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Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Riding the eRange

Both western writers and readers have long been bemoaning the fact that westerns are not that visible in the book shops, but now that buying patterns are changing and more and more readers are switching to eBook rather than the physical dead-tree kind, the western is back with a bang. A quick look around all the various major eBook stores and the genre is pretty much covered - Amazon, of course have trillions of westerns in eBook format, but all of the major sellers - Borders, Waterstones, W H Smith, Smashwords all have scores of western eBooks in the electronic stores.

Most of Louis L'amour's westerns are now available in eBook but, unlike most book shops who do the western lip service, it is not only the long recognised master that are on display- This last week I've bought westerns from Johnny D Boggs, Joey Sherman and Alan LeMay - now even in the old days I never saw any of these guys in the UK book shops.

Recently I was involved in bringing the classic Edge series to eBook, and now I'm heading up the new western line from Solstice Publishing. This is very exciting because I've built a team of editors that all love the genre passionately. In fact there are no better guys to build a western list that will be known for its diversity and quality. Each and every western published under the Solstice brand will be a thrilling read from start to finish. And, it is my hope, that one day western fans will hold the Solstice name with the same regard pulp fans have for Hard Case Crime or Black Mask.

So the western's back - remember the Wild West Monday initiatives. Well, whilst we still need to promote the genre the core reason for the initiative was to see more westerns in the bookshops but that doesn't really apply these days. The technology of the eBook has seen the western once again rubbing electronic spines with all other genre fiction.

Howdy, is Tarnished Star available on eBook?
And as eBooks make more and more inroads and become accepted as a part of the mainstream book trade then maybe we'll see eVersions of those popular Robert Hale Black Horse Westerns,. It's only a matter of time, I believe, before all books on sale are offered in multiple formats.

So let's quit our moaning - there's never been a better or cheaper time to check out western fiction.. Just go to any of the major booksellers websites and browse amongst the western eBooks. Find something you fancy, click buy and it's there on your eReader or computer in an instant. It takes seconds for all that electronic code to travel through cyberspace - ain't, technology grand!

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

I agree. Westerns seem to be making a comeback for sure and I'm happy to see that.