Joseph Priestley wrote to his neighbors in the 1790s at a time when the country was politically divided …

Joseph Priestley wrote to his neighbors in the 1790s at a time when the country was politically divided …

NORTHUMBERLAND, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland by Joseph Priestley, edited by John L. Moore.

About the Book:

A world-famous Englishman, Dr. Joseph Priestley addressed the 12 letters in this little book to “the Inhabitants of Northumberland and its Neighborhood.” Nearly 150 miles northwest of Philadelphia, the locale was an obscure village of log houses that had grown up at the confluence of the Susquehanna River’s North and West branches.

Priestley was in his early 60s when he decided to settle there in 1794. The clergyman/scientist had originally intended to devote his sunset years to writing about theological topics and conducting scientific experiments, but controversy over his political and theological beliefs followed him from Great Britain.

He soon found himself the target of frequent and caustic attacks in newspapers throughout the United States that aligned themselves with the Federalist government and policies of President John Adams. On one occasion, when relations between the U.S. and French governments had deteriorated, Priestley was even accused to being a spy for France.

When he found himself increasingly unpopular and misunderstood by the people of his new hometown, Priestley responded by writing these letters. He explained his political and religious beliefs, but also told how, why, and when he had become an honorary citizen of France; listed the reasons why he admired the U.S. Constitution; and justified his decision not to become a U.S. citizen.

Priestley also attacked his critics, especially William Cobbett who wrote under a pen name, Peter Porcupine. “It is commonly said,” Priestley wrote, “that when much dirt is thrown, some will stick; and on this principle I suppose it is that I have been distinguished so often by my principal antagonist, Mr. Cobbett.”

In 1799 the letters were reprinted in book form by Northumberland printer Andrew Kennedy. The book consisted of two parts. Letters 1 through 7 appeared in Part I, with letters 8 through 12 in Part II. The final item in Part II was Maxims of Political Arithmetic, Applied to the Case of the United States of America, an article that Priestley had printed anonymously in 1798 in the Philadelphia Aurora, a newspaper published by Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Priestley’s old friend Ben Franklin.

Spelling, typography and punctuation have been modernized throughout the text. For instance, the character fappears throughout the original, often to represent the letter s. This practice was common during the 18th century, but has fallen into disuse. It has been eliminated in these pages.

In editing this volume of the Letters, the editor found it helpful to have a variety of online dictionaries at his fingertips, among them That’s because Priestley, his colleagues and his critics often employed words that have fallen into disuse, among them conventicle (a secret or unlawful religious meeting); oppugn(question the truth or validity of); and sectary (a member of a religious or political sect).

The Georgian-style mansion that Priestley built overlooking the Susquehanna survives as a museum that has portraits and a statue of the man. These images make it easy to envision the elderly man sitting at his desk in the library, dipping his quill pen in an ink well, then writing these letters – slowly, deliberately – in longhand.

The Friends of the Joseph Priestley House sponsored the republication of Priestley’s book. Three members of the Friends – Deb Bernhisel, Susan Brook and Tom Bresenhan – transcribed the letters using OCR text from Google and a scan of the first edition.

About the Editor:

John L. Moore, a veteran newspaperman, said he employed a journalist’s eye for detail and ear for quotes in order to write about long-dead people in a lively way. He said his books are based on 18th and 19th century letters, journals, memoirs and transcripts of official proceedings such as interrogations, depositions and treaties.

The author is also a professional storyteller who specializes in dramatic episodes from Pennsylvania’s colonial history. Dressed in 18th century clothing, he does storytelling in the persona of “Susquehanna Jack,” a frontier ruffian. Moore is available weekdays, weekends and evenings for audiences and organizations of all types and sizes.

Moore has participated in several archaeological excavations of Native American sites. These include the Village of Nain, Bethlehem; the City Island project in Harrisburg, conducted by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission during the 1990s; and a Bloomsburg University dig in 1999 at a Native American site near Nescopeck. He also took part in a 1963 excavation conducted by the New Jersey State Museum along the Delaware River north of Worthington State Forest.

