Marketing activities for 2019

Last month I covered our plans for imprint-specific author meetings and marketing activities. We’d like to pull together each imprint’s authors about twice a year. I had initially thought we could do this quarterly, but we just can’t handle that many meetings! Rather than two meetings per month, we will be focusing on one imprint per month.
So, we have the Hellbender Books meeting scheduled for next week and I am really looking forward to helping the imprint get some traction. This being a smaller group, it also provides a model we can experiment with regarding these meetings and what is possible. I will report back on what we discussed and decided.
In the meantime, we are currently negotiating increasing our Cision contract to include global media contacts — not just US. Many of our books are selling in Europe, Australia, and other far-flung places. I know our Amsterdam book would perform better if the Dutch and British media were aware of it. The key question is whether or not we will see sales growth in these places due to more media outreach. We also need to be able to actually use the tool and make the effort. In other words, paying for a tool you don’t use is wasted money! I will let you know where we land.
In recent weeks we are seeing an uptick in collaboration among authors. This is great! Specifically, the most helpful thing you can do is review each other’s books. You can post your review online. If it is in a longer form, we can always post it as a blog entry. Ideally, we can find some snippets for the book’s product page or cover. There is also the side benefit of being able to mention your own work, though we recommend this is done subtly.
If you purchase the other author’s book from Amazon, you will be able to enter a review as a verified purchase. This seems to carry a little more weight than unverified reviews. You can also purchase the books from the Sunbury Press store and use your author (A50) discount — yes — you can buy any of our books at your discount. So, why not throw another author’s book on your next order and do your colleague a favor?
Last, but not least, contests are top of mind as we enter the new year. I personally was nominated by SABR for the Larry Ritter Award regarding my recent baseball biography of Eddie Plank. I was surprised by the nomination and immediately complied with their request for copies. I have no idea who nominated the book — someone at SABR — but I am honored to even have the chance. (I am nearly 100% sure I will not win!) Many of you have asked about contests over the years. You are always welcome to enter contests you think you have a chance to win. We will support you if the contest requires the publisher to enter. We try to avoid contests that have fees. Usually these are set up to be money makers for the organizers and have little marketing value. It seems the best contests — the most meaningful — only require copies to be sent. Of course, from time to time, we, as publisher, nominate your books for awards. You might not always know this.
This year, I’d like to set up something different — something more formal and with better tracking. We will be discussing this in our imprint meetings, but there is no reason to wait until then. Here is what I am asking — if you are aware of a contest that might be of benefit to you or one of our other authors, please send me the link. We will be developing a master list of contests and the schedule associated with them. Rather than an ad hoc activity, we will incorporate this into our planning.

SUNNY Awards and 1099s

Every January we recognize the bestselling books in each category from the prior year. We dubbed these awards the SUNNYs. This has no affiliation with the State University of New York! While we have yet to implement a trophy or certificate or decal, we do like to recognize the most successful books from each imprint for the prior year. To that end, we have sent out media releases and have updated our e-commerce site with the latest honorees.
Here is a list of SUNNY Award winners for 2018:
Ars Metaphysica: Inspirational Creatures by Michele Livingston
Brown Posey Press: The Accountant’s Apprentice by Dennis Clausen
Speckled Egg Press: The Mouse with the Broken Tail by Dan Shutters
Hellbender Books: Dark Entry by John Kachuba
Verboten Books: Rated Z: Money Shot by Brahm Stroker
Milford House Press: Fortune’s Lament by John Cressler
Sunbury Press: A Short Season by Jake Gronsky and G David Bohner
Sunbury Press, Inc., Book of the Year: A Short Season by Jake Gronsky and G David Bohner
Why two awards for Sunbury Press? One is for the imprint and the other is overall. In addition, the Book of the Year is not necessarily the overall bestseller but a book that is memorable that year. In this case, towards the end of the year, we lost young Josiah Viera who succumbed to Progeria at only 14. The book is about his incredible and nearly impossible life story. Josiah, despite his limitations and rapid aging, was an inspiration to all he met. He especially had a love of baseball and had full access to the St. Louis Cardinals organization. The Penn State football program was also a favorite of Josiah’s and Coach Franklin was a personal friend. While Josiah will be missed, his legacy lives on.
Regarding the imprints, there were a lot of close calls. We did not have any clear runaway bestsellers in 2018. Instead we had a lot of books that did fairly well. For instance, at Ars Metaphysica, Karim El Koussa had several books that performed well all year but came up a few sales short in the end. Likewise, at Hellbender Books, Keith Rommel was in a similar situation with many of his backlist titles on the monthly lists. In the end, John Kachuba’s book did a little better.
Congratulations to all the winners! Someday we will have an awards banquet and be able to pay something more than lip service!
The dawning of a new year also brings with it tax season. We are currently preparing 1099s for those of you who were paid more than $10 in royalties in 2018. Yes, for royalties the number is very very small and not the $600 limit for self-employment. If you received a request from us for an updated W9, please submit this asap. If we do not have your tax information on hand, we cannot issue your 1099. If we cannot issue you a 1099, we will not be able to pay you in the future.
“A Short Season” by David Bohner and Jake Gronsky wins the Sunny Awards for Sunbury Press Bestseller in 2018 and Sunbury Press Book of the Year

