Friday, March 30, 2018

Moonlight Mesa Publishing Resuming After 3-Month Volunteer Frenzy

Egads. It's been three months since anyone around here (me included) has bothered to write a blog. Not sure anyone even noticed, actually.

The past three months have been horrendously busy - that's my excuse. Too much volunteer stuff is what it boils down to. Granted, the volunteer stuff is FUN, but it's not exactly lucrative.

So, now...down to business.

A Beginner's Guide to Own a Mule

We do have one vendor so far for this engaging also received a positively killer review, but I guess you'd have to be into mules to really appreciate it, and that's a micro-sized audience despite the growing popularity of mules.  Still, it's a start. We'll be running ads in some "mule magazines" and I'll soon be calling on feed and tack stores that also carry a small smattering of books.

We only have two months to really get this title launched as we'll be closing our office again in July and August while everyone disperses to cooler climes. Of course, I could do the smart thing and hit up a bunch of mule shows and probably sell boxes of books, but I probably won' least this year. As for me, I'll be on my itsy-bitsy tugboat peddling our other new book, The Old Folks in the Boat.

Gunslinger at anchor

The Old Folks in the Boat

 This is a northwest book if there there was one. Somehow in the cramped quarters of our little Nordic Tug I'll be stashing lots of copies! I just have to remember the bad Canadian exchange rate and sell the book for enough Canadian money to at least pay for the printing.

Reception of both books on Facebook was zero to none - not too surprised. To be blatantly honest, I only do Facebutt, I mean Facebook, to help spread the word of the mule ride that Moonlight Mesa sponsors and that I organize, run, direct, or whatever it's called when you're in charge of everything. You can like us, by the way, at Boyd Ranch Mule Ride on Facebook, should you be so inclined.

Speaking of rowing, if the wind would ever ease off, I'd be up at the lake in a heartbeat rowing! It seems when it's nice and calm I'm stuck in the office. Drats. Maybe April will be better.

No New Titles on the Horizon

At this time, we have absolutely no new titles under consideration. The response to my senior athlete book was also zero to none. I'm not about to write people's chapters for them! So I guess we're in limbo, but that's okay and it feels kind of good not have deadlines and squabbles. I will, however, likely begin another boating book this summer...Inlets of British Columbia. I'll row quite a few and linger at anchorage enjoying the beauty of cool air, the sweet smell of water, and the lonely cry of  seagulls flying high. Just wish Jere James would pen another western for us and it would be perfect!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Publisher Announces New Titles, New Awards, and New Projects.

A New Year! A New Start! And a NEW REASON TO CELEBRATE!

At long last our 2017 titles are actually in print. I  have copies here in my office! I can see them. I can feel them. I can read them. Welcome  to A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule:

AND also to The Old Folks in the Boat.

Now, we only need to sell them. Minor detail. Both books will be available on Amazon in January. (And hey! We have signed copies right now in our office!)

We also have something to "crow" about already this year! Robert Walton's multi-award-winning historical novel, Dawn Drums, just won the People's Choice Award for historical fiction entries! That makes five awards for this sensational book!

And now, we're officially announcing our first 2018 project: What Are You Waiting For? Seniors who love what they do, and do what they love. Work on this title begins next week. We are aiming for a publication date in late fall...maybe. After this year's fiascoes, who knows! The earnings from this title will be 100% earmarked for our scholarship fund for youth activities. We're excited about this  decision, too.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, happy, and prosperous new year in 2018!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Publishing News: Ups and Downs Never End

One would think, after ten years or so in the publishing business, that there wouldn't be that many new snafus plaguing us. If one thinks that, one's thoughts are erroneous!

The Old Folks in the Boat  is still NOT in print. It's been over a month now that we are waiting for a new proof copy. The photos in the first proof were so poorly done, that we had to resubmit the title with our complaint. Ingram, of course, took their sweet time to examine the book to finally declare that the problem was indeed, as I told them, a result of insufficient ink.