Moore’s 45-year career in journalism included stints as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal; as a Harrisburg-based legislative correspondent for Ottaway News Service; as managing editor of The Sentinel at Lewistown; as editorial page editor and managing editor at The Daily Item in Sunbury; and as editor of the Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal in Bethlehem.

Letters to the Inhabitants of Northumberland: and its Neighborhood on Subjects Interesting to the Author and to Them

Authored by Joseph Priestley, Foreword by John L Moore

List Price: $9.99
5″ x 8″ (12.7 x 20.32 cm) 
Black & White on Cream paper
100 pages
Sunbury Press, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1620067789
ISBN-10: 1620067781
BISAC: History / United States / State & Local / Middle Atlantic

Coming soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:

Fiction and nonfiction processes under review

There is probably not a drier subject than business process engineering. No, I will not bore you with swim-lane diagrams or all of the little tweaks we are making. Rather, I want you to be aware of our work at a higher level.
At one time, not long ago, Sunbury Press was growing at a rapid pace. In recent years, we’ve topped off — plateaued a bit, if you will. While the business is still strong and healthy, the upside has stalled while we work through what we will become and how we will go about achieving it.
First, a little history.  In the past, we did things the “Sunbury Way” — which meant getting all of our books to market as quickly as possible and then leveraging technology to market them as efficiently as possible. This approach was very friendly to nonfiction titles, but not so effective for fiction. However, during this time period, the company grew many fold.
Given that nearly 70% of our titles are fiction, we thought adjusting our process to favor fiction would lead to faster growth. After all, only about 30% of our sales have been from fiction, and none of our top ten books of all time are fiction. So, it made sense to leverage our deep catalog of fiction and our deeper queue of proposals to drive growth through a new fiction-friendly process.
So, we did what the trade wanted us to do in order to sell more fiction — slow things down — build reviews in advance — set advance sale opportunities, etc. We invested nearly all of our marketing budget in improving our fiction performance. What happened?
We got slower. We released fewer books of all kinds. And, our sales leveled off — even dropped some months.  Obviously, this was not a good idea — especially given the currents we were sailing in.  Clearly, fiction sales are soft industry-wide and we were fighting against it rather than sailing with what worked.
In more recent months, we have sloughed off some of the “fiction burdens” and regressed to our prior process. In return, more books have been released more quickly, and sales have risen — albeit nonfiction sales. Think of this as a patch to tide us over.
I recently told the staff in our operations meeting that our company-wide goal is to double sales by the end of 2019. Obviously, one way to do that might be to double the number of books we publish.  However, as one of our leaders reminded us, we might not have enough quality in the pipeline to warrant the investment. We realize we also need to increase sales. What that balance will be — more releases versus more marketing — remains to be seen. More releases require more labor for editing and design — and marketing.  Selling more books requires more creative ideas for marketing.  I am certain we will coalesce on a plan soon that will achieve both goals.
One realization is that we might need to split our process into three distinct paths:
1) Nonfiction — our traditional “Sunbury Way” of high quality / rapid to market / heavy on the SEO and discovery.
2) Fast Path — when we create new editions of prior works or sign authors with works that are being “retreaded,” we can speed through many of our quality checks, assuming the base we are working with is already good.
3) Fiction — The focus is on building the platforms for the authors we have under management by building their catalog and marketing it collectively. We also need to help build the reading public’s confidence in our authors. This is not a fast path or rapid-to-market approach. It requires an investment in patience. It also means focusing on opportunities with movies and television, as well as foreign rights.
While our pipeline continues to burst with proposals, it might be time to slow down the fiction valve for awhile, only allowing in authors who have a series well underway or come to us with an established platform. We then should allow our current fiction authors to build up — build their catalogs and their offerings.
Your thoughts on this would be appreciated!