“A Short Season” by David Bohner and Jake Gronsky wins the Sunny Awards for Sunbury Press Bestseller in 2018 and Sunbury Press Book of the Year

Gronksy and Bohner’s “A Short Season” about the short life of Josiah Viera was the 2018 bestseller for Sunbury Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. It was also selected the Book of the Year at Sunbury Press, Inc.

About the Book:

No parent is ever ready for a terminal diagnosis of their child.  No mother should see the day where turning off your son’s ventilator is the only option to end his pain.  And no grandfather should see the day when your grandchild is scheduled to die in his mother’s arms.  But on September 10, 2005, this was the harsh reality facing our family, and this was the day we’d never forget.

I am no pastor; nor a preacher. I am no miracle worker, nor a missionary. I am a struggling husband, a decent father, a survivor of brutal child abuse, and from the miraculous survival and extraordinary life of a Progeria child, I am a believer saved by the Grace of God through Jesus Christ.

In A Short Season: Faith, Family, and a Boy’s Love for Baseball, Dave Bohner, the story’s narrator and Grandfather to Josiah, and Jake Gronsky, former professional baseball player with the St. Louis Cardinals organization, tell the powerful story of Josiah Viera’s fight for life that not only sparked a family’s journey towards healing but inspired a generation of baseball players from one of the most historic organizations in Major League Baseball.

A Short Season is a story of hope; a story of acceptance; and a story of faith based on the idea that sometimes a person’s only journey to peace is first trekked through pain. A Short Season is a family’s journey through sorrow and joy, it is a baseball team’s inspiration, and it is the story of one exceptional child’s ray of hope that changed all of their lives forever.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“Josiah has a passion for baseball that transcends the sport. His story has inspired millions, and this book will impact everyone who reads it.” – Ben Houser, Senior Producer ESPN E:60

by G. David Bohner & Jake Gronsky
SUNBURY PRESS
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x 1
9781620060223
240 Pages with b&w photos
SPORTS & RECREATION / Baseball
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Children with Special Needs
MEDICAL / Diseases / Genetic
“Rated Z: Money Shot” by Brahm Stroker wins the Sunny Award for Verboten Books Bestseller in 2018

“Rated Z: Money Shot” by Brahm Stroker wins the Sunny Award for Verboten Books Bestseller in 2018

Brahm Stroker’s zombie apocalypse satire was the 2018 bestseller for Verboten Books, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Porn stars Dick Shooter and Bunny Hole are in the midst of making their latest film when everyone starts getting sick and the world goes to hell. Join these anti-heroes as they set out to save those they love, only to face one trial after another. Ultimately, their trail leads them to the biggest church in Oklahoma for an unforgettable climax.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

“Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton meet Beavis and Butthead in this ridiculous raucous romp — totally politically incorrect dark humor,” — A Literary Critic

“So this is what you really get when you drag a hundred dollar bill through a trailer park!” — A Political Commentator

“I laughed my ass off!” — Enna Ma

“I nearly pissed my pants!” — I P Dailey

“Is the author any relation to Bram Stoker?” — nitwit social media post

“Required reading in all of my prison camps!” — Rocket Man

“Clearly the coda of the zombie craze – thank the Lord and pass me my Kindle!” — Another Literary Critic

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Brahm Stroker (sic) was born in Buddhapest (sic), Hungry (sic), in 1347 during the Black Death. Inspired by all of the chaos around him during Western Civilization’s greatest outbreak, he wrote down this very prescient epic on a series of parchments which were kept in secrecy in a monastery for over six and a half centuries. These moldy parchments were then recently discovered in an old trunk won at auction by the proprietors of Verboten Books, a boutique publisher based in a very small cottage in the Schwarzwald in Baden-Württemberg. In fact, the cottage was so incredibly small that the firm had to store the trunk outside while very diminutive persons transferred the documents one page at a time to a reading table, carrying them like a bunch of Amazonian ants lifting a very large leaf. Several translators subsequently died from uncontrollable laughter as they attempted to translate the tale into English for the US and UK markets. Stroker himself had succumbed to the Black Death soon after penning the tale — in fact, he likely died before completing it. The publisher remains uncertain as to the completeness of the tale until such a time as all of the parchments have been successfully translated.

