Just so that everybody knows - this is the e-mail that I sent to Penguin Books today - if anyone else wants to follow suit address your e-mail to Customer Services as it seems that Penguin Books have a typo error in their FAQs for International Sales.
So in support of Wild West Monday or just for the sake of putting westerns out there on to bookstore and supermarket shelves let us inundate Customer Services at Penguin Books. Let us make sure that this problem does not go away.
Wed, May 27, 2009 11:09 am
So I'm standing on Exeter station just like Alan Lane back in 1935 - I
want something to read on my way home to London.
I fancy a piece of 'pure escapism...the best that the genre has to
offer' (your publicity).
OK I fancy a western - maybe, Mike Jameson or Lyle Brandt. Or Peter
Brandvold or one of Jon Sharpe's 'The Trailsman' series.
Well I should be able to find one of these books on the shelves because
they are published by Penguin books and they publish 'pure escapism
...the best that the genre has to offer'.
Well, maybe, if I was standing on the station at Exeter, New Hamphire, USA
I would find what I was looking for - but not Exeter, Devon, UK. In fact
not anywhere in the UK.
Well, I could buy on line for books that 'there are no demand for'.
That wouldn't have been much good to Alan Lane in 1935 anymore than it
is to me in 2009. Not when you are standing on Exeter station looking
for something to read on the train to London.
Now, by my reckoning, Penguin Books publish a large volume of western
output. The list comprises of a number of well known names and include
Jon Sharpe's 'The Trailsman' series; the 'Longarm' series; 'The
Gunsmith' series and Jake Logan's 'Slocum' series - along with authors
like Marcus Galloway, Peter Brandvold well you know that this list goes
on - authors and series that are collected by western readers in the UK
- but at a price.
All these books cost about the price 'of a packet of cigarettes' -
unless you buy on line then you are looking at the price of two packets
of cigarettes and deny the proposed purchaser the opportunity to
So my proposal is simple - you follow the same principles that Alan Lane
saw back in 1935. You put the Westerns into supermarkets and bookstores.
That way I and many like me can browse and buy - you in turn make lots of
money and everybody is happy. Simple economics.