No, this still won't be the cover.
The book version will follow the blog format of looking at the history of the genre through mainly a chronological perspective, with some asides into thematic areas. There'll also be a look at other areas of fantasy and how that relates to the epic field. There'll be more space for more authors, so writers I had to leave out of the blog version for time reasons will get coverage, such as Peter V. Brett, L.E. Modesitt Jnr., Elizabeth Moon and so on.
The book version is being shopped around by my agent (Ian Drury at Sheil Land, just in case any publishers out there are interested) but if we get no interest from that quarter, I will certainly be self-publishing. The interest from readers and even quite a few fantasy authors in this project has certainly been high, and resulted in a massive explosion of hits (tens of thousands of them over the same period last year) for the blog, not to mention the fact that epic fantasy has never been bigger than now, so I'm confident there is commercial potential in the idea.
If anyone has any ideas for the book version, they will be gratefully received. I've had a suggestion that we could look at including more and maybe iconic artwork from fantasy covers and series. Unfortunately, the licensing fees for this would likely be prohibitive, but if a professional publisher picks up the book then it might be possible to do something alone those lines.
I've also had people requesting a science fiction version (although in that case a "History of Space Opera" might be the equivalent). This would certainly be fun, but there are already quite a few good such books out there. Although older, Trillion Year Spree by Brian Aldiss and David Wingrove is worth a look, as is the 1995 SF: The Illustrated Encyclopedia by John Clute, which arranges the history of SF into handy chronological charts, thematic essays and profiles of hundreds of prominent authors in the field. In fact, one of the inspirations for the History of Epic Fantasy series was the baffling lack of any such comparative material for the epic fantasy field, despite its much greater sales and popularity. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction is certainly a resource everyone should be using for SF, although that is not a linear, chronological look at the field.
I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to everyone who read and commented on the article series. Your feedback has been appreciated, and has inspired some of the changes that will go into the book version.