Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Western Fiction News

Good news for those who’ve wanted to try some of Hale’s Black Horse Westerns and live outside of the UK and have found the shipping costs restrictive, never mind trying to tracking down a copy of these hardback books. Hale has now begun releasing them as ebooks, at very attractive prices. Past titles from both old and current authors have begun appearing. Ruby Bamber of Hale informed me; “currently there is no rigorous schedule for the release of ebooks but we’re trying to release roughly 10-12 titles every 2 months. We’ve got such a large backlist of titles that we’re selecting titles from there for the moment, and currently have no plans to release e-titles at the same time as the physical books.” 

William W. Johnstone and J.A. Johnstone add to their impressive number of series with the launch of three new ones this year. The first in The Brothers O’Brien series came out this month with two more books announced for the first part of the year. The other two series are Sixkiller and Luke Jensen, both due out August / September time.

On the theme of new western series here’s a few more I’ll be looking out for:
Midnight Rider by Ralph Cotton – April 2012 – is the first in a series about U.S. Secret Service Agent Avrial Rochenbach.
The Bells of El Diablo by Frank Leslie – July 2012 – is the first in a new series about two treasure hunters.
Bullets and Lies is the first in Robert J. Randisi’s Talbot Roper series – September 2012
The Last Lawman by Peter Brandvold is the first in the Rusty Spurr series – October 2012

August 2012 sees the republication of a number of Matt Chisholm’s McAllister books, in both paperback and ebook form. Matt Chisholm was one of Peter Watts pseudonyms and he was one of the UK’s most successful western writers in his time. (Amazon gives the impression the Kindle versions are available now)

The latest issue of Black Horse Extra is now available here and includes Nik Morton discussing his latest book Old Guns. Hoofprints presents its usual collection of short articles and Greg Mitchell interviews a Stereotype Western Villain. 

As the amount of ebook westerns increases rapidly many old favorites are beginning to appear and from Robert J. Randisi’s we get his Tracker and Angel Eyes series, and written under the pseudonym of J. R. Roberts his Gunsmith series. 

Len Levinson’s Apache War Saga is told over six titles and they are now available as ebooks (originally as by Frank Burleson), as are his six Pecos Kid books (originally as by Jack Bodine).

Many of F.M Parker’s stand-alone titles have come out in ebook form too.

Tony Masero, cover artist, has now begun putting out his own western ebooks and many are available. Of course the cover art is by the man himself. 

One series that many fans have been wanting to see as ebooks for a long time is George G. Gilman’s Edge – both the main series and the mini six book series of Edge as an older man (never before published in paper form) and now going under the series title of Edge: The Return, are becoming available.

Rope and Wire has put out three ebook collections of short stories

Enjoyed by many, the Wagons West series by Dana Fuller Ross look set to appear as audio books at the beginning of July 2012.


Joanne Walpole said...

Thanks for the update :)

Chap O'Keefe said...

You're right, Steve. The range of available ebook westerns is expanding rapidly. I hope the Hale company will be able to restore individual, full-colour pictorial covers to its listings of eBHWs soon, so it can foot it with all the others! Another hope is that glitches like misspelling the name of an author who has been on their BHW list for at least 20 years will be few and far between. Perhaps once the company can do its own formatting for the digital editions they will be. And the pricing is actually another handicap for the eBHWs. As a US writer friend has pointed out to me in an email: "I think that $2.99 is becoming a pretty accepted price. I don't hesitate to pay that for an ebook I want, but $4.99 will make me stop and really think about it. And if you have to stop and think about it, at least half the time you probably don't buy it." The Hale westerns, possibly because of the involvement of too many intermediaries, are priced in the US at $4.50 or more. Dave Whitehead, myself, and others are able to price their former BHW ebooks at more attractive prices at both the US and UK Amazon sites. See the latest Black Horse Extra for a listing of Hale's February eBHWs and the O'Keefe ebooks.