The St. Louis Jewish Light newspaper recognizes veterans’ stories

he St. Louis Jewish Light newspaper about Joe Regenbogen's nonfiction book, The Boys of Brookdale.

The St. Louis Jewish Light inspires their local community with their news and information. They are the award-winning newspaper of the Jewish community for St. Louis, and they publish print editions as well as online. With their motto being "Connecting the Community," The Light serves Regenbogen's book well for St. Louis.

The Boys of Brookdale tells of 16 stories from veterans living in a nursing home located in St. Louis. 

To read the review:

The Light

To purchase The Boys of Brookdale:

Sunbury Press Store

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Social media policy

The other night Tammi and I were very proud to attend Brandon’s football booster dinner for his high school team. Actually, we were both rather surprised when he announced last spring that he was signing up for football so he could get some exercise! We had been worried he was wasting away in his bedroom playing video games to the wee hours of the morning.
Anyway, Tammi received a folder of information that we reviewed over dinner while Brandon was out having pictures taken with his teammates. One item that really stood out to me was the “Cumberland Valley Football Code of Conduct.” The coach explained the packet while we perused and he made a point to say this Code of Conduct was a new policy and had to be agreed to and adhered to by the players. Besides the bullying, drugs, drinking, and other misbehavior it forbade, there was also a paragraph on social media behavior. This led to a conversation between Tammi and I later in the evening.
Recently, there had been an article in Publisher’s Weekly about morality clauses, very similar to the codes of conduct (see below). While I tend to be more libertarian, not wanting to dictate morality to anyone for any reason, we did have an interesting discussion about social media in general.
Personally and publicly, Tammi and I both try not to comment on politics or controversial topics in social media. You are more than welcome to ask my opinion over a pint of Guinness at the tavern, but I will rarely be caught putting it in writing — especially social media! Why, you ask? Because we want to sell books to anyone and everyone and do not want to turn off any aspect of the reading public. While we probably disagree with some people on most things and most people on some things, it is not healthy for business to alienate any segment of our potential customers.
My personal rule is to always try to take the high road — and to value the opinions of others. Facebook posts that belittle or make fun of people who think or feel differently than us are actually very rude and are not something a publisher or author who is serious about their business should partake in.
Tammi and I have befriended a good number of you on Facebook and we cherish those relationships. The vast majority of you also appear to be taking the high road when it comes to your social media commentary. But, some of you are not.
While we are not going to insert morality or social media behavior clauses in our contracts at this time, we do want to caution you to think before you post. Ask yourself — could this post turn off a potential book-buyer to my work? If the answer is at least “maybe,” I would urge you to reconsider your post. Instead, post something positive about your books — or one of our other authors.

The importance of high-quality reviews

It is so important to accumulate reviews for your books. As I have mentioned several times, we tend to use NetGalley for our fiction and Cision for our nonfiction to attract review opportunities. While we are not always happy about the quality of the reviews from NetGalley, we are finding a good number of the readers come through with something — eventually.
Of course, there are also the Goodreads and Amazon reviews that inevitably happen as the book is sold and read. Some of you also benefit from our opportunities with Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, or Library Journal when we use those channels — usually only when there is enough advance time to do so.
Despite all of these channels for reviews, we have found the number one determinant of sales (besides category) was Amazon reviews — having at least something — and ideally 50+. Because Amazon is the largest bookseller, their reviews count the most. The traditional reviewers now have a lot less pull.
Since our last newsletter, we became aware of a rating service for Amazon reviews, and we were very surprised with the results from this platform. We ran several examples and share two below:
Sherry Knowlton’s Dead of Autumn has 75 Amazon reviews — well beyond our target. I chose Sherry’s book for this reason — and not meaning to pick on Sherry — note that every one of our books that we tried scored very low — an “F” letter grade for quality — here’s why:
Analysis overview
Our engine has analyzed and discovered that 37.3% of the reviews are reliable.
This product had a total of 75 reviews on Aug 18 2018.
Interesting tidbit: the most used word by reviewers is book.
How are reviewers describing this item?
great, dead, down, next and first.
Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is high deception involved.
One of my favorite novels, Howard Frank Mosher’s The Fall of the Year, has only 18 reviews. However, it scored at “A”:
Analysis overview
Our engine has discovered that over 90% high quality reviews are present.
This product had a total of 18 reviews on Aug 19 2018.
Our engine has profiled the reviewer patterns and has determined that there is minimal deception involved.
Our engine has determined that the review content quality is high and informative.
Interesting tidbit: the most used word by reviewers is book.
How are reviewers describing this item?
great, frank, wonderful, every and first.
I could go on and on with examples — but I wanted to make you aware of this site. Check your book(s) by copying their Amazon URLs into the analyze box. I have put the link below — just click on FAKESPOT. Let me know your results — this is something we need to further analyze. Obviously, if these kinds of algorithms are going to be utilized more and more, it is VERY important we score average or better …

“The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life”

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Dennis M. Clausen Ph.D. recently expanded in the psychology world with his new book, The Sins of Rachel Sims. Intrigued with the psychological themes of the novel, Psychology Today published his short essay, "The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life" to their website.

