Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. announces book sale, plastic pollution update, and IWC meeting

The ebook version of Saving Tom Black is now on sale until October 5. The title was placed on sale on the Smashwords site. Smashwords is an ebook printer and distributor that distributes to every ebook known to mankind. There is a coupon available on Smashwords where you can order the book no matter what kind of ebook reader you have.

If you have a Kindle, however, you will have to go to Amazon to get the book.  Whew. Rather confusing. I should just switch all our ebook sales to Smashwords and wander off from Kindle.

The issue with Amazon/Kindle, is the utter control they want.  An author or publisher can't sign up for one of their sales tactics if the book is available anywhere else. Grrr.

Saving Tom Black is the first book in the seven book series. We have sold, literally, boxes of this title.

Remember, the sale ends Oct. 5.


ON TO PLASTIC POLLUTION

Moonlight Mesa is now officially aligned with the Ocean Foundation, the Orca Conservancy, the Plastic Pollution Coalition, and the Sonoran Desert Inland Ocean Coalition. Since only the Ocean Foundation answered my query about using their name on our banner and hand-outs, and they enthusiastically answered, we ASSUMED the others would be enthused also should they find the time to answer!

We have been very busy designing banners, flyers, and ordering "aquatic/pollution" type books for our upcoming November event. In the interim, our banner will be loaned out to an NATRC equine event, along with a recycle bin I managed to get donated, and the NATRC coordinator will be putting our flyers in participants' envelopes! So we are off to a "good feeling" start.

But what makes things worse, for us, is the Japanese are wanting to lift the moratorium on whaling. This is absolutely repulsive beyond belief. Unfortunately, these people already nearly put one species of whales into extinction. They claim the hunt is for "scientific research" but no one believes that when whale meat appears on menus.

This week the IWC is meeting in Brazil to hash out whaling issues. Japan is pressing to have the ban lifted. Many countries including Australia, New Zealand, Brazil , the United States and the European Union among others oppose this. Let's all hope that the ban stays in place!

Our primary interest here at Moonlight Mesa is the Orca, the Humpback, the Blue Whale and the Gray Whale. I am particularly partial to the Orca and the Gray Whale for reasons that date back to my younger sailing years. The Orca is in a precarious state, especially the Southern Resident Orca most familiar in Washington State. These whales are nearing extinction. Tragic.

But, plastic pollution is our primary emphasis here. Oceans, rivers, lakes, streams - every water source is contaminated with carelessly discarded plastic trash. Every year over 1,000,000 sea birds die from ingesting plastic. 100,000 kinds of sea life die. THIS HAS TO STOP. The health of the ocean is intimately connected to the health of the entire planet.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Publisher Hopes to Align with Ocean Foundation

Yes, it may seem strange that a book publisher who specializes in westerns and who's located in Wickenburg, Arizona, would align with an ocean organization. But those who know me won't think it strange at all.

Having been born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I am well acquainted with the ocean, the Inside Passage, whales, salmon, sea life and the utter joy and sometimes terrifying fear involved in crossing oceans on a 34' sailboat. My time in Arizona has been, perhaps, a mistake, although an enjoyable one. Several times we at Moonlight Mesa have talked about relocating north again. I keep balking. I hate moving. And we probably won't. However...

For the past 2 1/2 months I've been in the northwest on my little tugboat finally realizing what has been missing in my life. The fact is, I've not been involved in any cause bigger than myself since we relocated to Arizona. I've been looking for "something," but I haven't  known what. I don't know how this happened, but while watching seals, dolphins, and whales, it all came back to me. I am a water person at heart.  I prefer a maritime climate. I need to take my mule and go home, but that's not so easy at this point in time.

I had the pleasure (?) and dismay of reading Plastic Ocean, by Captain Charles Moore, while north. For the first time in many years I felt ignited with fury yet devastated when I read about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Does anyone in Arizona know about this? The patch definitely was not there the two times my husband and I crossed the equatorial zone. Why is the slow demise of the Southern Pod of Orca Whales not being publicized as much as Portland's Antifa or NFL players taking a knee?

By aligning with Ocean Foundation, our goal is to not just donate money from the sales of our water books, but to try to help educate people why the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the declining number of Orcas, the plastic takeover of earth, etc. are IMPORTANT TO ALL OF US, whether we live near the sea or not. That, of course, is a mighty challenge. My staff is almost as excited about this alignment and new direction as I am. We'll be taking the next month trying to devise a plan and a strategy to implement some meaningful course of action. I don't want to "run in circles, scream and shout," but I don't want to wait forever to be proactive and effective.

I think I basically want to go home...but that would be too easy. The challenge is to convince died-in-the-wool desert dwellers that what happens to the oceans deeply affects us all and the future of our planet.

P.S. We spoke out of turn regarding Inland Ocean Coalition. We heard NOTHING from them after many attempts to align with them. We have turned our efforts and interest to Ocean Foundation which is actually a more comprehensive organization.


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Will western writer Jere D. James ride again?

