Monday, June 14, 2010

Western Book Publications


I get asked all the time why Moonlight Mesa Associates won't publish anything except Westerns. And that's a fair question, particularly when the someone asking has a good saleable manuscript in search of a publisher.


Moonlight Mesa originally started off as a self-publishing company for moi. I ultimately self-published the award-winning Life Was a Cabaret: A Tale of Two Fools, A Boat, and a Big-A** Ocean. And after allowing Northern Escape to be published by Helm Publishing, I took that title back after a few years and re-issued it under my own imprint. I self-published my next several books, making some gargantuan mistakes along the way. But I was floundering, not really sure where I was going with all of this.

Then, I had what you might call an epiphany, and I suddenly realized that the Western had my name written all over it. I quickly got Jere D. James' Saving Tom Black into print, and that got the ball rolling for us. I've not looked back or second-guessed my decision.

I did not want to be another subsidy/vanity press, however. That's the real challenge - supporting this cottage industry!


There are several reasons why I chose the Western. Besides the obvious ones - I'm a Westerner by birth, like Westerns, grew up with Westerns, and have always been fascinated by Western history - I saw a niche that I felt needed to be filled.

Yes, there are other Western book publishers who publish mass-produced paperbacks and who can afford shelf space in Barnes and Noble. Regularly these companies re-release reprints of classic Westerns. Seldom do they introduce a new voice in this genre, however.

That's where I come in. In the last year I've introduced Jere D. James, a person who was rejected out of hand by every publisher out there. I have no idea why. James' books sell like pancakes for us! J.R. Sanders shopped The Littlest Wrangler for four years. This book is phenomenal, and I expect it to win its share of young reader book awards. Rusty Richards (forthcoming book entitled Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride)looked for a publisher for 20 years. I guarantee this book will be a classic.


There are thousands of publishing houses that produce a smorgasbord of genres. We produce one. Quality Western Books - that's what we're all about.

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