Writers of the Western genre know that the Western is alive and well. Yet the major book "superstores" like Borders and Barnes and Noble continually fail to stock anything on their Western shelves except the bare bones: series by Louis L'Amour for example. Today is Wild West Monday 3, in which supporters of the Western genre show their outrage over the lack of Westerns in stores by contacting their local stores and asking why don't they carry them. Go to The Tainted Archive for more information on this worthy effort and to sign a petition.
The following is a letter I just fired off to Borders:
Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently went into a local Borders store and was extremely distressed by the lack of selection in your Westerns section. For a company that claims to have more than 190,000 titles to choose from, why is it that only five shelves are devoted to this genre, with the majority of titles by Louis L'Amour? Surely you must know that a large amount of classic Westerns were published pre-L'Amour - yet I cannot find them. In addition, there are a huge amount of current titles, such as those printed by the Black Horse Westerns imprint of Robert Hale Publishing that would add more depth to your inventory and give your readers more choices. These are written by a number of talented writers and are enormously popular.
If Westerns are not selling in your stores overall, it is not because of a lack of interest. Current films and television series, such as Deadwood, prove that there is an intense interest in stories set in the West. Perhaps Westerns are not selling in your stores because there aren't enough variety to choose from.
I will not be purchasing anything in any of your stores until Borders increases its Western inventory. In addition, I will be posting the text of this email on my blog for others to read.