Sunbury Press Bestsellers: The Bestselling Print Books of August 2020

Sunbury Press Bestsellers: The Bestselling Print Books of August 2020

August 2020 has come and gone. And you know what that means? It's time to celebrate our bestsellers!

We have published over 700 books. Not bad, right? Going strong since 2004, we have always prided ourselves in our ability to find, publish, and promote the highest-quality books we can find. Since it's easy to get lost in the workflow, we like to step back at the end of every month to celebrate just how many readers were able to find our books during a 30-day period.

And August 2020 did NOT let us down. Both new books and older books reached the top five in their categories. Before we get into the top 100 books sold, check out these superstars who reached the top five print books in both fiction and nonfiction.


August 2020 Bestsellers for Sunbury Press, nonfiction paperback

Congratulations to our top five bestselling print books in nonfiction!

  1. Why vs. What: One Man's Spiritual Journey Through Tragedy by Embracing God's Planby Ron Reitz
  2. The Chubbs: A Free Black Family's Journey from the Antebellum Era to the Mid-1900s by Dr. Clemmie Whatley
  3. Still Left Out in America: The State of Homelessness in the United States by Pat Lamarche
  4. Dead Letters: Delivering Unopened Mail in a Pennsylvania Ghost Town by Jessica Weible
  5. Last Ride of the Iron Horse: by Dan Joseph


Sunbury Press Bestsellers fiction august 2020 paperback

Congratulations to our top five bestselling print books in fiction!

  1. My Christmas Attic by Dennis M. Clausen
  2. Lost in the Cogan by R.E. Miller
  3. Magic Diary by Pat LaMarche
  4. Hope and Glory (Planet Jesus Trilogy, Book Three) by Douglas Brode & Shaun L. Brode
  5. Body and Soul (Planet Jesus Trilogy, Book Two) by Douglas Brode & Shaun L. Brode

