Thursday, December 2, 2010

Publisher and Board Set New Direction

Hola from sunny Cabo San Lucas!

Despite a great two weeks in Cabo and a terrific Board of Directors meeting with most of the board members present, publisher Becky Coffield and her husband left for the States five days early. “I can only sit around just so much,” the publisher said. “I did some proofreading on the anthology and looked over Jere James’ early chapters on Canyon of Death. That was the sum total of my work. I got antsy, I guess.”

At the yearly Board meeting, several key decisions were made. First and foremost, those present unanimously voted NOT to accept other titles to sell along with Moonlight Mesa titles. Every board member felt strongly that ONLY books published by Moonlight Mesa would be offered for sale on the company’s website and at its book events.


A second major decision involved the publishing schedule, which the publisher herself has changed several times this past year. It was unanimously agreed upon that in 2011 Moonlight Mesa would publish five titles as planned. After 2011, however, fewer titles would henceforth be published in order to give those titles more marketing time and attention. All agreed with Coffield’s suggestion that the company cut back to one title for 2012 and postpone the other titles for an indefinite time in order to establish more markets for the titles currently in print. Since no contracts for 2012 have yet been signed, everyone agreed with the new proposal. The publisher announced that the title slated for 2012 is by Scott Stewart of Wickenburg and will be largely a “donation” publication for a fund raising venture for the new horse camp in town.


Third, it was agreed that the company would offer the Cowboy Up Short Story Contest again in 2011. The publisher announced that the theme of the stories would of course be Western with emphasis on mystery/suspense/thriller, etc. Awards have yet to be decided upon, however. Past awards have been $250, 150, and 75 for the top three winning entries. There was discussion about a possible second anthology consisting of Western mysteries. No final decision was made.


Staffing for the company will remain nearly the same. Vin Libassi will again be the company’s primary cover designer as a subcontractor, and Paula Silici will be the company’s chief editor as a subcontractor. Renee Witty will not be replaced when she graduates in 2011 largely because far fewer titles will be published in 2012.

Sales events will continue be at the publisher’s discretion.

The purchase of a new laser printer was okayed, and the purchase of a new printer for color productions was also okayed. The current printer is on its last legs.

Since the company is acting as distributor for the Casey Tibbs title, Tom will now handle all shipping. Undecided is whether the company will use America West Books as a distributor for the hardbound Casey Tibbs book also. Tom will also assume directorship for out-of-state Western marketing. His first contacts will be at the NFR in Las Vegas, and then the Big R stores.

Undecided was the decision on whether MMA should obtain a vendor’s booth for the NFR for 2011. The publisher expressed concern about MMA competing against its own vendors at this event, particularly Cowboy Bookworm and Western Horseman, who has expressed a strong interest in the Casey Tibbs title and several other titles as well.

The meeting was adjourned, and a good time was had by all. Next year’s meeting place was not decided upon.

Submitted by Renee Witty

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