Despite being a "Western Book Publisher," Moonlight Mesa Associates publisher, Becky Coffield, announced last week that no more westerns, fiction or nonfiction, will be accepted...at least for the time being. "I don't think I'll be changing my mind about this," Coffield said. "I think it's time to move on."
Moonlight Mesa Associates is the publishing house for the Jere D. James' western titles: The Jake Silver Series, consisting of Saving Tom Black, Apache, Canyon of Death, High Country Killers, Back from the Dead, and Gunslinger Justice. These six titles are all set in various parts of Arizona in or around 1888. According to Coffield, the author has decided not to write any more westerns. "We are disappointed in this decision, and that's putting it mildly," Coffield said. "Jere's books are our best sellers, but I understand. Jere produced six books in six years. I think the author is tired. Maybe later we'll see another Jere D. James title. Maybe not, though. Jere needs a change, and maybe we do too."
In the meanwhile, Coffield hopes to publish The Old Folks in the Boat, a humorous book on rowing for the "elderly." The book will most likely be published in color, and Coffield plans to release the new title by late 2015. This may be the only title for 2015. "We are far from being certain about a release date," Coffield said, "But we're aiming for late 2015. It'll be a nice break from our traditional fare."
Wickenburg's Gold Rush Days will be the next vendor event for the publisher. The 66-year-old festivity, held in Wickenburg, is one of Moonlight Mesa's most lucrative. The only other activities currently on the calendar are for later in the fall. "However, we will be taking a number of books with us to the San Juan Islands next summer," Coffield said. "We've always sold a lot of titles when in that area, but I have no specific event lined up."
BEST SELLERS FOR 2014
Rusty Richards' Casey Tibbs - Born to Ride enjoyed its fourth banner year in sales for nonfiction. Part of Rusty's success with Casey Tibbs, is that the book is available in so many formats.Coming in a very close second was J.R. Sanders' remarkable Some Gave All, an account of old west lawmen who died in the line of duty.
For fiction, Jere D. James' titles were the top sellers. "It's hard to compete with Jere because the author has six titles to his name. Even going on a one-book basis, however, Jere still takes first place for fiction sales.
YEAR END SUMMARY
"We actually had a good year considering we did so few events," Coffield said. "Not GREAT, but definitely okay. Between my two cataract surgeries and breaking my toes, I was pretty much laid up a good part of the year."
Coffield said that overall participating on Facebook was a waste of time. "In my opinion, doing social media did not improve our sales one whit. I spent way too much time trying to figure out how to interest people in buying our books. Not sure I was in the least successful, and that's being generous!" said Coffield. "That's okay. We worked at it and now we know. I will say, however, that putting the Boyd Ranch Mule Ride on Facebook did help recruit new mule riders to this event." (Coffield is in charge of the Annual Boyd Ranch Mule Ride.)
Coffield also quit tweeting. "That was a total waste. Interesting, though, but highly unproductive for us. I don't have the patience for this stuff as it is, and then I started getting 'computer elbow' from the tweeting activity. It actually was rather addictive."
Coffield said they had the best responses to news releases, particularly for Robert Walton's Dawn Drums. "Somehow, we need to figure out how to get a news release out once a month about each book. That seemed more worthwhile for us. Pretty much impossible to do, however."
A BIG THANK YOU
For all those who supported Moonlight Mesa and the company's authors by buying our books, we want to thank you from the bottoms of our hearts!