George R. R. Martin clarified in January 2017 that unlike his previous anthology collaborations with Dozois, he was merely a contributor to The Book of Swords, which was edited by Dozois alone. Dozois notes in his introduction that this anthology is set to focus on the fantasy sub-genre of sword and sorcery, which he notes has often been mischaracterised as "epic fantasy", and collected these stories to reassert and exemplify the sword and sorcery genre in its own right. He notes that the anthology is intentionally a collection of the sub-genre's stable of "classic" writers, such as Holland, Nix, Hobb and Martin, along with a range of newcomers to the genre, such as Bear, Tidhar, Liu and Lynch.
The audiobook version of The Book of Swords was released on October 19, 2017. Its narrators include Arthur Morey, Katharine McEwan, Kim Mai Guest, Elliot Hill, Steve West, Richard Brewer, Nicholas Guy Smith, Kirby Heyborne, Ralph Lister, Mark Deakins, and Julia Whelan. This collection totals 22 hours and 13 minutes, and was produced by Random House Audio for HarperCollins Publishers.