Hale has been publishing Westerns since around 1938.
After a manuscript has been accepted what are the stages the book has to go through before it is published and how long does this take?
The manuscript goes to the Submissions department and if we choose to accept it, it then takes about a year before it is published. During this time, it will be scheduled, copy-edited and proof-read and the jacket image will also be decided on. The book is finally sent through to the production department and the printers!
How do you decide which cover goes on what book, and where do you get these paintings from?
We use a few different artists who work out of house but the ultimate decision on the cover is Mr. Hales.
Do you prefer to publish stand-alone stories or series books?
We publish both stand-alone and series books depending on the ideas and what the author and editor feel happy with. …
Many Black Horse Westerns have a few blank pages at the back, is there any reason you don’t use these to advertise your other westerns?
The reason we have blank pages is to do with formatting and it could certainly be an idea to advertise westerns on these pages
Have you ever considered publishing your books in an electronic format?
As yet, we are not publishing electronically and I don’t think this will happen in the near future. Westerns have a huge library following which is fantastic and we don’t want this to be ruined by technology! I personally think there will always be a place for the traditional book so electronic publishing may be beginning to grow, but we will continue to sell our books despite this. I also believe the whole Western genre is such an old tradition of writing that it is best suited and loved in its traditional format.
How do the books end up as large print editions and who decides which books are selected for this?
Books end up as large-print editions if the Rights Manger feels that the book will benefit from this. She will look at the demand for the book and consider whether it is worth printing large print editions.
You’ve published many books by well-known western writers, how does this come about – are you approached by the author themselves or their agent?
We are mainly approached by the authors regarding potential books but occasionally by agents.
Lauran Paine has had many, many books published by you under many pseudonyms. Would you say he’s been your most prolific author?
I would certainly say that Lauran Paine has been one our most prolific authors.
What are the reasons behind the use of pseudonyms?
Authors tend to use pseudonyms because they want to conceal their identity or print as many books as possible! An author has to have a gap of a couple of months between their books but if they use lots of different names then they can be scheduled in all together!
Do libraries ask for more by particular authors or do they just ask for a specific number of new books per month?
Some libraries do ask for particular books and some authors have quite a following! Others just ask for general titles.
Do you get feedback from the libraries on which books/authors are being borrowed the most?
We can keep an eye on who is ordering what from our distributors by using an online database.
Finally, do you see Hale publishing westerns for many years to come?
I certainly think Hale will be publishing Westerns for many years to come! It is an institution! I would like to push a bit more publicity wise for the Westerns which might encourage bookshop sales but we should not underestimate libraries or feel disheartened by library sales.