Tuesday, September 6, 2011


Moonlight Mesa's first fall show for 2011 was a success, according to publisher Becky Coffield. "We sold a lot of books and Western artwork, pure and simple. We had perfect weather and a good crowd. We've done better, but we've done a lot worse. Overall, I'd rate the event as a VERY GOOD. Not GREAT, but definitely very GOOD," Coffield said.

The top selling book for the event was Jere D. James' Saving Tom Black. The whole trilogy by James sold well, and even the LARGE PRINT EDITION of Saving Tom Black sold.

Also doing well was the publisher's own suspense/mystery trilogy, The Ben Thomas Series. "I don't know what I'm going to do about that series," Coffield said. "I hate how the first book, Northern Escape, is laid out and formatted. The first publisher didn't know what she was doing, and I've not changed it. It needs to be changed. I'm thinking, however, of issuing all three books as one large volume. That might work real well."

The publisher is also seriously considering issuing James' Apache and Canyon of Death in LARGE PRINT EDITIONS.

The next scheduled event for Moonlight Mesa is the Cave Creek Western Days in early November, then the Dr. Curall's Medicine Show and Old West Extravaganza the following weekend in Yuma. "We'll do one show in December when we return from Mexico. It needs to be a REALLY good one!"


Despite the company's grand expansion plans, Moonlight Mesa is pulling back and now planning on only publishing two to three titles for 2012. "We'll only do two, maximum three, new titles, but we will most tentatively look at re-issuing Life Was A Cabaret, doing two more LARGE PRINT EDITIONS, and will possibly consider doing the Ben Thomas series as a one volume/three book publication," Coffield said.

The company is dropping its two cookbooks. "We're getting out of the cookbook business," the publisher said. "All cookbooks are now on a $5 close out."

For a certainty, Sam's Desert Adventure (a young reader book) will be published in early 2012. Jere D. James' High Country Killers will be published in mid-to late 2012 if the author actually settles down and completes the book. "That's all I know as a certainty right now," Coffield said. "I've had two outstanding authors approach me this summer with wonderful works they wanted me to publish, but I just can't take anyone on right now. Both authors had fantastic projects, but...Things are just too up in the air, including me."

The publisher said she plans to ease off on new publications and spend more time trying to market the books the company already has in print. "Marketing is what it's all about. It's tough to do, too."


This year's entries into the Cowboy Up Short Story Contest are now being read by the judges. The first round of judging is expected to take until October 1, when finalists will be announced. There will be another reading of the finalists then, and the cash prize winners will be chosen. Winners will be notified by November 1. Finalists will receive a certificate, also.

"We've debated about next year's contest, but I've almost decided just to let people write a story without any caveats being imposed. Period. No requirements to be short/long/suspense/etc. I really need to think about this," Coffield said. "I'll post information as soon as I figure out what we're going to do."

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