Dreyer’s English

Every so often there comes a book that you just can’t put down. You find yourself laughing and learning and very soon sharing with your spouse or friends. Often such a book is on a subject that you love. Rarely is it on a subject you abhor – like punctuation and grammar.
Yes, I admit, I am a book publisher who did better in math than English on the SATs. While my high school writing teacher (and baseball coach) enjoyed my work and had me read it to the class, I was never a lover of the subject. Mr. Haag, whom we nicknamed “The Tin Man” for his lack of a pumping muscle inside his ribcage, made 9th grade English a chore. Admittedly, I did receive A’s in his class, but they were brutal to achieve. Suffice to say, despite my advanced degree in business, mastery of the written word was not envisioned in my future. When I was running a software consulting firm in the ’90s I never imagined I’d be running a book publishing company two decades later, let alone enjoying editing other people’s work, let alone writing my own.
Alas, a good friend told me about this little book by the head of copy editing at Random House — Benjamin Dreyer — entitled Dreyer’s English. In my opinion, it is an instant classic. It is both humorous and educational. It is a book in which the footnotes are just as interesting and funny as the main text, similar to the subscripts at the beginning of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. No, a moose did not bite Benjamin’s sister. But you do get a silly anecdote about a time an author left out an absolutely necessary serial comma and another about the “actual” difference between grey and gray. One reviewer described it as “pithy.” I humbly agree. It is pithy as pithy can be.
I highly recommend this book to our authors and employees alike — as well to my adult children, coworkers, and clients. This is a writing guide that educates and entertains. If only Haag had been like Dreyer, God rest his soul (Haag’s).

Double, double, boil and …

As of this writing, we are about to hold our third imprint meeting. The first two, with Hellbender Books and Ars Metaphysica authors went very well. There was a lot of positive energy on the calls and the exchange of ideas was more than one-way. At Hellbender, it was decided to produce a compilation of short stories by our authors. There was also collaboration regarding our BookSpeak Network podcast programming. Likewise, at Ars Metaphysica, there was a lot of sharing regarding media opportunities. So far, so good. Next up is Brown Posey Press later this month. Milford House Press and Sunbury Press will follow and then we’ll start the cycle again. Our regular interaction should help build and grow our opportunities.
In the meantime, we have embarked on our most aggressive growth effort to date. Too many of you have been waiting too long to get started while we’ve been shifting our mix. Recently, we realized we have among the 1000+ manuscript proposals per year at least another 100+ quality opportunities. In order to move faster and do more, we have split our process onto two primary tracks — nonfiction and fiction. Over the last 12 months, we published 118 titles. Over the next 12 months, we expect to produce over 200.
How, you ask? We have brought in publishing veteran Chris Fenwick to jumpstart our fiction backlog and new fiction acquisitions. Chris is a publishing polymath who can quickly move books through the process — a process she helped start during the early days of Sunbury Press when she brought us our first fiction manuscript that jumped to #1 in visionary fiction. She has experience at other publishers and has a keen eye for quality and efficiency.
Many of you may have noticed movement on your manuscripts in the last month. Chris has been picking up a bunch as has Jen’s team. You may also be so lucky to have me working with you. It is all hands on deck at this time as we catch up the backlog and attend to the new in a more agile fashion.
Captain Hooter’s “Connoisseur’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for February

Captain Hooter’s “Connoisseur’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for February

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for February 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 11 Captain Hooter’s Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops Captain Hooter Travel
2 2 Dead Center Jason Altmire Politics
3 5 Illegal Among Us Marktine Kalaw Immigration Memoir
4 1 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
5 4 The Marines’ Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422 Mark Carlson Aviation History
6 8 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
7 7 Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety Mike Hawley True Crime
8 Embattled Freedom Jim Remsen History
9 Prohibition’s Prince Guy Graybill Biography
10 10 The 1932 Yankees Ronald Mayer Baseball
11 27 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
12 NEW Keeping the Lights on For Ike Rebecca Daniels History
13 3 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks History
14 9 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
15 14 The Most Hated Man in America: Jerry Sandusky and the Rush to Judgment Mark Pendergrast Legal History
16 16 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
17 12 The Ripper’s Haunts Mike Hawley True Crime
18 18 Graves of Our Founders volume 1 Knorr, Farrell, and Farley Biography
19 22 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History
20 A Short Season Gronsky & Bohner Biography
21 13 Pennsylvania Oddities Marlin Bressi History
22 Fireproof Moth Milo Thornberry History
23 Fifty Years in a Foxhole Charles Kniffen Military Memoir
24 23 Dreams of My Comrades Scott Zuckerman Military Memoir
25 29 Bows, Bullets, & Bears John L Moore History
26 Seinsoth Steven Wagner Biography
27 Forts, Forests, and Flintlocks John L Moore History
28 21 Chasing Understanding in the Jungles of Vietnam Doug Beed Military Memoir
29 Look, I Shrunk Grandma Karen Severson Medical
30 20 Hear the Whistle Blowing John Lindermuth History
Sherry Knowlton’s “Dead of Winter” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for February