Psychology Today is a well-known magazine that publishes information about psychology, self-care, and academic findings. The magazine's website also helps readers find therapists, treatment facilitates, and other support near them.

The magazine recently reached out to Clausen to begin a discussion about his two fiction novels, The Sins of Rachel Sims and The Search for Judd McCarthy. Both books capture themes of women, psychology, identity, and mystery.

In the essay Clausen wrote for Psychology Today, he discusses finding identity through academic literature and how the characters in his book reflect psychological identities within themselves.

To read Clausen's essay:

The Search for Identity in American Literature and Life

 

For more information on the author:

Author Page

 

To purchase his books:

The Search for Judd McCarthy

The Sins of Rachel Sims

STL Sports Page interviews Jake Gronsky on “A Short Season”

 Sally Tippett Rains, of STL Sports Page, recently interviewed Jake Gronsky, a former St. Louis Cardinals baseball player, about the book A Short Season. This book, published through Sunbury Press, tells the inspirational story of Josiah Viera, a boy diagnosed with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria.

This interview allows Gronsky to narrate his baseball career and how he met Josiah Viera to then write the beloved book. This book describes Josiah's challenges as well as his hopes as a young child diagnosed with a terminal illness, but with a love for his family and baseball.

To read the article:

Book Chronicles Special Season For A Cardinals Minor League Team

 

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reviews the Story of World War II Veterans!

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is known as the No. 1 St. Louis site for news, sports, and entertainment. Their website offers local breaking news, information, and special reports.

The Boys of Brookdale makes a good fit for their bookshelf of reviews because the nursing home where Joe Regenbogen interviewed the featured Veterans is located in St. Louis. Regenbogen's book tells the story of 16 Veterans, who lived through the Second World War. Levins, the reviewer, comments how people should cherish these 16 stories in Regenbogen's novel since three of the Veterans have unfortunately now passed.

Regenbogen also explained how these Veterans take great pride in knowing their story is being told to others.

To read the review and learn more information on the book:

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

To purchase:

Sunbury Press Store

 

 

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Haley Dean’s “Keep It Blue” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for July

Haley Dean’s “Keep It Blue” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for July

BROWN POSEY PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 Keep It Blue Haley Dean Personal Memoir
2 6 Contemporary Photo Impressionists T K McCoy Art
3 4 Shitepoke Michael Barton Literary Fiction
4 NEW Happiness Is in the Kitchen Giulio Alberoni Culinary History
5 3 The Search for Judd McCarthy Dennis Clausen Literary Fiction
“Living in the Afterlife” by Michele Livingston repeats as the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for July

“Living in the Afterlife” by Michele Livingston repeats as the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for July

ARS METAPHYSICA – Bestsellers for July 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 1 Living in the Afterlife Michele Livingston Metaphysical
2 5 Jesus the Phoenician Karim el Koussa Religious History
3 3 Messages from Beyond Michele Livingston Metaphysical
4 2 The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal/UFOs
5 8 Der Lange Verborgene Freund John George Hohman Folk Magic
6 7 The Phoenician Code Karim el Koussa Metaphysical Fiction
7 How to Achieve Peace of Mind Dorsman & Davis Meditation
8 10 The Dream Alchemist Anna-Karin Bjorklund Travel Memoir
9 4 Pythagoras the Mathemagician Karim el Koussa Historical Fiction
10 9 Soaring Minds Journal & Workbook Michelle Hoffer Self-Help
Romine’s “Keeper of the Crows” returns to #1 at Hellbender Books for July

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HELLBENDER BOOKS – Bestsellers for July 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 4 The Keeper of the Crows Kyle Alexander Romines Supernatural Thriller
2 2 Dead Kill 3 – The Ridge of War Tom Malafarina Supernatural Thriller
3 7 The Cursed Man Keith Rommel Psychological Thriller
4 3 From the Dark Tom Malafarina Supernatural Thriller
5 White River Monster Keith Rommel Supernatural Thriller
Bridget Smith’s Civil War-era murder mystery “Where Elephants Fought” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for July

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MILFORD HOUSE PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 2 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
2 1 Atonement Kyle Alexander Romines Western
3 NEW The Peacekeeper Jess Steven Hughes Historical
4 NEW A Lenape Legacy Doris Wilbur Historical
5 14 Fortune’s Lament John Cressler Historical
6 16 The Wolf of Britannia II Jess Steven Hughes Historical
7 19 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
8 6 The B Team Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
9 12 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
10 8 The Broken Lance Jess Steven Hughes Historical
11 17 Shadows in the Shining City John Cressler Historical
12 7 The Wolf of Britannia I Jess Steven Hughes Historical
13 A Brother’s Cold Case Dennis Herrick Murder Mystery
14 5 The Titan Strain Virginia Soenksen Dystopian Thriller
15 Had a Dying Fall Joan West Murder Mystery
16 4 The Closer Alan Mindell Sports Fiction
17 The Sign of the Eagle Jess Steven Hughes Historical
18 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
19 Green Triangles Donald Dewey Detective Thriller
20 3 The Sea Is a Thief David Parmalee Historical