I'm still waiting for the new proof copy and it's been over three weeks now. We may have to cancel our signing in Seattle at this rate.

The issue here is that when a book has 44 photos, it's rather important that they are clear and of a good resolution. Photos are a major part of this work. I can't even begin to describe the fits I've had trying to deal with the "customer service" people. They are certainly courteous and nice on the phone, but nothing gets accomplished. Lip service only.

It's so strange that we had none of these print problems with photos when we were able to use XP. Once XP died, we had to go with Windows 7. It's a  far inferior program, at least for us.


While The Old Folks in the Boat  is languishing, our second title of the year, A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule, looks as though it may cross the finish line this month! We are awaiting a proof copy (printed). The pdf proof copies don't tell the whole truth!

The final cover took a bit of time, but as always our cover designer, Vin Libassi, came through. Of course, Windows 7 has snags so we can't show both front and back cover pages.


Although Jered will be dropping by to fill any book orders this month, the rest of us are deserting the office. It has been a dreadfully stressful last two months trying to get these two books into print. Even though I still don't have hard copies of the titles, they are now in the works and should be finalized this week. At this point it looks like both new titles will be released in February at the Gold Rush Days event. I don't see our rowing book selling like pancakes here in the desert, but the mule book should do reasonably well.


It seems that Robert Walton's brilliant Civil War novel, Dawn Drums, may win this year's People's Choice Awards! Six days are left in the contest. If anyone wants to help us out, please vote for this outstanding historical novel. All you have to do is go to You'll need to scroll through the pages to about page 14 or wherever it says historical fiction. The titles are arranged alphabetically.

Meanwhile, have a wonderful holiday season. I hope you all enjoy Christmas and the New Year! From the few of us here at Moonlight Mesa Associates, we wish you a Merry Merry and a Happy Happy!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Publisher Sees Big Progress on NewTitles

Finally! After more than two years of wrangling around, Moonlight Mesa's long-awaited rowing book has been uploaded to the printer where it is currently being validated. Next will be a proof copy (if the validation goes okay). It's taking a long time, though, which is generating some concern.

Moonlight Mesa's cover designer (Vin Libassi) surprised everyone with this final cover, but everyone feels that it reflects what the book is truly about. Ultimately it's not just about's about doing things you want to do before you're a goner. That's putting it pretty simply and bluntly, but hopefully the book will be one that is inspiring as well as humorous and informative.

AND, it's official that The Old Folks in the Boat  will be released at the Seattle Boat Show at the Captain's Nautical Supply location both Friday and Saturday, February 2nd and 3rd. Coffield will be on hand both days to sign copies and talk rowing!

To top things off, The Old Folks in the Boat received a terrific review by author Robert Walton.


Moonlight Mesa's second project for 2017 is nearing completion. Only one chapter remains to be written in A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule. The cover design is now in the works. As always, the publisher's main designer, Vin Libassi, is doing the cover for this title. Other art work for the book is slowly coming in. At least one vendor has already pre-ordered copies! How about that!

"This year has been a bit of a stress," publisher Becky Coffield recently said. "Our 2017 books are coming out in January of 2018. We just couldn't get things together for some reason. Well, I suppose one reason is that I had to row 200 miles to finish the rowing book."

So far only one project has been selected for 2018. Coffield said it's supposed to be a "collaboration" by about 20 authors. "We'll see how many follow through," she said. Because so many are involved in the project, profits from the sale of the book will be earmarked for Moonlight Mesa's scholarship program.


Since Moonlight Mesa Associates is slowly transitioning to nonfiction, a total website make-over is planned, probably during December. A news release will announce the change locally. "I want to somehow get word to PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writers Association), Arizona Authors Association, and other groups that we are looking for nonfiction," Coffield said. "So far we're wide open to ideas. I know nonfiction is a whole other ballgame. It's not easy, but it's what our demographic wants, especially since Jere D. James has retired from westerns."

