When Will We Come Roaring Back – If Ever?

It has become fairly obvious that most big government legislators have never owned and operated a small business. Why else would their rules and regulations favor big box stores and not the small, backbone businesses of America? Unless they forget all this once in office.

This is the question teasing many businesses now that they have been finally allowed to “open” for business. Already, though, some are beginning to worry about possible “restrictions” again. So far, we’ve actually not heard of businesses being shuttered, however we think many may be cowering in anticipation of the next blow. Interestingly, defiance to this possible threat seems to be growing.

This applies to most small businesses, including the smaller independent publishing companies. There is no predicting what months books will fly out the door, and what months inventory doesn’t move. Indeed, last summer (usually our slow time) we had two outstanding bumper months and one month that saw all of 3 books sell. Conversely, usually winter months are our ticket to staying open, yet winter months this year were mournful. Books are, however, a “luxury” to many – not a necessity.

So what gives? We have no idea. That being said, it’s become clear to us after enduring this past year that the westerns and nonfiction have overall at least survived covid. Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride, an awarding winning biography, out of the blue had a shockingly successful month after a dismal spell. To be fare, Casey Tibbs sells every month, but every year come rodeo time this award-winning biography sees a surge in sales. This year was no exception

And we are continuously stunned when, month after the month, the small, unassuming A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule outsells all other books combined. Who knew people wanted to know about mules? Not that we’re complaining!

The latest books to jumpstart again are the Jere D. James westerns. This 7-book series waxes and wanes. Unfortunately, we withdrew two of the books from Ingram’s catalogue because of low sales and now regret doing so. Looks like we may be adding them back into Ingram’s inventory.

Book 5 in the Jake Silver Adventure Series

C.L. Lee Anderson’s newest book, The View from My Old Saddle, was released right before the big lockdown. Lee’s first book, Developing the Art of Communication, is a fairly consistent seller, but the second one has not had a chance…yet. With things now opening up, it too should take off among the equine folks. It’s dynamic, infuriating, true, and controversial. It’s great, in other words.

Lee on his horse Concho – The View from My Old Saddle

Sadly, The Littlest Wrangler, J.R. Sanders award-winning young reader book, is not currently available and the orders are stacking up. Due to a publishing snafoo it won’t be available until late, late fall. Some Gave All, Sanders’ award-winning, biographical account of Old West Lawmen Who Died with Their Boots On continues to receive wonderful reviews.

All in all, we’re not totally discouraged here…but just after things started looking up we’re concerned they may falter. Maybe when everybody returns to work we’ll have a better report.

It does seem fairly obvious, that most big government legislators have never tried to own and operate a small business. Why else would their rules and regulations favor big box stores and not the small, backbone businesses of America?

Another First Place for Moonlight Mesa Author

Lee Anderson on his rescued thoroughbred Concho

Congratulations go to C.L. “Lee” Anderson whose book, The View from My Old Saddle, has been awarded first place in the 2020 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards Contest.

The View from My Old Saddle was entered in the Pets and Animals category by Becky Coffield, publisher at Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc. The cover design is by Moonlight Mesa’s long-time graphic artist, Vin Libassi.

This is Anderson’s second time competing in this contest. He was a finalist two years ago with his first book, Developing the Art of Equine Communication,” which has been an extremely popular title. Another equine book, A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule, has also been a finalist in this contest and currently is Moonlight Mesa’s top-selling book for 2020.

Originally Moonlight Mesa Associates started as a western book publisher – but after seven successful years and the retirement of the company’s highly popular author of the Jake Silver Series, Jere D. James, against all advice Coffield began making the transition to nonfiction, and it has proven to be an excellent decision. The company’s top-selling books are now all nonfiction:

Casey Tibbs – Born to Ride, by Rusty Richards

Some Gave All – Lawmen Who Died with their Boots On, by J.R. Sanders

A Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Mule, by Becky Coffield

We managed to survive 7 years and 25,000 miles aboard a 34′ Cal 2-34

Developing the Art of Equine Communication, by C.L. Lee Anderson, paperback and ebook

Life Was A Cabaret – A Tale of Two Fools, A Boat, and a Big-A** Ocean, by Becky Coffield

Getting a Handle on Herpes, by P.A. Arnold (ebook only)

Saving Our Oceans, by R.L. Coffield

The Old Folks in the Boat, Becky Coffield (currently not available online – email publisher for copy)

“Book sales overall have not been spectacular in this Covid/Election year, but we certainly could have done worse,” Coffield said. “Our move to a new location took longer and had more setbacks than we ever imagined, so that didn’t help either.”

Change is in the Air

logoMMA-lg for WP 200    After all my off and on hullabaloo about moving my company and household, and my 180 degree reversals on this decision, it actually looks like it’s going to happen! Our home in Wickenburg is in escrow, and as we watch the days slowly slide by waiting for things to officially close, it looks like it’s a done deal on November 19th.

Of course I have not started packing. I have not ordered moving boxes. I did, however, rent a gargantuan storage unit – and I may need another. I just want to make 100% certain it’s a done deal. My husband is convinced it is, and I want to be… I think I’m still in shock.

So the plan is to return to the Pacific Northwest. We’re leaving behind two sons and two grandsons in Arizona, but we won’t be strangers to them. My Alaska Airline Credit Card is so high I’m sure I could fly once a month from Washington State to Phoenix for at least two years. And I plan to be that naughty word “snowbird” for a short spell every winter (for as long as I can stand living in a tiny trailer, that is).

SOOpc jpeg

As for Moonlight Mesa Associates, Inc., I will be closing the Arizona corporation and will be opening a DBA as Moonlight Mesa Associates in Washington in due time. My authors will be able to access their books when needed, and I may continue to publish, but probably only personal work. I’m also going to finish my practicum to get my Marine Naturalist Certification! That’s where my heart is and has been most of my life – with the sea and its residents.

Basically, I’ve reached an age where I just want to write, paint, row (even if in the rain) hike, and ride my mule! I was reminded the other day that I don’t have forever to do these things as much as I’d like when I was sternly persuaded to start high blood pressure medication when I registered 200/98. Very weird since I’m a health nut, but I guess our genes don’t understand that always.

So, soon my blogs will be filled with new items and energy! It’s time for a change and a new adventure. I hope you’ll stay with me through it all.

Our last publication, C.L. “Lee” Anderson’s The View from My Old Saddle, will be released in January 2020. It’s a fantastic book to end our 10 years of western passion on.

Muley cover

Good-bye Arizona

Becky and Reba Peru