A Real Bookstore
113 Prairie Rd.
It’s been nearly a year since the closing of North Texas’ largest independent bookstore, Legacy Books in Plano. Since then its successor, A Real Bookstore, has opened in Fairview. The differences between the two are indicative of the economy’s changes.
Legacy’s three-story location in an upscale Plano site has been replaced by a more modest one-story building between Macy’s and J.C. Penney’s in the Village at Fairview. A Real Bookstore’s owner Teri Tanner believes the new location will have more appeal in its neighborhood. And she is determined not to repeat a key mistake of one of her former employers, Borders. A Real Bookstore sells online, at www.arealbookstore.com/ , keeping more of its sales dollars in North Texas.
The store also offers a home for regional artists and writers, something not always available from a national chain. That’s why I was there last Saturday -- to get a signed copy of Texas Tales Illustrated, written by award-winning Western writer Mike Kearby and illustrated by Mack White of Austin. The first volume of Tales is the opener for a series of Texas history volumes in graphic novel form. Written to follow the state’s seventh-grade history curriculum, the book features true stories of young Texans of the 1830’s.
I also got Kearby’s newest book of fiction, A Hundred Miles to Water, for which he received the Will Rogers Medallion Award for Best Adult Fiction at the Fort Worth stockyards Sunday. The book is based on the pioneer ranching family of James Olive, whose members lived violently and often died the same way. And on the exploits of African-American cowboy and gunslinger Jim Kelly. “To most along the trail,” Kearby writes, “(Kelly) was known as the Ebony Gun.”
A Hundred Miles to Water is published by Goldminds Publishing LLC. The publishing house plans to take its line to national distributors, according to regional sales manager Kelly Netherton, who accompanied Kearby and Mack at the signing.
Independent sellers such as A Real Bookstore, Ms. Netherton said, are key components of Goldminds’ plan to sell Western novels in hardback, a genre larger publishers issue only in paperback. But as the publisher expands, it, like A Real Bookstore, is taking a long view, emphasizing quality over quantity and building its own online business at www.goldmindspub.com/ Goldminds accepts submissions from authors, but authors should check its site for guidelines.
While we’re talking Westerns, I’ll also mention the annual short story contest from Moonlight Mesa Associates. The deadline is September 1. This year the stories must feature elements of suspense, mystery or thrillers. There is a fee for submissions, but I won some money last year, so I’ll try again for 2011. See www.moonlightmesaassociates.com for details.