Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rumor Control and More

Moonlight Mesa Associates is a micro-small publishing house, and like most small publishing houses, operates on the verge of extinction on most any given day. Despite record sales so far this year, "We are not out of the woods yet," says the publisher.

"However, we have a number of very good forthcoming events. We've added three more just in the last month. And, we paid out well over $5000 in inventory this year, so we won't have to order any more books anytime soon. That ate a lot of cash, but not having to buy more inventory will help in the long run," said Becky Coffield. "It's lean now, but that's the way it goes. We may have to postpone the release of one of our titles this year, but that's the worst case scenario. We're talking only postponement. I'm not sure the book will be ready as scheduled anyway. It'll be close."

Rumors have filtered in via email since the publisher removed all submission information from the website and closed the door to queries until 2012, that the company is closing. "Not true," said Coffield. "We are inundated with queries, even when I say no queries, we still get queries, so I just removed all the information. I don't want to be a publisher that just throws books out there willy-nilly. We spend a lot of time and money getting books out and ordering advertising, etc. We are doing our best to produce 'Quality Western Books,' not mass market products," Coffield said. "So, we are not closing anytime soon, that I foresee, anyway. We just can't handle anymore queries."

In point of fact, the publisher recently warmed to the idea of publishing a trail guide for equestrians riding in the Wickenburg area. "This will obviously be a nonprofit publication for us. The trail guide will be sold as a fundraiser. It should do really well locally," Coffield said. "We'll post it on Amazon, but we won't be listing it through our wholesaler, Ingram. We're not sure when it will come out. Scott Stewart is writing it - I'm not sure if he's even started. But we'll be ready when he's ready," Coffield said. "This will not be an expensive book to produce. It'll be trade paperback. It's the hardbounds that are financially deadly for a publishing house our size. We could produce trade paperbacks every month."


For the remainder of the year, Renee Witty has confirmed the following events for Moonlight Mesa:

May 29-30, Arts and Craft Show, Pine, Arizona
June 4—6, Show Low Days, Show Low, Arizona
June 12—13, Strawberry Festival, Pine, Arizona
July 2—4, 4th of July in the Pines, Heber/Overgaard, Arizona
July 19—22, Wild West Historical Association Convention, Ruidoso, New Mexico
August 19—22, Big Bear Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival, Big Bear, , California
August 26—29, Western Legends, Kanab, Utah
October 1—3, Rex Allen Days, Willcox, AZ
November 6, Home Tour and Holiday Market, Wickenburg, AZ
November—Cabo San Lucas :) Closed for remainder of the month
December 7—? National Finals Rodeo??, Las Vegas, Nevada
December - TBA

"We have a few gaps in the schedule, but Renee is doing a great job finding us events that will be both productive and FUN. When this stops being fun is when I stop," Coffield said.


Entries are slow in arriving at the Second Annual Short Story Contest. "I hope people don't wait until the last minute," Coffield said. "We need more entries though to pay for judging fees and the cash prizes." Winners and finalists from the contest are asked to release their stories for publication in a short story anthology the company hopes to publish in 2011 or 2012. No strings attached. No money required.

The contest is open until September 1. There's still plenty of time to enter. Submission details are available on the website:

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