Coffield herself plans on penning another nonfiction title, likely a boating/travel book. "Now that's research I enjoy," the publisher said. "What's not to like about being on the
tugboat for months traveling around?"

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Publishing Changes Now Underway

Good grief! Horror of horrors! Every publisher's nightmare!


I can't believe the snafu that happened on our webpage that I only discovered yesterday. What is really disappointing, is that NO ONE told me about it, or questioned it, and it's been months.  Of course, it shows we are not enamored of working on the website. Our bad. But this makes me wonder if anyone even looks at the website! Unfortunately, the website had to be renewed, so there went several hundred dollars. I'm questioning whether it's  all that helpful in selling books. Most of our books are sent out by Amazon and a few vendors who buy from Ingram.

I worked until late last night trying to straighten things out. This is a major accomplishment. I am not a techie and have no patience or interest with this kind of stuff. I know this, though: I will not continue to use They now have it so I can't upload photos that I can add a link to. I have to more or less go through the back door to get book covers onto my site. They would like me to upgrade to a more expensive platform I guess. Ain't gonna happen. Okay, time to move on.

Oh, I did delete a few pages on the site and added a New Releases page. I like that!


We finally threw in the towel after weeks and weeks of struggling with color photo issues for The Old Folks in the Boat. Against my designer's wishes, I made the photos grayscale...and they look GREAT. In fact, I think I like them better than the color! (My cover man confessed he did too.) We are now in the final proofreading stage of this publication. At this point it's nit-picking more than anything else. A word here, a word there.

The back cover remains a mystery at this time. To add blurbs or not to add blurbs, that is the question.

We have no endorsements or reviews. Crap. I do not have time to send copies out. We need this book out and NOW.  Advance copies will be sent to several outlets, however. The book will be available from Moonlight Mesa but will not be formally released until the Seattle Boat Show in January.

Marketing is woefully behind. I'm not sure what I've been doing, but apparently it's not been working. OH! I've been rowing.


It's now official. Moonlight Mesa is no longer accepting fiction submissions. Whew. That was hard to put on paper. And, of all times, we received two fantastic queries in September that normally we would have snatched up, but we are committed to changing course. Part of this stems from the decision to relocate to the San Juan Islands as soon as possible, which will likely be in late 2018 or 2019. I don't think westerns are a good fit for the area. We will, of course, keep all our westerns in print and maybe we'll be pleasantly surprised.


A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule will be sent to the printer late this year and officially released in January 2018. It is our final project for 2017.  After much discussion, the decision has been made to release the book in  hard copy first and maybe later as an ebook. 

This book is a wild card for us. The audience is extremely small - we know that. But we couldn't resist the temptation to try it anyway. We had tremendous success with the herpes book we published (Getting a Handle on Herpes) that we had virtually no expectation for, so we're gambling again.

We've changed the format to keep the price DOWN. That'll help.
We'll see how this goes.

Until next time...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rowing Book Going to Press Oct 15?? Plus Other Publishing News

Unless a major snafu occurs, The Old Folks in the Boat  will go to press by October 15th, at the latest! Finally...more than two years after the project was started it is, by all appearances, finally complete.

Unfortunately, "we've got problems...technical ones." Despite the best brains available, the photos will simply not stay (or go) in CMYK, and the printer  (Lightning Source aka Ingram) will not take RGB. It is the single most disappointing result I could ever imagine for this book," said Becky Coffield, publisher. "The color photos ARE THE BOOK."

Coffield will hold on as long as possible before submitting the work to Ingram, but there is a limit. "We've already pre-sold over 500 copies," Coffield said, "and vendors are expecting the book for Christmas sales." The book will not be released for general circulation most likely until it is formally released at the Seattle Boat Show. "The way things are going, I'm not exactly feeling like going to the boat show." Copies will be available from Moonlight Mesa Associates directly, however.

