With the resounding success of Paul L. Thompson, Robert Hanlon, Fred Staff and many other Western authors, we are starting to see just how popular Westerns are still today. Maybe it’s a dose of traditional values, or a desire for high octane action… but Westerns are definitely here to stay. Yet there are still hundreds of Western authors who believe their books will never sell or will never be popular. Yesterday, I was listening to a radio show interview with an author who has seen little success. He was asked during his interview, “Would you prefer to write Westerns or thrillers?” He said, “The thrillers sell better. Westerns just don’t sell, but I prefer the Westerns.” I almost choked on my caffeine fix when I heard that. The coffee spilled, and I ran to my inbox to get in touch with him. That error had to be corrected.
As I write this, Mr. Paul L. Thompson is currently riding high with several dozen of his Western books. Each new release goes dutifully into the top 100 along with Robert Hanlon, C. Wayne Winkle, Fred Staff, Clint Clay, John D. Fie, Jr., and all the other names who were once considered “non-sellers.” Millions of pages of Western books are read each day. Just look at the way they move… There’s nothing worse than hearing a Western author cheat themselves out of success. Yes. Cheat themselves. Because unless you know the success your book can have, you can’t aim for success.
So, can you imagine the state I was in after hearing that author’s answer? I’ll tell you—the secret is out of the bag. Westerns sell. Sell. Sell. Sell. Westerns have a great chance at being successful. Top level Western authors are making a living writing Westerns. The middle level is having a good time making extra money. That can’t be said of many other genres. Westerns keep selling and will keep selling.
You have a Western. You sold three or four copies last month. You’re about to give up writing. You have that half-finished manuscript that you don’t feel you should finish as nobody will ever read it. You’re in a state, too. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to go look at Amazon and look at the top 100 bestselling Westerns. You’re going to see that people are buying those books. Those same people want to read your book. Now you know the score. You have an audience. Now you just have to place your book in front of that audience. That’s your only problem. The readership is there, the book is written, and you just have to put it in front of those people. How are you going to do it?
That’s the only problem you have. It’s a problem, but not as big of a problem as having to create a readership from scratch. Be a pioneer and come up with new ideas. Use well-trodden paths but keep your eye on the end goal—you want those readers to read your book. And, no, you don’t need a million dollars of advertising.
If you need help or advice, just holler. You can catch me through the contact form below. I’m going to spend the weekend recovering from the state that author’s answer left me in…