Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Moonlight Mesa Associates, Western Book Publisher, has loosened its publishing restrictions and will be accepting manuscripts, both fiction and nonfiction in almost all genres, beginning later this fall.

“We will probably still give preference to Westerns and nonfiction,” said publisher Becky Coffield, “but we’re willing to consider most genres.”

What brought about the change? Moonlight Mesa has not been accepting fiction manuscripts at all for over two years. “Basically, we just can’t get the quality nonfiction that we're looking for, is what it boils down to, and I’m tired of waiting,” said Coffield.

“We have three nonfiction books that just sell like crazy...but finding the right fit for us has been very, very difficult. As it turns out, we’ve decided to broaden our publishing spectrum to include all kinds of nonfiction, not just Western related, and also fiction.” the publisher said. “We’re very excited about the change, and we’re ready for it.”

“Our main requirement from an author is that the author be willing to help promote and sell his/her book. We’re a tiny company, and we can’t do it alone. We also need manuscripts to come in that have been carefully edited...not just proofread by Aunt Matilda or the spouse. We will still be editing the book, but we need manuscripts that are darn near perfect and ready for publication. If I and my tiny staff have to spend weeks or even months correcting a manuscript, we can't get books out.”

The publisher explained that the company has grown, but to continue to grow, more titles are needed. “We put out a great book,” Coffield said. “Between my cover man, Vin Libassi, my editor Paula Silici, and my small staff, we do great work and are proud of our publications.”

Moonlight Mesa will begin accepting queries in September. Guidelines will be posted soon on the publisher’s website:

"Originally...probably last month...I announced we'd only be doing 4 titles in 2013, but we've now upped that to 6, and we plan on 12+ in 2014, assuming good stuff comes across my desk," Coffield said.

Scheduled for 2013 is another Jere D. James book, hopefully Jerry Tindell's mule training book, possibly another young reader book, and a book by new author, Penny Arnold. "There's a lot of maybes in this mix, I must admit," Coffield said. "I'm also hoping J.R. Sanders comes through with Some Gave All. Of course, half these authors may not deliver, so who the heck knows!? And, as my assistant reminded me, maybe the world will end this year in December. Egads. I better take some vacations if that's going to happen!"


Jere D. James, author of the wildly popular Saving Tom Black, Apache, and Canyon of Death, has submitted his  newest book, High Country Killers, which is currently undergoing review and will be off to Moonlight Mesa's editor-in-chief, Paula Silici by August 1. The publisher is most determined to have the book out by early fall. This will be James' fourth book with Moonlight Mesa Associates. His next title may be set in Utah, not Arizona. Nothing is confirmed yet, except for the general outline. The new title should come out fall of 2013. James says he will be probably bring the popular Jake Silver Adventure series to a close with the fifth book and move on to other projects.

"Jere's books are very popular," Coffield said. "We sell a lot of them. I think readers will be very disappointed if he stops writing the series. But, we'll see what happens. I know he's talked about doing more Westerns, just using other characters and settings."


There is just no doubt remaining whatsoever that, like 'em or hate 'em, ebooks are here to stay. Besides having sales that are catapulting to new heights year after year, they are also outselling hardbounds for the first time in publishing history - at least during the first quarter of 2012.

Moonlight Mesa Associates publisher will be putting ALL TITLES that are currently available on Kindle and Nook into the Smashwords program also. "We sell a lot of Kindle titles," said Coffield. "Not so much on Nook. But Smashwords actually sells books to other readers, including Sony, ipad, etc. I just want to give my authors and my company every advantage that I can."

Coffield hopes to have the conversions done by the end of August, but it could be close. Each new ebook will, at long last, have its very own ISBN. Up till now the publisher has used the paper copy ISBN for the ebooks also, which is really not such a good idea. "I have 100 ISBNs to use up now," said Coffield who recently ordered them. "I have no excuse not to do this correctly. Should have done it a long time ago."

In fact, Coffield also designed a "Kindle Card" to hand out to people who come to the company's vendor booth during events and ask if titles are on Kindle. "I should have just called it an 'Ebook Card,' but this'll work for the time being," the publisher said.

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