TV shows and awards

This past month brought even more good news for the Press. Karim El Koussa has been with us since 2010 when we published his historical novel Pythagoras the Mathemagician–he’s been with us as long as Thomas Malafarina and Keith Rommel. We have published his retelling of the history of Jesus based on Phoenician records and artifacts in his native Lebanon. This book, Jesus the Phoenician, has been one of our bestsellers of all-time. It is our most exported book. We were also very fortunate that Karim sent us his novel The Phoenician Code, an action-adventure that delves into many of the mysteries discussed in his nonfiction book about Jesus.
Karim hails from Lebanon — the country — not the town in Pennsylvania. He has visited us on two occasions, even presenting at our bookstore when it opened at 50 West Main in Mechanicsburg. While the bookstore is no more, Karim has endured. Now, we hear The Phoenician Code has been picked up by Northern Star Pictures to be a five-season TV show in the US and worldwide. Nick Tarabay, a Lebanese-American actor, will play the lead. He is best known for his role in Spartacuson Starz. He also appeared in Sex and the City, The Sopranos, and numerous other television and movie roles. This will be a fun ride for Karim. The book was published seven years ago, but it will only now be gaining prominence. I am sure it will continue to be a bestseller at Ars Metaphysica for some time to come.
Kristen Cunnane is the author of Undoing Jane Doe, the gripping story of her escape from sexual abuse as a teen by a teacher and then a coach. Subsequently, she helped put her perpetrators behind bars. Her book has been one of our better sellers since its release in early April. Late last month Kristen was on the Dr. Oz show where her book was featured. The show was taped and has yet to air. We will let you know when it does.
Also this month we got word that our book A Short Season, about the incredible life and faith of a boy with progeria who loved baseball and inspired others, has been awarded the top prize in the Family category of the Christian Independent Book Awards. Authors Jake Gronsky and G. David Bohner were thrilled to hear the news. It helped to remove some of the sting of losing Josiah Viera who was David’s grandson. Josiah passed away late last year, but always provided those around him with a positive outlook on life despite his near-hopeless predicament. Josiah will be missed, but the book about him will now be read by many more. May his story never be forgotten.

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.