WARNING! NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART OR THOSE EASILY OFFENDED SUCH AS REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, INDEPENDENTS, SOCIALISTS, COMMUNISTS, SOCIALIST DEMOCRATS, DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS, WHIGS, BULL MOOSES, OR OTHER VERY STRANGE PERSONS!

by Brahm Stroker
VERBOTEN BOOKS
Trade Paperback – 5 x 8 x 1
9781620069998
244 Pages
FICTION / Dystopian
FICTION / Fantasy / Humorous
FICTION / Horror
“Fortune’s Lament” by John Cressler wins the Sunny Award for Milford House Press Bestseller in 2018

“Fortune’s Lament” by John Cressler wins the Sunny Award for Milford House Press Bestseller in 2018

John Cressler’s historical novel was the 2018 bestseller for Milford House Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Much of modern Spain was under Muslim control for nearly 800 years (from 711 to 1492 C.E.). Medieval Islamic Spain was deeply influential in world history, for a multitude of reasons, including the rediscovery, translation, and dissemination of the lost works of medicine, science, and philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The Muslim Umayyads (with roots tracing back to Syria), were lovers of books and learning, and helped launch a cultural revolution in Córdoba which transformed the western world. An exceptional 200+ year period of peaceful coexistence occurred between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam under Muslim Umayyad rule, providing a powerful lesson in the practice of multiculturalism for our 21st-century world.

Fortune’s Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series, which break open this largely forgotten and fascinating history for modern readers. All three historical novels are love stories set at pivotal moments in the history of medieval Islamic Spain. Fortune’s Lament is set in Granada’s Alhambra Palace, 120 years after Emeralds of the Alhambra, and tells the story of Danah, a young Muslim woman who aspires to be the first female physician in the city. Love unexpectedly blossoms between Danah and Yusef, a valiant prince of court from a rival clan, during the bloody final conquest of Granada by King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Christian Spain. As the light of Islamic Spain dims, the Inquisition looms large on the horizon, as does the coming voyage of Columbus to discover the Americas.

Watch the video trailer …

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:

Fortune’s Lament . . . soars to new heights as a compelling tale that leaves nothing wanting: provocative prose that delights the imagination, intrigue on multiple levels, vivid scenes both tender and terrifying, and Great Love that spans generations.” ―Catherine Crosby, co-founder of the Neshama Interfaith Center, Atlanta

“Extensively researched and beautifully written, Cressler’s novel leads us into an exotic world of love, ghosts, intrigue, and betrayal. A must-read for all lovers of historical fiction.” —Joan Fallon, author of the Al-Andalus series, Málaga, Spain

“Wrapped up in yet another a deliciously satisfying love story, Fortune’s Lament provides readers with an intimate view of the complex geopolitical panorama surrounding the fall of the last Muslim stronghold in Iberia and the rise of Catholic Spain on the world stage.” ―Julia Baumgardt, Marian University, Indianapolis

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John D. Cressler is the Schlumberger Chair Professor and the Ken Byers Teaching Fellow in Science and Religion at Georgia Tech. He is the author of five nonfiction books (two for general audiences), as well as the historical novels Emeralds of the Alhambra and Shadows in the Shining CityFortune’s Lament is the third release in the Anthems of al-Andalus series. Visit the author at http://johndcressler.com and https://www.facebook.com/BooksByJohnDCressler/

by John D. Cressler
MILFORD HOUSE PRESS
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x 1.4
9781620063729
602 Pages with maps and photographs
FICTION / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Romance / Historical / Medieval
FICTION / Religious
“Dark Entry” by John Kachuba wins the Sunny Award for Hellbender Books Bestseller in 2018

“Dark Entry” by John Kachuba wins the Sunny Award for Hellbender Books Bestseller in 2018

John Kachuba’s classic horror novel was the 2018 bestseller for Hellbender Books, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

In the 18th century, members of the Dudley family settled in the deep woods of the Dark Entry Forest in northwestern Connecticut. Only a century later, Dudleytown was a ghost town with nothing left in the encroaching forest but cellar holes. Legend has it that the Dudleys were descended from a family in England that came to a bad end and that a curse followed them to America, a curse that drove residents of the settlement to murder and suicide.

