Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Marketing Books Proving to be Elusive and Costly


Despite Moonlight Mesa publisher's best efforts, marketing tactics to promote the company's Western books are proving to be elusive and costly."This is very frustrating," said publisher Becky Coffield.

About a year ago Moonlight Mesa's Board of Directors and publisher decided to invest money in advertising instead of doing all the shows and other events. "The advertising absolutely has not paid off," lamented Coffield. "Maybe we chose the wrong magazine to advertise in. I don't know, but so far it's been a massive, expensive failure. We'd have done MUCH better had we just done events."

The best sales figures for Moonlight Mesa go to the authors who have been out there aggressively pushing their books, especially Rusty Richards and Jere D. James. "Rusty has such a great, built-in opportunity to sell his book, Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride, when he does his singing performances," Coffield said. "Besides the fact that everyone loves this man! We are a quality Western Book Publisher, though, and all our books are great."


Coffield also made a stab, albeit feeble and still in its infancy, of promoting Moonlight Mesa authors and titles on Facebook. "I can hardly stand this social media stuff," Coffield said. "I just don't have the time for it, for one thing. I don't know if I'll continue to pursue this avenue of advertising or not. I truly do not like it, but the internet is where it's at nowadays, I guess."

The publisher has picked up half a dozen new vendors this year. "That's great when vendors approach us. We're thrilled to work with them and offer a great discount to vendors," Coffield said.

Coffield has three events planned between now and the end of the year. "We're throwing out all stops, or whatever that saying is. We're going whole hog on these next three shows, which should be quite excellent, anyway. We'll have a load of Western artwork in the booth, which helps bring visitors in, and I'll have boxes of books ready to go. In fact, I'm going to resort to the Christmas "pre-wrapped" books tactic to see if that might not stimulate sales at these events since it's the holiday time."


NEW SHOWS SCHEDULED

The fall line-up of events for Moonlight Mesa looks very promising. October is still vacant, but the publisher thinks something will come up.

NOVEMBER 4-6: CAVE CREEK WESTERN DAYS, Cave Creek, AZ

NOVEMBER 11 - 13: DR. CURALL'S MEDICINE SHOW AND WILD WEST EXTRAVAGANZA, Yuma, AZ

DECEMBER 17-18: CAVE CREEK HOLIDAY SHOW, Cave Creek, AZ


SHORT STORY COMPETITION ENDS

The third annual Cowboy Up Short Story Contest is officially over for this year. Judges are reading and scoring the manuscripts, and the publisher hopes to have a list of finalists ready by October 1. The delay is because the publisher had to find a fourth reader after the scheduled reader dropped out.

Finalists will be posted here and on the publisher's website.

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