Monday, January 25, 2016

Horse Book and Herpes Book are Top International Ebook Titles for Moonlight Mesa Associates

After going through all the 2015 data regarding sales, I was stunned at the number of international sales several Moonlight Mesa titles had.

Lee Anderson's Developing the Art of Equine Communication experienced very good sales in foreign countries in 2015. The book enjoyed sales in New Zealand, the Netherlands, Denmark, Canada, Australia and a few other countries, not to mention many sales in the United States.

The beauty of Lee's book is the friendly, warm tone in which it is written. The other outstanding quality of his work is the clear explanations for why horses do what they do. I can honestly say that when I read Lee's manuscript, I learned more about why my horse did certain unsettling things than I'd learned from riding him for 20+ years. The book is filled with many "Aha!" moments. "So that's why he does that!" And to make matters even better, Lee tells the reader how to handle the situations too.

The book should be required reading for beginners, but even experienced horsemen will find the book helpful and informative.

Pictured with Lee on the cover of his book is Concho, Lee's rescued racetrack horse who is the star of the show when the two do their presentations.

Lee's book is available in trade paperback either from Amazon, Lee, or Moonlight Mesa. The ebook version, which comes in all formats, does not have any of the illustrations or photos. And as soon as I get around to it, we'll be changing the website to reflect a discounted price on this title.


Our other top-selling international ebook for the third year in a row was P.A. Arnold's Getting a Handle on Herpes. Arnold, a woman well into her 70s, wrote this book after contracting herpes while at a resort. The book is only available as an ebook, but comes in all formats.

Arnold's information is jaw-dropping, but the best thing about the book is that she puts things in perspective for those who have contracted this virus. The book is highly informative, upbeat and often humorous despite the sensitivity of the topic. Arnold does an excellent job discussing a difficult issue and offering hope for the one in four women and one in seven men (maybe one in five now) who have herpes.


Rusty Richards' western biography, Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride, continued to be Moonlight Mesa's  top-selling nonfiction book during 2015. It's likely the documentary on Casey Tibbs that was released in 2015 contributed somewhat to the book's continued popularity.

Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride was released in 2010 in all formats (hard cover, trade paperback, and ebook) and has led the nonfiction books in sales.


So, what's trending for 2016? Nonfiction, that's what. It seems that Jere D. James may be taking a year off from writing westerns, so don't look for another James' novel, although with that author one can never be certain.

Instead, we will be publishing two nonfiction books. One is a guide for the beginner mule rider, and the second is a book on rowing (The Old Folks in the Boat). Both books should be available by fall.
I have yet to receive a completed manuscript of either book for editing, etc. however, so this fall looks to be hectic - what's new about that? Since there will be many photos in both books, don't look for these titles to be available in ebook formats.

Until next month then,

Becky



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Publishing News: Scholarship, Mules, Events, and Publisher Commentary

SCHOLARSHIP TIME!

As mentioned in an earlier blog, Moonlight Mesa Associates will be awarding its first scholarship this year. "We'll be doing this in December and have selected Sisters Park and Recreation (formerly Sisters Organization for Activities and Recreation) to be our first recipient," said publisher Becky Coffield. "This organization, located in Sisters, Oregon,  largely operates a youth program. We really don't have a large enough sum to make the scholarship of value to a college-bound or trade-school bound student, but the amount we can offer can help pay user fees for young children who otherwise would not be able to participate. The exact amount we will be donating is being figured out now. Since the scholarship will be given in mid-December so we can take a donation tax deduction, it won't have December sales on it," the publisher said.

"We'll also be sending some free copies of our multi-award-winning young reader books, Sam's Desert Adventure and The Littlest Wrangler to the organization. Everyone on staff is very excited about this program," Coffield said. "So remember, when you buy our books (either from us or on Amazon) you are helping to support this scholarship program."



BOYD RANCH MULE RIDE


Becky and her mule Reba Peru
Once again Moonlight Mesa will be a sponsor for the annual Boyd Ranch Mule Ride. The event, scheduled for March 10 - 13 at the Boyd Ranch in sunny Wickenburg, Arizona, is allowing only 50 participants this year.

For information go to www.boydranch.org and click on the Mule Ride button or contact Becky via this blog. 