Moonlight Mesa Publisher
After a two-year absence, Jere D. James is signaling that another western may be forthcoming in 2019.

Whether Jere will continue the Jake Silver series or adopt a new character remains to be seen. We're holding our breaths here at Moonlight Mesa, awaiting a final announcement by the author. Let's face it, our western sales have slumped since Jere "retired" from westerns after Gunslinger Revenge. My bet is that the author will bring a new main character into play...maybe all new characters.

We have a small bet here in the office: Renee says that Jere will follow up on Richard Moody, the popular gunslinger in the Jake Silver series. Tom's wagering that the author will start another series entirely. I'm betting that a female will be the lead character in any new book. Several readers have commented in the past that Jere seems to know females unusually well.

So...we're kind of excited about this prospect, to say the least. Since our calendar for 2019 is EMPTY at this point, we're don't need an answer right now.


NO YOGA, but maybe a DREAM

After reviewing the first three chapters of the proposed yoga book we'd been tempted with, reluctantly we had to take a pass. Unanimously we felt it wouldn't work for us - and if it doesn't work for us, we can't make it work for the author.

However, one project that has been dormant for quite some time is showing signs of revival.  Dream is a fiction piece about a woman who literally is lost in her dream (dementia).  From what I can tell this is the idea, anyway. It's a bit confusing at this point, but I can see the potential. We were contacted by the author in late May, assuring us she had not abandoned the tale. Since no contract has been signed, we'll just have to patiently wait.

Everyone else who has queried us has been put on hold until we return in September.


MEANWHILE...

We're preparing to close up for the summer around the 19th of June for a two month book tour in the Pacific Northwest. I had a special banner made up to hang on the boat since we're featuring three water titles (appropriate since we'll be on a boat). We're taking a few copies of all the books, however.

It's already hot here...Arizona HOT. I'm ready to head north! I've a lot of inlets I'm wanting to row and may add those adventures to the last half of The Old Folks in the Boat and reissue that title. That's a lot of rowing and writing to accomplish by fall if we're going to update.

Will I make it up Jervis Inlet this year? Stay tuned.



Thursday, May 10, 2018

Publisher snags an esoteric topic for publication?

I don't know what's gotten into me of late. Possibly my decision to accept a query on a yoga book stems from my being utterly and absolutely unproductive for the last few months (other than all my volunteer hoopla which takes up a lot of time and energy). So yes, strangely enough I received a query for a yoga book currently in its very early stage of creation, and somehow it simply struck me as interesting and unusual. Why not?

Even my miniscule staff here at Moonlight Mesa, after staring at me stunned into speechlessness for many long seconds, began to grow a bit enthusiastic about something totally new - and something none of us knows anything about. Absolutely nothing, to be exact.

Until a contract is issued and signed, I can only refer to the author by her first name - Hannah. There's no title yet, but I have to say that Hannah submitted the most enthusiastic, sincere, and persuasive letter introducing herself and her ambitious goal in writing the book. We'll know much more when the first few chapters arrive which I won't see until September since I'll be on my little tugboat trying to sell our rowing book...another niche market item. If Hanna's chapters are as good a read as her query, we're in business.

There are already a number of excellent yoga books in print - I checked on Amazon. To me, however, the beauty of Hannah's book is that she's a beginner, not a well-toned, meditating practitioner of this ancient art. Whole new approach and attitude. As I say, time will tell. I'm wondering, though, if we'll all end up becoming plant-based eaters once we're immersed in this topic! Some how I think of yoga and plant-based eating as partners.

So, that brings us to our two most recent publications,  The Old Folks in the Boat  and our muley book, A Beginner's Guide to Owning a Mule.


SURPRISES!

I don't know why, but I'm a bit surprised that our muley book is selling pretty well with no advertising or marketing, and our rowing book is NOT. Are there just more wannebe mule riders than wannebe rowers? Possibly. Both are small markets, no doubt. At least those who have read the rowing book tell me they loved it - but there aren't very many of them yet!

As usual we'll close the office up in July and August while we spread to cooler parts of the country. And as usual, I'll be on my tiny tug up north with books to sell - this year the focus is on the rowing book, but I have advertising along for all our titles.

I'll also be looking for "seniors" who love what they do and do what they love who are willing to contribute a chapter about themselves and their activities for our publication now in limbo: What Are You Waiting For? I refuse to write people's chapters for them. You'd think in a time when everyone in the country says they want to write a book, that writing a chapter would be a breeze. Hmmm.

In case no one here gets another blog out before July arrives, we here at Moonlight Mesa Associates hope you have a wonderful, fun-filled summer - or at least a productive one. Or restful  -  just whatever you want it to be.

Gunslinger  back in the water after launch in Anacortes, WA.



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 book...it 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't...at 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.


MEANWHILE: THE MULE BOOK IS ALMOST AT THE FINISH LINE

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.

DECEMBER BREAK:

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.

ONE LAST WORD:

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 https://www.tckpublishing.com/readers-choice-voting 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!