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Monday, 6 December 2010

The western in fiction - the state of play

Western fans have a lot to look forward to over the festive period - not only will the new True Grit be lighting up cinema screens but Jan 1st 2011 will see the debut of the Black Horse Western eBooks. Four books in one bundle, that usually retail for around £12 each in hardcover, all for a measly £10. The Black Horse books are popular the world over but given that the hardcovers are largely aimed at British libraries, it is often difficult for readers outside the UK to get their hands on the books. And those that do often find the cost prohibitive.

For many years Robert Hale's Black Horse imprint has led the way in western fiction - indeed the British publishing house produces more westerns than anyone else, including the bigger American publishers. The Archive will be looking at the eBooks in more detail leading up to the publication and I do hope readers will support the books and buy one of the eBook bundles for by doing so they will not only be getting superb value for money but help to ensure that further Black Horse titles make it into the digital world.

"Anyone wanting to find out more about the Black Horse range and westerns in general I direct over to the archives of the excellent online magazine Black Horse Extra."

Just a few of the many titles in the Black Horse Library
Hale have said that they are moving fast here and that this bundle is the first of many, but they are open to feedback from the readers. What is the best way to sell western eBooks? Would readers prefer these bundled packages or individual titles? Would themed bundles be enticing? Would single author collections persuade readers to give the eBooks a go? Tell Hale who you're favourite Black Horse writers are by looking up their books on Amazon and clicking the box that states, I would like to read this book on the Kindle. And please leave a comment on this post and make your voice heard, shout out for the genre that is too tough to die.

"The fact that few bookshops stock westerns these days no longer really matters when there is such a wealth of material available electronically." The Western Reader Online.

The Archive is hosting another Wild West Monday on the first Monday in January with the emphasis on buying a western eBook and showing publishers what we want, proving how popular the western genre is in these troubled times. And it's not only the Black Horse eBooks we are pushing but westerns from all publishers which is something the Archive has always been proactive in - don't forget the classic Edge by George G Gilman is out there and available now (now that's a title that any western fan will love) and all of the online retailers have  extensive western eBook collections on offer - this last month I myself have bought over a dozen western eBooks and the memory of my Sony eReader is bursting with western titles.

Yep, there's never been a better time to be a western fan.


The respected British publisher is entering new territory and I believe all western fans will want to go with them. Indeed should go with them for only by showing our interest will we ensure that eWesterns don't suffer the same lack of availability as conventional western books.

Now before the more cynical of you ignore this post as just another self serving advert, I do after all write Black Horse Westerns as Jack Martin, then please consider that it is not only my own titles that I strive to promote but the genre as a whole, the genre that I love and grew up reading. And I have always promoted the entire genre as well as those spiffing little books by that Jack Martin chappie.

Let's ride together into this brave new digital world.

1 comment:

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

I was expecting a better response to this post, particularly from fellow Black Horse writers who should be throwing their full weight behind the eBooks. However it's onwards and upwards with the Archive and I can promise western fans will get a great read with the first Black Horse eBook bundle.