As mentioned in an earlier blog, Moonlight Mesa Associates will be awarding its first scholarship this year. "We'll be doing this in December and have selected Sisters Park and Recreation (formerly Sisters Organization for Activities and Recreation) to be our first recipient," said publisher Becky Coffield. "This organization, located in Sisters, Oregon, largely operates a youth program. We really don't have a large enough sum to make the scholarship of value to a college-bound or trade-school bound student, but the amount we can offer can help pay user fees for young children who otherwise would not be able to participate. The exact amount we will be donating is being figured out now. Since the scholarship will be given in mid-December so we can take a donation tax deduction, it won't have December sales on it," the publisher said.
"We'll also be sending some free copies of our multi-award-winning young reader books, Sam's Desert Adventure and The Littlest Wrangler to the organization. Everyone on staff is very excited about this program," Coffield said. "So remember, when you buy our books (either from us or on Amazon) you are helping to support this scholarship program."
BOYD RANCH MULE RIDE
|Becky and her mule Reba Peru|
Once again Moonlight Mesa will be a sponsor for the annual Boyd Ranch Mule Ride. The event, scheduled for March 10 - 13 at the Boyd Ranch in sunny Wickenburg, Arizona, is allowing only 50 participants this year.
For information go to www.boydranch.org and click on the Mule Ride button or contact Becky via this blog.
Since Becky is the organizer and director of the ride, she'll be more than tied up with all the details starting in January. Staff will be back from their month-long Christmas break, however, so business will carry on!
"The 2015 Blue Grass Festival was probably the best one for us yet," according to Coffield, "but considering that we practically gave away the Jere D. James titles that should come as no surprise." Coffield sold the set of seven books for $56 - that's half off the regular price. "We sold out of the Jere D. James books," Coffield said. "I had one of each copy left by the end of the show. I wouldn't have had those but because it started raining I put books away early. Unfortunately, because of the expense of the Gold Rush Event in February, we won't be able to offer the books at that price."
One staff member will accompany Coffield to the Lake Havasu Festival the weekend after Gold Rush. "I want to do a 'check-it-out thing' to see if the Havasu event will work for us next year," Becky said. "We're looking for new events, and this one has great potential! I'm seriously tempted to sign up for it this year, but I think a trip to Lake Havasu is worth the time. I've been hideously disappointed a few times when I didn't take the time to 'check-it-out'."
2016 PUBLISHER COMMENTARY
After basically taking the past year off, I'm prepared to "jump back, feet first" into the business. I think I just wore myself out after ten years of working so very hard and making so very little $$. It's tough to keep promoting authors' books when the authors seem to quickly tire of promoting themselves. We are such a small company that we simply must have author participation in promoting their works. Sometimes I ask myself why I am busting my hind-end trying to sell people's books when they don't seem to put any effort out. As a result, I just wore out. Not that all the authors are this way. I have a few that are gems and work consistently at selling their books and doing events. Still, they are a minority.
However, that being said, I am endeavoring to move Moonlight Mesa in a new direction. As I mentioned in the last blog, we are seriously attempting to go more into nonfiction works. We have two nonfiction titles scheduled for 2016, in fact. No fiction. No westerns. And Jere D. James has confirmed that there will not be a new title in 2016 unless some sort of fever attacks.
It seems like I go through these spells from time to time. I get very discouraged, yet we have so many terrific, award-winning books that we are so proud of. Even the books that have not won awards are special! Sometimes I think awards are over-rated anyway.
So, this next year should see two nonfiction titles out - late in the year - but they should be ready by November at the latest. We might even have an ebook out...no hard copy...just ebook. We'll see how things go.
Thanks to my very small staff for their hard work and moral support: Tom, Ben, Jered, and Renee. Many thanks to our cover man, Vin Libassi. Vin has been with us from the get-go, and working with him has always been a pleasure...well, almost always. :)
Meanwhile, on behalf of everyone here at Moonlight Mesa, we wish you a very, very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and happy NEW YEAR!!!