Since Becky is  the organizer and director of the ride, she'll be more than tied up with all the details starting in January. Staff will be back from their month-long Christmas break, however, so business will carry on! 



EVENTS

"The 2015 Blue Grass Festival was probably the best one for us yet," according to Coffield, "but considering that we practically gave away the Jere D. James titles that should come as no surprise." Coffield sold the set of seven books for $56 - that's half off the regular price. "We sold out of the Jere D. James books," Coffield said. "I had one of each copy left by the end of the show. I wouldn't have had those but because it started raining I put books away early. Unfortunately, because of the expense of the Gold Rush Event in February, we won't be able to offer the books at that price."

One staff member will accompany Coffield to the Lake Havasu Festival the weekend after Gold Rush. "I want to do a 'check-it-out thing' to see if the Havasu event will work for us next year," Becky said. "We're looking for new events, and this one has great potential! I'm seriously tempted to sign up for it this year, but I think a trip to Lake Havasu is worth the time. I've been hideously disappointed a few times when I didn't take the time to 'check-it-out'."

__________________________________________________


2016  PUBLISHER COMMENTARY

After basically taking the past year off, I'm prepared to "jump back, feet first" into the business. I think I just wore myself out after ten years of working so very hard and making so very little $$. It's tough to keep promoting authors' books when the authors seem to quickly tire of promoting themselves. We are such a small company that we simply must have author participation in promoting their works. Sometimes I ask myself why I am busting my hind-end trying to sell people's books when they don't seem to put any effort out. As a result, I just wore out. Not that all the authors are this way. I have a few that are gems and work consistently at selling their books and doing events. Still, they are a minority.

However, that being said, I am endeavoring to move Moonlight Mesa in a new direction. As I mentioned in the last blog, we are seriously attempting to go more into nonfiction works. We have two nonfiction titles scheduled for 2016, in fact. No fiction. No westerns. And Jere D. James has confirmed that there will not be a new title in 2016 unless some sort of fever attacks.

It seems like I go through these spells from time to time. I get very discouraged, yet we have so many terrific, award-winning books that we are so proud of. Even the books that have not won awards are special! Sometimes I think awards are over-rated anyway.

So, this next year should see two nonfiction titles out - late in the year - but they should be ready by November at the latest. We might even have an ebook out...no hard copy...just ebook. We'll see how things go.

Thanks to my very small staff for their hard work and moral support: Tom, Ben, Jered, and Renee. Many thanks to our cover man, Vin Libassi. Vin has been with us from the get-go, and working with him has always been a pleasure...well, almost always. :)  

Meanwhile, on behalf of everyone here at Moonlight Mesa, we wish you a very, very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and happy NEW YEAR!!!

Becky






Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Finally Final: Publisher Declares Nonfiction Titles and Horseshoe Art Are Scheduled for 2016

It's now official: Moonlight Mesa Associates will be publishing two nonfiction titles in 2016. No westerns are on the horizon at this time.

"If Jere James comes up with a new book, I'm sure we'll want to publish it," Coffield said, "but regardless of that, Moonlight Mesa has scheduled two nonfiction works for 2016."

The Old Folks in the Boat  will likely be out in late 2016, as will A Beginner's Guide to Owning a  Mule. "The title of the mule book is still  not certain," Coffield said, "but basically it looks to be a good guide for those wanting to buy and ride a mule who've never before owned one." Coffield also plans on publishing an ebook-only, but has not yet chosen the book. "We've had several submissions," Coffield said, "and they're all good, but we'll only do one in 2016 - if we even get to it. It's low on my priority list right now."

Saving Tom Black was Jere D. James
 first runaway top-selling western
Currently Moonlight Mesa has five nonfiction titles in its library: Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride by Rusty Richards; Some Gave All  by J.R. Sanders; Developing the Art of Equine Communication,  by Lee Anderson; Getting a Handle on Herpes, by P.A. Arnold; and Life Was a Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, a Boat, and a Big-A** Ocean, by Coffield. "Our nonfiction titles sell extremely well," Coffield said.

The question Coffield is continuously asked, however, is when will the next Jere D. James western be out. "Jere has a dedicated following," Coffield said, "I'll give the author that. As far as the next western, I have no idea, and I don't think Jere does either, at least not at this time. James has written seven top-notch westerns in seven years and may need a break."