Book Publishing Annual StatShot Survey Reveals Religious Crossover and Inspirational Books Supported Trade Book Growth in 2016

Print books account for 70.6% of all units sold; eBook revenues decline
Washington, DC; August 1, 2017 – The Association of American Publishers (AAP) announced today that the U.S. book publishing industry generated $26.24 billion in net revenue for 2016, representing 2.7 billion in units (volume). Books with religious and inspirational themes from religious presses and trade publishers were among the best-selling books.
StatShot Annual estimates the book publishing industry’s size and scope, tracking the sales and volume data for trade (fiction/non-fiction/religious), PreK-12 instructional materials, higher education course materials, university presses, and professional books.
While publisher revenue (1.5%) and units sold (2.8%) both increased for trade books, the overall publishing industry saw a decline in revenue (-5.1%.) This may in large part be attributed to a challenging year in the education and scholarly publishing markets, which together comprise about 40% of tracked revenues.
Publisher revenue for trade books grew by $231 million from 2015 to 2016. American publishers sold nearly 2.5 billion trade books, including print, eBook and audiobooks.
Trade Books
Most of the inspirational and religious crossover books that were popular in 2016 are found in the religious presses and Adult non-fiction categories. Since 2014, Adult non-fiction has been the category with the greatest revenue growth, gaining nearly $1 billion. The category went from $4.97 billion in 2014 to $5.87 billion in 2016. Among other books, the category includes memoirs, biographies, inspirational books, political books, and adult coloring books. Within Adult non-fiction, about 80% of the books sold were print, the majority being paperback books. Religious presses, imprints that focus on religion, spirituality and faith, grew by 6.9% to $1.13 billion from 2015 to 2016.Area of Growth: Inspirational and Religious Crossover Books
“Books that emphasized values, simple living or had inspirational messages like the Magnolia Story, Present Over Perfect, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Uninvited were among the most popular in 2016,” said Tina Jordan, Vice President of Trade Publishing, Association of American Publishers.
Childrens/Young Adult Books and Adult Books
Both fiction and non-fiction Childrens and Young Adult Books saw revenue and unit growth. The overall Childrens/YA Books category grew by 5.9% from $4.22 billion in 2015 to $4.47 billion in revenue in 2016. In all, about 1 billion Childrens/YA books were sold to bookstores, online retailers, directly, or otherwise. Nearly 90% of the books sold in Childrens/YA books in 2016 were print books. eBooks declined from a high of 8.6% share of market in 2012 to 3.3% in 2016 and downloaded audio rose from 0.3% share of market in 2012 to 1.2% in 2016.
The Adult Books category shrank 0.9% in 2016 vs. 2015. The nearly 1.3 billion Adult books sold in 2016 encompassed 65% of trade publisher revenues for the year. While publisher revenue for Adult non-fiction has grown every year for the past five years, growing by 22.9% since 2012, Adult fiction has done the opposite, slowly bringing in less revenue each year.
Within the Adult books category, the fastest growing formats in terms of units sold were downloaded audio (up 18.8%), and paperback (up 7.3%). In 2016 print books comprised 66.9% of the books sold, audiobooks were 5.9%, eBooks were 23.1%, and other formats were 4.7%. In 2012, the mix was 66.4% print books, 3.6% audiobooks, 28.4% eBooks and 2.7% other formats.
 Trade Formats: Downloaded Audio Grew Significantly, eBooks Declined
 Paperback books: Remaining the most popular format overall in terms of units sold, more than 1 billion paperback books were purchased in 2016, comprising 41.7% of the market. Mass market adds another 7.4%. Revenue was up for paperbacks in 2016 to $5.57 billion from $5.29 billion in 2015. This is the most popular format for Adult non-fiction book readers.
Downloaded audio: As they have each year for the last three years, both unit sales and publisher revenue grew by double digits. More than 16 million additional units were sold in 2016 than in 2015, representing 24.7% growth. While downloaded audio represents a small percentage of books sold (3.3% of units) it’s becoming an increasingly popular category – especially for Adult fiction readers. Both unit sales and revenue have more than doubled for this format since 2012, growing from $299 million to $643 million in 2016.
eBooks: Publisher revenue and unit sales for eBooks declined for the third year in a row, losing about $1 billion since their peak in 2013 when revenues were $3.24 billion. In 2016, publisher revenues for eBooks were $2.26 billion, down 16.9% from 2015. Unit sales also declined by 14.7%, with eBooks now making up 14.0% of the trade book market, down from 16.9% last year. Within the Adult fiction book category, eBooks are the most purchased format with 33.0% of the market.
Hardback books: While they are not the best-selling format, hardback books remain quite popular. Both unit sales and publisher revenue increased for the second consecutive year. Revenue was up $265 million (4.9%) in 2016 and 10 million more units were sold (1.7%).
Number of Trade Book Units Sold by Format
  • Print
    • Paperback & mass market: 1.22 billion
    • Hardback: 580 million
    • Children’s board books: 96 million
  • Digital
    • eBook: 348 million
    • Downloaded audio: 82 million
  • Other (includes physical audio, bundles, books with unconventional binding): 147 million
A band walks into a record store to buy some rolling papers … the next thing they know, they’re opening for Rod Stewart