Sherry Knowlton’s “Dead of Winter” tops Milford House Press bestsellers for February

MILFORD HOUSE PRESS  – Bestsellers for February 2019  (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 NEW Dead of Winter Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
2 Dead of Autumn Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
3 6 Moon Games Shelly Frome Detective Thriller
4 13 Dead of Spring Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
5 Dead of Summer Sherry Knowlton Murder Mystery
6 18 The Wolf of Britannia part 2 Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
7 The Broken Lance Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
8 The Peackeeper Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
9 Murder in Tuxedo Park William Lemanski Murder Mystery
10 8 Emeralds of the Alhambra John Cressler Historical
11 5 Winter of the Metal People Dennis Herrick Historical
12 9 Where Elephants Fought Bridget Smith Historical
13 NEW The Vatican’s Vault Barry Libin International Thriller
14 19 The Wolf of Britannia part 1 Jess Stephen Hughes Historical
15 7 As the Raven Flies Job Leach Crime Thriller
Keath Rommel takes the top spot at Hellbender Books / Verboten Books for February with “The Devil Tree II: The Calling”

Keath Rommel takes the top spot at Hellbender Books / Verboten Books for February with “The Devil Tree II: The Calling”

HELLBENDER & VERBOTEN BOOKS  – Bestsellers for February 2019  (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 The Devil Tree II: The Calling Keith Rommel Supernatural Thriller
2 NEW Rated Z: Roadkill Jesus Brahm Stroker Horror Satire
3 5 Among the People Keith Rommel Supernatural Thriller
4 1 The Keeper of the Crows Kyle Alexander Romines Supernatural Thriller
5 2 The Cursed Man Keith Rommel Psychological Thriller
6 Rated Z: Money Shot Brahm Stroker Horror Satire
7 3 Dark Entry John Kachuba Supernatural Thriller
8 Seeking Samiel Catherine Jordan Supernatural Thriller
9 The Ripper’s Hellbroth Michael Hawley Supernatural Thriller
10 Thirteen Deadly Endings Thomas Malafarina Horror
Karim el Koussa’s “Jesus the Phoenician” is the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for February

Karim el Koussa’s “Jesus the Phoenician” is the Ars Metaphysica bestseller for February

ARS METAPHYSICA  – Bestsellers for February 2019  (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 1 Jesus the Phoenician Karim el Koussa Religious History
2 4 The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Orange Orbs Terry Ray Paranormal
3 10 Messages from Beyond Michele Livingston Metaphysical
5 5 The ABCs of Narcissism Michelle Hoffer Relationships
6 2 The Phoenician Code Karim el Koussa Metaphysical Fiction
7 3 Living in the Afterlife Michele Livingston Metaphysical
4 One Way: The Oracle Robin McClellan Metaphysical Fiction
8 Pythagoras Karim el Koussa Metaphysical Fiction
9 Inspirational Creatures Michele Livingston Metaphysical
10 6 Der Lange Verborgene Freund John George Hohman Folk Magic
Tory Gates’s “Searching for Roy Buchanan” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for February

Tory Gates’s “Searching for Roy Buchanan” is the Brown Posey Press bestseller for February

BROWN POSEY PRESS  – Bestsellers for February 2019  (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 Searching for Roy Buchanan Tory Gates YA Literary Fiction
2 2 Whispers in the Alders H A Callum Literary Fiction
3 3 The Heatstroke Line Edward Rubin Climate Fiction
4 Quotes from the Underground William Martin Reference
5 Pass the Pierogies Mike Breslin Ethnic Memoir
Matt Anderson’s “Pink Flamingos All Around” is the Speckled Egg Press bestseller for February

Matt Anderson’s “Pink Flamingos All Around” is the Speckled Egg Press bestseller for February

SPECKLED EGG PRESS  – Bestsellers for February 2019  (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
4 1 Pink Flamingos All Around Matt Anderson Juvenile Animals
5 2 The Mouse with the Broken Tail Dan Shutters Juvenile Christian
1 Dinorific Poetry Volume 1 Mike Sgrignoli Juvenile Animals
2 Dinorific Poetry Volume 2 Mike Sgrignoli Juvenile Animals
3 Dinorific Poetry Volume 3 Mike Sgrignoli Juvenile Animals