Friday, January 23, 2009


In an effort to begin some kind of promotional drive for my next novel, THE THIRD SECRET, which is due out in May, I have started a web site: My son is building it for me and, hopefully it will attract attention. Why not check it out?

The book jacket, without title and name is on the left and captures the essence of the story almost exactly. One thing I will say about the artists that Hale employs is that they do seem to be right on the money. I am hoping to pick up a lot of tips about promotion from this group, but one problem is that once the novel has sold out (as did my last book, THE DEVIL'S TRINITY) Hale will not print any more unless there are follow-up orders of about 100. So, how do we drive our sales forward without the benfit of other agencies? Self promotion of course. I'm hoping we all benefit from this group and the tips and suggestions that come forward. I'll thank you all in advance and wish you every success with your novels and your efforts.

Michael Parker


Nik said...

I agree Mick, it's an eye-catching cover - and full marks to the artist!

Monica Fairview said...

Yes -- there's some wonderful talent in the artistic team at Hale. An amazing cover. I love how the sand turns into a letter.

I hope your book gets reprinted.

Elizabeth Hanbury said...

That's a great cover.
Best of luck with The Third Secret, Michael - intriguing title by the way! - and your son is doing a wonderful job with the web site :)

Margaret Muir said...

Hi Michael
Love the opening of the story on your website. It really drew me in - maybe you have written the next Da Vinci Code!
I was impressed by the collage of pics on your webpage particularly as I have been in that painted gallery in the Vatican.
Best of luck with THE THIRD SECRET when it it comes out in May.
Marg M


The cover's very artistic - almost shades of the one colour. Like it very much. Good luck with the web site.

Chap O'Keefe said...

I'm not in a position to comment in general, but for the Black Horse Westerns, the Agreement seems to specify that the publishers have complete control on covers. (See the article "Judging Books by Their Covers" at

Most of the covers for Hale westerns are "generic", as has been explained by artist Michael Thomas and others, and are prepared quickly. Many of the ones by Continental artists have been used before, e.g. in Germany, on other books.

That said, I've been in contact with US screenwriter (and now BHW writer) Steve Hayes who has been allowed a say on all of his three covers so far.

Sometimes the generic system works very well and obviously economically; sometimes it doesn't. I can't say I'm too happy with the cover for my next, Blast to Oblivion, not because it's bad art of its school, but because it suggests a cowboying, bucking broncs kind of western, which the story isn't.

You can get a hint of what is afoot in the first chapter, which is online at

I'll also be explaining how the story was inspired, partly, by Conan Doyle's Valley of Fear in the next edition of Black Horse Extra, which will be online in a couple of weeks.

And Michael's info about reprints and follow-up orders tallies with what John Hale has told me. A Gunfight Too Many was one of my recent books that sold out quickly, sometimes in as little as eleven business days after the publication date. And it is being reprinted; also to have a large-print edition. Three editions of any piece of fiction is a pleasing result these days.

The only tips I can think of are the ones Michael is already acting on. A Gunfight Too Many was mentioned in articles in June and September at and has an online excerpt at It was also reviewed by Archavist.