A band walks into a record store to buy some rolling papers … the next thing they know, they’re opening for Rod Stewart

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Sunbury Press has released the The BANG Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights by Lawrence Knorr and Capital recording artists BANG.

About the Book:

In  the summer of 1971, BANG, a trio from the Philadelphia area, decided to take a road trip to Florida to try their fortune. While buying some rolling papers in the Sunshine State, they learned about a Small Faces and Deep Purple concert nearby in Orlando. They showed up at the venue and brazenly declared they were ready to go on stage.  The concert organizer asked them to set up and play for him. After a couple songs, he told them they were opening for Rod Stewart and Small Faces. Before they knew it, BANG was playing with Bachman Turner Overdrive, Deep Purple, Three Dog Night, Fleetwood Mac, Ike and Tina Turner, The Doobie Brothers, and even Black Sabbath. Capitol Records signed them, and three LPs were released. Join Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken, as they recall their rapid rise to fame, playing with numerous Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.


“Those were the days when everything was experimental,” said Karl Richardson, the engineer. “We were looking for something more reverberant. We didn’t want BANG to sound like everybody else. In those days, records were more like paintings, than photographs. The studio was a palette, and we were always thinking about art—not just taking a picture.”

“As the raucous sounds of rock band music slammed across a broad meadow on the tree-lined peninsula, hundreds of youths openly smoked marijuana and drank beer and wine. Some of the drug-sickened youths had injected directly into their bloodstreams bleach crystals they had purchased at the festival site in the belief they were amphetamines. Medical personnel were treating youths suffering drug overdoses on the average of one every five minutes. A man, about 30, stood on the platform for several hours warning fans that the ‘green and blue acid is bad—but the sugar cubes are good.’”  — account from the Erie Canal “Soda” Pop Festival

OZZY Cheesesteak anecdote …
ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 1, 1972, BANG was back in Fayetteville, North Carolina, to play with Black Sabbath, who was in the midst of their Master of Reality Tour. Wild Turkey was to open this evening, followed by the boys from Philly.
That afternoon, the band was hanging out with Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler from Black Sabbath. They offered to introduce them to cheesesteaks, having discovered a sandwich shop in town that was attempting to replicate their favorite Philadelphia cuisine.
“I’ve never had a bloody cheesesteak,” admitted Ozzy.
And so BANG introduced the Prince of Darkness to the delicacy. After chomping on a few bites, he asked, “I have another question for you. What do the fans mean when they are making the “V” signs with their fingers? For our Churchill, it meant victory.”
“To them it means one of two things,” answered Frankie. “It either means peace or boogie.”
After that, Ozzy would often be seen on stage flashing dual V-signs to all of his audiences, as captured on the cover of their next album Vol. 4.

The BANG Story: From the Basement to the Bright Lights
Written by Lawrence Knorr, Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, and Frankie Gilcken

List Price: $19.95

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1620065827

ISBN-13: 978-1620065822

Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches

MUS035000 Music : Genres & Styles – Rock
BIO004000 Biography & Autobiography : Composers & Musicians – General
MUS019000 Music : Genres & Styles – Heavy Metal

Coming soon on Kindle

For more information, please see:

Amelia Earhart flies to the top – “The Truth at Last” is the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

Amelia Earhart flies to the top – “The Truth at Last” is the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. —  Sunbury Press has released the bestsellers list for July. Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last took the top spot. Call Sign Dracula by Joe Fair was runner up.