WEBPAGE REMODEL & HORSESHOE ART

The Moonlight Mesa webmaster will slowly be revamping the company's webpage. "I'd like to take it down entirely and start over, but this is not a good time of year to do a remodel," Coffield said, "especially with our holiday specials." Several pages from the site have been deleted, according to Coffield, but new material will be added.  "We will be adding  'horseshoe art' to the site shortly. Every piece shown is individually made. No Chinese imports. Genuine used horseshoes," Coffield said. "The poop is scraped off and the nails pulled before welding."


HOLIDAY SPECIAL

Don't forget the holiday special now on Moonlight Mesa's Book Order Page. You can buy all SEVEN Jere D. James westerns for $56 + s/h. "That is a give-away," Coffield said. "The books are $8.00 each, that's 1/2  off the normal retail price. Shipping cost via Priority Flat-Rate is $11.35; media mail is about $7.00. "We don't like shipping books media mail, especially during the holidays. It might take weeks for a person to receive their order. If we add insurance, then you might as well just pay for the flat rate price and get the books in two days," Coffield said, "not two weeks."

"We can take your VISA/MASTER CARD over the phone and the books can go out that same day," Coffield said, "or you can send a check."

"We do have a limited supply of books at this price, so best to order as soon as the idea strikes you," Coffield advised.













Friday, October 16, 2015

Publisher Going in New Direction - This Time for Real

MURDEROUS VILLAINS GALORE in  
GUNSLINGER REVENGE

After several delays, Jere D. James’ long-awaited new western will be available within the next few days, according to publisher Becky Coffield.

“I do believe Gunslinger Revenge  may be the last of the Jake Silver titles,” Coffield said. “I know I said this after the last book, Gunslinger Justice, but this time it looks like this series has ended.”

As a result of the end of the long-running, popular western books, Moonlight Mesa will be offering the complete set of Jere D. James’ books for a holiday discount. “People can buy all seven books for $56 plus shipping and handling,” Coffield said. “Originally we quoted $59. This  makes each book only $8, which is a heck of a good buy. For those wanting fewer books, the price will be reduced to $10 per book while the holiday supply lasts. “Our website will be updated shortly to reflect these special prices,” Coffield said. “Email or call to reserve your copy. Prices are only good when ordered from our website.”

Gunslinger Revenge features the popular gunman Richard Moody and introduces young, upstart U.S. Deputy Marshal Daniel Cleary and, of course, U.S. Marshal Jake Silver.

The “bad” guys in this novel are far worse than just about any of the other villains James has before introduced.  Floyd Baker and Jarvis McKinney lead Moody and Cleary back into Mexican territory where James makes good use of perhaps his most popular villain ever, Diego Fuentes.

James has a unique way of wrapping up this series, but still leaves a reader wondering if there might not be another Jake Silver Adventure in the future. For now the author says no more, but Jere has said that before.



LEAVING KINDLE??

For the first time ever, publisher Becky Coffield is considering withdrawing all titles from Kindle. “This is one of the most frustrating things I’ve had to deal with since being in business,” Coffield said.

According to Coffield, Kindle is all but ruining sales for small, independent publishers because of their “lending” policy and the “give-away” of almost 700,000 ebooks. “Why should Kindle be allowing people to “lend” a book to others for up to 14 days for them to read free? This is fine for the buyer, but authors and publishers deserve to be paid,” Coffield said. The publisher went on to say, “My other gripe is the hundreds of thousands of free books on Kindle. Our sales have plummeted since this practice has begun.”

Coffield plans on putting all books on Smashwords, which sells to all e-readers on the market and also to thousands of retailers, libraries, etc. “I use to be very skeptical of Smashwords,” Coffield said, “but not anymore. Smashwords also sells to Kindle, but I don’t think the lending is part of the sale. In any event, we’ve about had it with Kindle.”


CONSIDERING NEW EVENTS AND GENRES - NO MORE WESTERNS?

Fall events are now far and few between since the Chamber of Commerce in Wickenburg cancelled a good portion of their Cowboy Christmas Poetry Event.

“We have signed up for the annual Blue Grass Festival, Coffield said, “but we lost the poetry event which was a very nice venue for us. Right now we’re scrambling trying to find another event to do before the end of the year.”

