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Wednesday, 29 July 2009


The latest issue of Black Horse Extra - dated September to November is almost ready to go and will be made live soon HERE.

The issue is another packed feast of Black Horse and western related information - I have seen the new issue and I can tell you it's as good as ever, essential reading for any western fan. There's an interview with Steve Hayes who was also recently featured on The Archive and big news about Chap O'Keefe's latest venture - putting affordable paperback westerns back into the public consciousness. The first title from BHE Books is Misfit Lil cheats the hangrope and you'll get full details in Mr O'Keefe's article in the latest Black Horse Extra webzine. Keith also tells me that there is a 10% discount that will expire on the 5th August - so go to LULU to buy the book and enter the coupon code (all CAPS) KHCHAPMANATCLEARDOTNETDOTNZPTZO to benefit for this saving which is, strictly speaking, for friends of the author but Keith maintains that all Archive readers and Western fans are friends. The book is also available on Amazon, Book Depository etc so compare prices before purchase - remember the special coupon code is redeemable only at LULU.

But wait there's more - The latest Black Horse Extra also features the regular news section, Hoofprints and a rare interview with Paul Lederer who writes Black Horse Westerns under the name of Owen G. Irons as well as Logan Winters. The issue is rounded off with an article by Greg Mitchell that will prove as useful to writers as it is to readers.

All in all another great issue that will go live any day now.


Unknown said...

Deepest thanks, Gary. I consider the latest Extra the most important issue ever, largely -- but not entirely -- because of the paperback experiment.

As David Whitehead promised, the Lulu printed and distributed book is superb in the production terms of print, paper and binding. Paperbacks don't come more handsome! The interior paper quality matches that of a hardcover BHW and the cover is sharply printed and very glossy. It's a western I'd want to own even if I'd had nothing to do with its making.

What I'm not so elated about is the rather high price, for a slim paperback, and the quickly approaching end to the 10% Lulu discount. This was supposed to last 30 days, but a delay to the delivery of a vital printed proof in the international post meant most of this time allowance has already gone. Hence the early publication of the next Extra, so at least a few will be able to take advantage.

As Gary mentions, I'm also told the book will be available at Amazon, but only at the parent US site and not for another 6 - 8 weeks. Whether the UK's Book Depository will be listing the title, I don't know. Their trading manager, Steve Potter, tells me the company's model is not set up to hold stock of books –- instead they source on a daily basis from a whole host of suppliers, including the big UK wholesalers like Gardners and Bertrams.

Whether Lulu will distribute to these, I'm not sure. It appears they require stock to be supplied to them at a whopping 60% discount on cover price, which presumably they and the retailers then work within as their margin.

All this goes part way to explaining why Lulu has set a high retail price of double the manufacturing cost.

I want this venture to succeed, not just for me but for the genre. I've reduced my own revenue from the book, which Lulu suggested should be $4, to the minimal and nominal $1.

So now it's over to the reading and book-buying public!

Charles Gramlich said...

the price is a sticking point on all the trade paperbacks these days. I wish there was some way to bring it down.

Unknown said...

You're right, Charles. I know I would have to think twice about the price when buying a slim, pocket-book size paperback. The problem here is that the book looks at first glance like a "mass-market" paperback, and these books are produced and sold by the major corporations at lower prices. The economies of scale come into play. I also suspect a loss or minor profit on a western can be overlooked by a company that is making money in other areas and can treat less-rewarding genre fiction as something that keeps the machinery of its organization ticking over in slack times.

The solution? Well, if enough of us push sales of the first BHE Book to a certain level, the trade in general might sit up, take notice of the possibilities here, and be prepared to give us a better break on wholesaling and retailing in the future.

It's beyond MY power to make that happen. All I can do, as a writer, is supply a book that is worthy of the attention. And I hope I have.

Richard Webster said...

I'm excited to hear of a new Misfil Lil book. It's a wonderful series with a delightful protagonist. Chap O'Keefe is doing an excellent job at nudging the genre forwards, something that's desperately needed if westerns are to continue to grow and flourish. I'm looking forward to seeing the new format, and look forward to hearing of other books published by BHE.