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for July, 2017 (by Revenue)
Rank Last Month Title Author Category
1 3 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
2 1 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
3 Wonder Boy: The Story of Carl Scheib Lawrence Knorr Sports Biography
4 2 Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam Doug Beed Military Memoir
5 NEW The Descendants of Johann Peter Klinger and Catharina Steinbruch, 4th Ed. Max Klinger Genealogy
6 NEW Live from the Cafe Tory Gates Literary Fiction
7 Going Home Sharon Marchisello Thriller Fiction
8 5 Embattled Freedom Jim Remsen History
9 A Pennsylvania Mennonite and the California Gold Rush Lawrence Knorr History
10 NEW Cast Iron Town Signs of PA, 2nd Ed. N Clair Clawser History
11 6 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
12 The Relations of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 2nd Ed. Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
13 44 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical Fiction
14 The Relations of Milton Snavely Hershey, 4th Ed. Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
15 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
16 A Moment in the Sun Tory Gates YA Fiction
17 The Relations of Isaac F. Stiely, Minister of the Mahantongo Valley Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
18 General John Fulton Reynolds: His Biography, Words, and Relations Lawrence Knorr, Michael Riley, & Diane Watson Genealogy
19 Had a Dying Fall J M West Thriller Fiction
20 35 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
21 8 The Broken Lance Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
22 13 Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks John L Moore History
23 14 Bows, Bullets, and Bears John L Moore History
24 30 Pioneers, Prisoners, and Peacepipes John L Moore History
25 23 Jesus the Phoenician Karim El Koussa History
26 16 Traders, Travelers, and Tomahawks John L Moore History
27 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
28 19 Rivers, Raiders, and Renegades John L Moore History
29 43 Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps John L Moore History
30 40 Hidden Dangers Robert Stout Current Events
31 28 Living in the Afterlife Michele Livingston Spirituality
32 American Berserk Bill Morris History
33 26 The Ripper’s Haunts Michael Hawley True Crime
34 15 Cannons, Cattle, and Campfires John L Moore History
35 A Second Revolution C James Gilbert Historical Fiction
36 The Death Machine Charles Godfrey Historical Fiction
37 The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping William Cook History
38 The Final Charge Charles Godfrey Historical Fiction
39 25 Warriors, Wampum, and Wolves John L Moore History
40 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmalee Historical Fiction
41 27 Tigers by the River Wylie McLallen Sports History
42 Raising Monarchs Sue Fox McGovern Pets
43 Planet Jesus Volume One: Flesh and Blood Doug & Shawn Brode Science Fiction
44 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical Fiction
45 34 History of Lykens Township, Volume I Gratz Historical Society History
46 There Is Something about Rough and Ready Lawrence Knorr, et al History
47 Geology of the Mahanoy, Mahantongo and Lykens Valleys Steve Troutman Natural History
48 Hairy Men in Caves Marlin Bressi History
49 50 The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal
50 9 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical Fiction

Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last was #1 due to brisk sales following the airing of the controversial History Channel program which drew most of its material from the book or complementary sources. It has been the top-selling Amelia Earhart book on Amazon. Joe Fair’s Call Sign Dracula took #2 due to the introduction of a Kindle version. Wonder Boy: The Story of Carl Scheib by Lawrence Knorr grabbed the third spot thanks to seasonal interest. Doug Beed’s Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam continued to sell well, slipping to #4. Max Klinger claimed the fifth spot with his 4th edition of The Descendants of Johann Peter Klinger and Catharina Steinbruch primarily due to orders from extended relations.

The company released eight new titles in July:

SUNBURY PRESS – New Releases for July, 2017
Live from the Cafe Tory Gates Literary Fiction
Middle of the Road Benjamin Anderson Literary Fiction
Cast Iron Town Signs of PA 2 ed N Clair Clawser History
The Broken Lance Jess Steven Hughes Historical Fiction
The Descendants of Johann Peter Klinger and Catharina Steinbruch, 4th Ed. Max Klinger Genealogy
The Deadly Jigsaw Puzzle Alma Bond Thriller Fiction
Murder on the Streetcar Alma Bond Thriller Fiction
Who Killed Marcia Maynard? Alma Bond Thriller Fiction