-shirts and the bags, and while I’d love to pick up some more of the prints it’s a bit too much of a stretch to be able to fork out £80 on them right now. I’m loving the good value ebooks and MP3s though; of course it would be nice to get some physical books too, but these are giving Black Library the chance to offer some seriously good discounts…and we don’t tend to see too many of those!
We’ve now had the first of the releases from January’s part of the Coming Soon section, with Cybernetica. Next up is the hardback release of Carcharadons: Red Tithe, which is due to start dispatch on the 9th January, although do remember that you can buy it already! The standard version of Chris Wraight’s Leman Russ: The Great Wolf is then up next, available to download from the 14th January and dispatched from the 23rd, so that should be good as well.
I’ll be interested to see if Digital Mondays make a return on the 9th, now that Christmas and New Year are out of the way. Assuming it does, it should be fun to see what new short stories are coming our way soon! There’s also the last four days of the 12 Days of Christmas campaign to come – whether we’re going to get offers in multiples of 9, 10, 11 and 12 remains to be seen!
As always, if you’ve got any thoughts on the week’s news and releases please do give me a shout to let me know!