In November Coffield plans on traveling to Tubac to “check it out” for a possible event in 2016. “I think it may be our demographic,” Coffield said. “I’m anxious to find out. It’s a very expensive event to do, so we need to make sure it’s for us.”

It’s a fact that Moonlight Mesa has cut back on events in the last two years.“We just all got tired,” Coffield said, “but it’s pretty obvious at this point that if we want to stay in business, we need to get off our behinds and start actively selling books. I think having some different titles on our calendar will help motivate us.”
One new book that Coffield has high hopes for is The Old Folks in the Boat. “The book is funny, inspiring, and informative,” Coffield said. “But unfortunately, we are postponing publication to late 2016.” 

Besides the rowing book in late 2016, Moonlight Mesa has recently been seriously considering accepting a mule book (title not yet decided on), another title for ebook publication only, and potentially a title dealing with Alzheimer's.

“Each of these titles is very challenging, to say the least,” Coffield said. “We have looked at outlines for the two nonfiction books (the mule book and the ebook) and they look very promising. The Alzheimer’s book is actually a fiction novel, but it has great potential.”

Coffield went on to add that “...unless something pops up that is bothersome, I think at least two of the new proposals could possibly be ready for print in late 2016, along with the rowing boat. This is the kind of ‘shot in the arm’ that we need.”

Coffield admits to wavering on any more westerns. “We need to have books that appeal to a larger audience,” she said. “The western is extremely popular, but the readership is actually quite small. Also, if we have a mule book, we will most likely return to the Mule Days Event in Bishop, California. That’s a great outing for us.”

“Even though the Jere D. James westerns are popular, our high-selling books are the nonfiction titles,” Coffield admitted. “We just do well with the fiction books because there are so many Jake Silver titles, and the author does have a nice following.”

According to Coffield, Casey Tibbs—Born to Ride, Some Gave All, Life Was a Cabaret, and Developing the Art of Equine Communication, along with the ebook Getting a Handle on Herpes have actually been the top-selling works overall. “We can’t ignore the facts,” said Coffield


Sunday, October 4, 2015

PUBLISHING NEWS: Good, Disappointing, and Too Soon to Tell


GOOD NEWS!

How about this for a change? Gunslinger Revenge  will actually be released as scheduled (November), although the OFFICIAL, OFFICIAL release will be in February at the annual Gold Rush Event in Wickenburg, Arizona.

Here's what I think is also great news: for the holiday season we are promoting the 7-book Jake Silver Series for a total of $56 plus s/h. That's $8.00 a book - a helluva buy. The sale begins November 1 most likely if we can get sufficient inventory.

In all honesty, Jere D. James has delivered another outstanding action-packed Western with Gunslinger Revenge. The author brings back gunslinger Richard Moody, desperado Diego Fuentes, U.S. Marshal Jake Silver, and introduces young U.S. Deputy Marshal Daniel Cleary. The combination of characters makes this book irresistible. Sharp, often humorous dialogue will entertain readers just as much as the grueling hunt for the murdering, thieving Floyd Baker and Jarvis McKinney that leads Moody and Cleary into Mexico.

This is still a Jake Silver Series book, but readers will find that Silver plays a secondary role in the novel. Still, when he enters the fray, there is no doubt who the man is. The three main characters (Moody, Cleary and Silver) make for terrific chemistry.

The cover, an original painting by our designer Vin Libassi, is unique to this series.

The ebook version of Gunslinger Revenge will be available by the end of November or thereabouts.

What's the best of all, however, is that Jere D. James has at least verbally committed to writing more westerns for Moonlight Mesa Associates. No date yet on the next publication.



DISAPPOINTING NEWS:

NOW, for a disappointment: The Old Folks in the Boat  will not be released until LATE 2016. We had hoped to have the book ready by January of 2016, but the author has convinced us to hold off while more material is added to the book. The author intends on completing two more sections in the coming months. After listening to the author's ideas, all of us agreed to wait.

We're extremely disappointed about the delay, but ultimately it will be an even better book than it is already.


NEW PROJECTS:

Meanwhile, we do have another new project in the wings. Actually two new projects, but they are both out so far it's pointless to talk about them right now. In the more immediate future, we do have another ebook coming out in 2016. More about this later!





Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Publisher to Release Gunslinger Revenge in November

GUNSLINGER REVENGE

Publisher Becky Coffield has NOT been
attending to business!
Well, you know you're getting behind when calls and emails start coming in asking where the new titles are that have been announced in the back of an earlier book!

This morning a very nice librarian emailed Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. asking where the next Jere D. James book was, that she had a client who was waiting for it, and she could find no mention of it anywhere on the web. She had a good point - it was only yesterday that I finally added the title to Books in Print.

So, what happened? Usually Jere's books are out in August or September - this one has been delayed and we've not talked about it much. First of all, I blame everything on the fact that no matter what you say, time is moving faster and I'm not!

That being said, we've also been wrestling a lot around here with where we are headed with our small company. As a few of you have commented in various emails, we are not doing near the number of events we use to do. This has caused a drop in sales on all fronts. After six months of cogitating our options, however, we've decided to move forward and to continue publishing - just not western fiction so much...with the exception of James' books - if the author plans to continue producing westerns, that is. We also will be doing more events at different venues next year, moving from three Wickenburg events to probably five or six events in different locales. That should perk things up, revive us, and get us back on track.

The other issue is that Jere pretty much dragged heels and got the manuscript to us late, and we had to reject it because, quite frankly, it was a great story but too short. Our minimum, bare minimum (for fiction) is in the 50,000-word range.

Happily, at long last we are preparing to release Gunslinger Revenge  in November.

As of yet, the cover is not finished either, but my cover man has a good excuse.

I think many people will be quite surprised by Gunslinger Revenge. The book mainly features gunman Richard Moody and a new upstart deputy, Daniel Cleary. Jake Silver is in the book, but this go-to character we've all come to love takes a bit of a backseat to Moody and Cleary, at least in the first part of the book. What is even more surprising, however, is that Jere D. James is seriously thinking of revealing his/her true identity at the end of the book. The author has only one more month to make that decision. Once the book is in print, it cannot be retracted!

Is this a good idea or a bad one? Is it even important? I don't think so. I'm urging Jere not to go down this road.


THE OLD FOLKS IN THE BOAT

The Old Folks in the Boat looks like it won't be available until December or January. The book is finished, but the cover photo won't be taken until October - then there's the issue of the cover designer getting things put together.

It's still uncertain whether the book will be officially released at the January 2016 Seattle Boat Show or not. We'll decide that later this fall, I suppose.

Finally, the office will be closed during September as we make our way, late, to the San Juan Islands and north. We're planning on taking two titles along and also doing some advance advertising of The Old Folks in the Boat, looking for pre-orders. The book will likely retail for $12.95.  Lots of photos. Vendor queries are welcome!


Saturday, August 1, 2015

Moonlight Mesa Publication to be a Documentary!

 The subject of Moonlight Mesa's signature biography is being featured in a documentary film by filmmaker Justin Koehler!

Rusty Richards, personal friend to Tibbs and author of Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride, wrote the only authorized biography of Casey. As publisher, I can vouch for the fact that most people who knew Casey, who rode with Casey, and who ran with him are dead! Casey died in 1990 at the age of 60. His contemporaries, if living, would be in the 85-age range. I'm sure a few are still around, but I found a number of them in the obituaries.

In a recent Denver Post article, Mr. Koehler says he interviewed lots of people to get his information for the film. I am amazed that so many are still living, but I do know from selling the book at many venues, that there are countless stories out there about Casey - stories that even Rusty never heard. At almost every event we do, someone comes up and tells us another new story about Casey - some are not so nice, either!

I'm quite happy about the movie being a documentary. I would hate to see Casey misrepresented in some Hollywood extravaganza, and I think it would be easy to "overdo" the man. I know, however, that Rusty had hoped the book would be picked up by a major movie producer, but no matter how good the book is (and we have sold thousands of copies) the fact is that Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride is a genre book, and a small genre at that.

We wish Justin Koehler a ton of success with this film. We're all very anxious to see it. It's a long-overdo, terrific project, and Casey deserves all the attention and praise the movie brings! But we hope Mr. Koehler gives Rusty Richards a bit of credit if he used Rusty's book as a reference for the film. I think Rusty would be very pleased with  the recognition. I know we would be!