In 1989, Sandy Lawrence, fleeing her abusive boyfriend, is given the use of her friend’s house in Dark Entry, one of the few homes in the isolated forest. She is unaware of the legends about Dark Entry but soon discovers the horrifying truth—something evil is alive and well in the deep woods, something intent upon murder. What began as a peaceful retreat from her domestic troubles now becomes a terrifying fight for her life.

About the Author

John B. Kachuba is the award-winning author of ten books, five of them about paranormal and metaphysical topics. He is a regular speaker at universities, libraries, and conferences, and has made numerous appearances on TV, radio, and podcasts. For more information, please go to www.johnkachuba.com

by John B. Kachuba
HELLBENDER BOOKS
Trade Paperback – 5.5 x 8.5 x 1
9781620060483
176 Pages
FICTION / Horror
FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense
“The Accountant’s Apprentice” by Dennis Clausen wins the Sunny Award for Brown Posey Press Bestseller in 2018

“The Accountant’s Apprentice” by Dennis Clausen wins the Sunny Award for Brown Posey Press Bestseller in 2018

Dennis Clausen’s urban literary fiction novel was the 2018 bestseller for Brown Posey Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Justin Moore, a young Catholic priest, witnesses a crime he believes he might have prevented if he had intervened to assist the victim. The incident destroys his faith in himself and undermines his mental health. He takes a leave of absence and moves into a rundown studio apartment on the edge of downtown San Diego, where he lives a reclusive lifestyle without a computer, telephone, or anything that connects him to the outside world. He spends most of his time in the loneliness of that apartment reading and pondering his life’s mission. One day he spots a note advertising a part-time position as a driver for a wheelchair-bound resident of the same apartment. He answers the ad and is introduced to a mysterious elderly gentleman who identifies himself as an “accountant for an international business firm.” He tells Justin to call him A. C., an abbreviation for Accountant, and he refuses to divulge anything more about himself or his business activities. Justin soon questions whether his elderly employer might be involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities under the guise of corporate respectability. As Justin becomes increasingly obsessive about his new employer, he speculates that A. C., who is an enigmatic and elusive character, might have an even more mysterious past. When Justin plunges deeper into the abyss of doubt and confusion concerning his life and A. C., his emotional crisis and obsessive state of mind worsen. Those self-doubts and suspicions about his enigmatic employer build as he struggles to learn A. C.’s real motives for coming to “America’s finest city.”

About the Author

Dennis M. Clausen grew up in west central Minnesota. There, he gained a close, intimate knowledge of the small towns and the lives they harbored. They provide the inspiration for The Search for Judd McCarthy (2018), which was a best-selling paperback original when first published under a different title in 1982. The Sins of Rachel Sims (2018), set in another small town, is a sequel to The Search for Judd McCarthyThe Accountant’s Apprentice (2018), a story that explores mysterious events that occurred in San Diego, California, in the mid-2010s, is his first novel with an urban setting. My Christmas Attic (2018), the story of a young boy in the early 1950s who struggles with dyslexia and the loss of his father in the Korean War, is set in the nearby mountain town of Julian, California. Clausen is also the author of Prairie Son (1999), a book that was the winner of Mid-List Press’s “First Series: Creative Nonfiction Award.” This book recreates his father’s struggles as an adopted child to survive the Great Depression in a farm home where he was treated more as a worker than a son. In addition to his creative work, Clausen has authored textbooks, including Screenwriting and Literature (2009), which explores the relationships between writing screenplays and writing novels. For over thirty years, he has taught literature and screenwriting courses at the University of San Diego. He enjoys writing stories that combine and transcend traditional literary genres. He has several other works in progress.

by Dennis Clausen
BROWN POSEY PRESS
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x .7
9781620060919
174 Pages
FICTION / Literary
FICTION / Psychological
FICTION / Urban
“Inspirational Creatures” by Michele Livingston wins the Sunny Award for Ars Metaphysica Bestseller in 2018

“Inspirational Creatures” by Michele Livingston wins the Sunny Award for Ars Metaphysica Bestseller in 2018

Michele Livingston’s collection of readings regarding pets communicating from the other side was the 2018 bestseller for Ars Metaphysica, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Have you ever lost a beloved pet and wondered if they go to Heaven like humans do?

