There was a time when it was considered almost impossible to sell Westerns. All those know-it-all publishers would turn them down… flat! “There is no market for Westerns,” they would say with great wisdom while sipping their coffee. “The readers all died.” Now wait a second… are these people really going to tell you—or me—that there is no market for one of the oldest established genres in the world? What are these people truly thinking? It’s bordering on the ridiculous. And yet, this myth of the dead Western still persists. All the time people say… do Westerns actually sell? Well, as someone who has made a career from selling them, I can tell you categorically that they do. They sell to their readership in growing numbers.
Let’s look at some facts for a second. Facts. Not the assumption that something is dead. Let’s take a novel like “Trigger Finger” from Mike Mackessy. There stands a book that has been accepted by the traditional Western readership—and the wider readership beyond with increasing popularity. We call it a crossover success. Mackessy isn’t alone with his “crossover success.” There are many others out there—more and more every single day actually. More readers outside of the Western circle are picking up books they never believed that they would. Yet, somehow, they’re reading a novel set in the Old West. So not only do we have a living, vibrant Western readership—we are taking readers from other genres!
The only thing missing for many of the fine new books in the Western genre is that magic bullet. What is the magic bullet? Well… promotion. That’s the one thing many authors seem to struggle with. Now, I can tell you once promotion has been ignited, advertising has been applied, the correct cover has been added and readers take a chance and discover new stories, you’ll see what I mean. The Western lives. When a book is discovered, it’s only a matter of time before that converted reader, a brand-new fan of Westerns perhaps, becomes a fan of the genre and seeks out other writers with similar stories to tell.
No, the Western is not dying or dead or buried. The Western is alive, well and growing. All it takes is a little bit of honey, a little bit of gumption and some work with a sledgehammer and all Westerns can be placed to find their natural and growing readership. The honey brings the reader in, the gumption keeps the writer working, and the sledgehammer comes from promotion to keep your book front and center in front of the readership.
Let me ask you this—what are you doing to cultivate new readers or old fans of the genre? How are you promoting that book you’ve written? Have you been working on your keywords? Have you been running ads? Have you been reading blogs such as this for ideas to help promote your books?
I tell ya—there’s so much that can be done. Heck, I will put my money where my mouth is. I just had the number one Western success with “Nathan Gage and the Missing Woman” by C. Wayne Winkle. If you want some ideas of how to promote your work, email me and I’ll send you the formula we used on that book to start you on your merry way. I can’t say fairer than that. Fill in the contact form below, or email Nick@nickwale.org for your copy. Let’s get your Western selling.