But, it is what it is. "At least printing costs will be much, much lower," Coffield said, "which keeps the sales price lower."


Meanwhile, Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule is coming along. One chapter remains to be written, and that will happen after the author attends a Ty Evans' Mule Clinic in late October.
Coffield is not sure yet if the book will be made available in print or only be
 available as an ebook.

The only other title that Coffield has put out as an ebook only is Getting a Handle on Herpes, by P.A. Arnold. "That book has done extremely well," Coffield said. "I was stunned by its reception. Truly. We would have put it out in hard copy, but the book is just too short. Still, it might have sold well considering that apparently one in six people has genital herpes!"


Moonlight Mesa has recently made it official that the company will be publishing only nonfiction for the foreseeable future. "Jere D. James is not writing westerns at this time," Coffield said, "so unfortunately that era is over. Although we've had some extremely nice western submissions, we have made a firm commitment to only go with nonfiction for now. It's been hard to turn people down, I will admit."

In fact, Moonlight Mesa will most likely be relocating to the San Juan Islands in the not too distant future.  Coffield feels that westerns just won't work well there. Although the move is several years out,  according to the staff Coffield is already making preparations. Vin Libassi, cover designer, will stay on board - even though he's relocating to Ecuador. Rene Witty will not be affected since she is a "computer-commuter" already. A historian editor will no longer be needed , nor will an acquisition manager.  A new "proof-reader" specialist will likely be picked up, along with a seasonal office manager. "I hope to be in Arizona in the winter as much as possible!" Coffield said.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Publisher Seeking Active Seniors!

Maybe it's the solitude...maybe it's that August is here and I know the summer heat won't last much longer, but I've made good progress around here by myself! I take that back, my cover designer in Florida, Vin Libassi, has been extremely helpful redesigning the rowing book. He also completely nixed my idea for the mule book. He's working overtime there!

Yes, it looks like we may have two titles out in 2017! Not bad considering we had none to offer in 2016. The rowing book, The Old Folks in the Boat, was supposed to have been out by then, but guess what? It wasn't. It'll be out late fall this year for prepublication sales, then formally released in January at the Seattle Boat Show.

The  author's 200-mile row is almost completed! As she said, "The rowing's's the heat that's killing me."


It looks like the book on mules will in fact be a certainty! Although it needs considerable editing and more "meat" in it, it's coming along. Whether it will be released as a trade paperback, however, is not certain. I'd planned on only releasing it as an ebook, but I may change my mind depending on the length of the book. Unless it's a bare minimum of 25,000 words I don't see it going out as a hard copy. 30,000 would be much better, but I don't want the book filled with baloney! Look for this title likely in November, maybe even December as an ebook. If we choose to go out as a trade paperback, it'll be released in January most likely.
The title is still being bandied about.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  Seeking Active Seniors!  

This 2018 pending title is gaining momentum.  No release date in sight yet, but count on it being a late release most likely.

We're looking for the following: Fisherman, Miner, Hiker, Yoga practitioner, Golfer, Rock Hound, Ocean Kayaker, Sailor, Shooter, Roper. If you're in your late, late 60s or in your 70s and want to participate in a project we hope will be not only motivational for readers, but also will result in a  fund-raiser effort for  youth, contact us. Profits from the book will be earmarked for our scholarship program. We grant a scholarship to a youth organization every year that pays for entry fees for activities for kids whose parents cannot afford to pay. You will also receive a free copy of the book and will be entitled to buy any other copies for 50% discount.

We will only be deducting our printing/shipping costs.

We prefer that you write your own chapter for the book, in your words, but if you become paralyzed if you have to write much, someone on our staff will interview you and write your article. We'll need a picture or two of you actually doing your activity, too.  This is for two good causes: motivating people to get off their duffs, and supporting youth programs.

Contact us at Moonlight Mesa Associates.