Have you felt the presence of a departed pet or animal or had dreams about them?

Has your pet healed you, taught you lessons, helped you through a difficult time with unconditional love?

Do you have a pet that seems like the reincarnation of a departed pet?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, or if you just love animals, you will love the many true, heartfelt stories Michele Livingston has carefully selected for this book.

There is an enduring love that pets and humans feel towards each other, whether your pet is a cat, dog, reptile, rabbit, horse, bird or another species of animal. The “bond of love” between human and animal can never be broken. Pets love us unconditionally.

About the Author

Michele A. Livingston is a world-renowned visionary, psychic medium, gifted artist and author. In addition to being a spiritual medium, she is also an avid animal lover who has donated her time, energy, and fund-raising skills to local animal rescues. She has also trapped, neutered and spayed homeless cats, some of whom she has adopted herself while helping to find homes for the others.

by Michele Livingston
ARS METAPHYSICA
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x 1
9781620061183
168 pages
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Spiritualism
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Channeling & Mediumship
BODY, MIND & SPIRIT / Afterlife & Reincarnation
“The Mouse with the Broken Tail” by Dan Shutters wins the Sunny Award for Speckled Egg Bestseller in 2018

“The Mouse with the Broken Tail” by Dan Shutters wins the Sunny Award for Speckled Egg Bestseller in 2018

Dan Shutter’s Old Testament allegory turned into a contemporary tale was the 2018 bestseller for Speckled Egg Press, an imprint of Sunbury Press, Inc. of Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania.

About the Book:

Join Sam the mouse as he leads his mouse tribe from the dangers inside the house to the promised land Outside. Will they finally escape Faro the cat? Will they finally be free? Along the way, the group learns about hard work, creative thinking, and the benefits of self-sacrifice. However, the Outside is not without its own challenges! This charming tale gently deals with various issues that face children, the power of evil vs. the power of God, the reasons for warnings, faithfulness, and the ability to change among others. Rev. Dan Shutters wrote this parable of the Book of Exodus for use as a series of children’s sermons.

About the Author

Rev. Dan Shutters was ordained in 1969 after graduating with a Master of Divinity degree from Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Waterloo, Ontario. He is a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He has been delivering messages for children for most of his ministry. Always in search of unique ways to communicate, he is a member of the Society of American Magicians, performing the stories from his book, “Magic in Ministry”. In the early days of home computers, he wrote “Farway” as an educational program for Lutheran World Relief which illustrated the problems encountered by bringing wells to African villages. In 1979, the Red Cross asked him to help with the children in the Hershey, PA shelter set up during the accident at nearby Three Mile Island.

Diane McCormick’s “Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History” repeats as the Sunbury Press bestseller for December

Diane McCormick’s “Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History” repeats as the Sunbury Press bestseller for December

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for December 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 1 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
2 7 Illegal Among Us Martine Kalaw Immigration Memoir
3 18 A Short Season Jake Gronsky & David Bohner Sports Memoir
4 6 The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422 Mark Carlson Aviation History
5 8 The 1932 Yankees Ronald Mayer Baseball
6 5 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
7 NEW Graves of Our Founders volume 1 Knorr, Farrell, and Farley Biography
8 Embattled Freedom Jim Remsen History
9 11 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
10 4 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks History
11 2 A Super Steelers Journey Merrill Shaffer Football
12 9 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
13 20 Bows, Bullets, & Bears John L Moore History
14 NEW The Pennsylvania Dutch Richard Orth History
15 26 Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks John L Moore History
16 Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety Mike Hawley True Crime
17 13 Captain Hooter’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops Captain Hooter Travel
18 30 Cannons, Cattle, and Campfires John L Moore History
19 Scorched Earth John L Moore History
20 Dead Center Jason Altmire Politics
21 12 The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment Mark Pendergrast Legal History
22 Penn’s Manor at Spread Eagle Steve Troutman History
23 NEW Mere Catholicism Daniel Agatino Religion
24 Pioneers, Prisoners, and Peacepipes John L Moore History
25 27 Settlers, Soldiers, and Scalps John L Moore History
26 Pit Bulls Anthony Julian History
27 Behind Barbed Wire and High Fences Helen Angeny Memoir
28 There is Something About Rough and Ready Knorr, Troutman, et al History
29 Geology of the Mahantango Valley Steve Troutman Natural History
30 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History