Top 100 Bestselling Print Books from Sunbury Press in August 2020

# - Author - Title (Imprint)

1. Ron Reitz -- Why vs. What (Sunbury Press)
2. Northern Appalachia Review Volume 1 (Catamount Press)
3. Clemmie Whatley -- The Chubbs (Oxford Southern)
4. Pat LaMarche -- Still Left Out in America (Oxford Southern)
5. Jessica Weible -- Dead Letters (Sunbury Press)
6. Dan Joseph – Last Ride of the Iron Horse (Sunbury Press)
7. Victor Hart -- Crossing with the Clarks (Sunbury Press)
8. Dennis Clausen – My Christmas Attic (Milford House Press)
9. Robert Miller -- Lost in the Cogan (Milford House Press)
10. Jason Altmire – Dead Center – (Sunbury Press)
11. Knorr, et al -- After the Pandemic (Sunbury Press)
12. Michele Livingston – Living in the Afterlife (Ars Metaphysica)
13. Sheldon Munn – Freemasons at Gettysburg (Sunbury Press)
14. Mike Campbell – Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last (2 ed) (Sunbury Press)
15. Farrell, Farley, & Knorr – Pennsylvania Patriots (Sunbury Press)
16. Knorr & Whatley – The Segregated Georgia School for the Deaf (Sunbury Press)
17. Helga Rist -- The Blood Letter (Sunbury Press)
18. Anna-Karin Björklund -- Dream and Believe: The Celestial Art of Cr... (Ars Metaphysica)
19. Pat LaMarche – Magic Diary (Milford House Press)
20. Douglas Brode -- Planet Jesus Trilogy: Book Three: Hope & Glory (Ars Metaphysica)
21. Sue McGovern – Raising Monarchs (Sunbury Press)
22. Michael Hawley – Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety (Sunbury Press)
23. Doug Brode – Planet Jesus v1: Flesh & Blood (Ars Metaphysica)
24. George Donehoo – Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania (Sunbury Press)
25. Jeff Pappas -- Ponies West (Sunbury Press)
26. Oxana Lapchuk – The Journalist (Sunbury Press)
27. Gratz Historical Society – History of Lykens Township Volume 2 (Sunbury Press)
28. Lawrence Knorr – Gettysburg Eddie (Sunbury Press)
29. Joe Regenbogen – The Boys of Brookdale (Sunbury Press)
30. Karim El Koussa – Jesus the Phoenician (Ars Metaphysica)
31. James Dohren -- Windy City Stories (Sunbury Press)
32. Michael Hawley – The Ripper's Haunts (Sunbury Press)
33. Gerri Almand – The Reluctant RV Wife (Brown Posey Press)
34. Barbara Mancini -- Cruel Death, Heartless Aftermath (Sunbury Press)
35. Ronald Mayer – The 1932 New York Yankees (Sunbury Press)
36. William Marcum – The Foreman's Boys (Sunbury Press)
37. Linda Schwab -- Displaced (Sunbury Press)
38. Captain Hooter – Captain Hooter's Connoisseur's Guide to Amsterdam...(Sunbury Press)
39. Marlin Bressi -- Pennsylvania Oddities vol 2 (Sunbury Press)
40. Doug Brode – Planet Jesus v2: Body and Soul (Ars Metaphysica)
41. Arthur Hoyle -- Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits (Sunbury Press)
42. Pamela Bakker -- McDowell's Mill Fort in Markes, Pennsylvania, 175...(Sunbury Press)
43. Cheryl Brooks – Chicken Bone Beach (Sunbury Press)
44. John L Moore -- Murder at Killbuck Island (Sunbury Press)
45. Arthur Graeff – Conrad Weiser: Pennsylvania Peacemaker (Distelfink Press)
46. Kyle Romines -- The Whispers of the Crows (Hellbender Books)
47. John L Moore -- Against the Ice (Sunbury Press)
48. Jon Hochschartner – Ingrid Newkirk: A Biography of PETA's Founder (Sunbury Press)
49. Farrell & Farley -- Keystone Tombstones Volume 2 (Sunbury Press)
50. Wynne Kinder -- Mindful Moods, 2nd Edition: A Mindful, Social Emot...(Oxford Southern)
51. Farrell & Farley -- Keystone Tombstones Volume 3 (Sunbury Press)
52. Mark Singel – The Life and Loves of Thaddeus Stevens (Sunbury Press)
53. John L Moore – 1780: Year of Revenge (Sunbury Press)
54. Gronsky & Bohner – A Short Season (Sunbury Press)
55. Heather Paterno – H is for Hershey (Speckled Egg Press)
56. Terry Ray – The Complete Story of the Worldwide Invasion of the Or... (Ars Metaphysica)
57. Farrell & Farley – Keystone Tombstones Gettysburg (Sunbury Press)
58. Farrell & Farley -- Keystone Tombstones Volume 1 (2 ed) (Sunbury Press)
59. John Hochschartner -- Puppy Killer, Leave Town (Sunbury Press)
60. Jeffrey Geiger – German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, California (Sunbury Press)
61. Mark Mitten – Breck's Quandary (Milford House Press)
62. Anthony Julian -- Vintage Photographs of Pit Bulls (Sunbury Press)
63. Joe Harvey -- Summer Changes Everything (Milford House Press)
64. Cynthia & William Royce -- The Road to Villa Page (Sunbury Press)
65. John L Moore – Warriors, Wampum, and Wolves (Sunbury Press)
66. Scott Zuckerman – Dreams of My Comrades (Sunbury Press)
67. John Lindermuth – Digging Dusky Diamonds (Sunbury Press)
68. Michelle Hoffer – The ABCs of Narcissism (Ars Metaphysica)
69. Joe Fair – Call Sign Dracula (Sunbury Press)
70. Wynne Kinder -- Mindful Choices (Oxford Southern)
71. Mark Carlson – The Marines' Lost Squadron: The Odyssey of VMF-422 (Sunbury Press)
72. Sherry Knowlton – Dead of Autumn (Milford House Press)
73. Marlin Bressi – Pennsylvania Oddities (Sunbury Press)
74. Diane McCormick – Well-Behaved Taverns Seldom Make History (Sunbury Press)
75. Guy Graybill – Prohibition's Prince (Sunbury Press)
76. Benjamin Myers – American Citizen (Sunbury Press)
77. Edward Hocker -- The Fighting Parson of the American Revolution (Sunbury Press)
78. John L Moore – Tories, Terror, and Tea (Sunbury Press)
79. Barbara Workinger – Plain & Deadly (Milford House Press)
80. Joan West – Things Strangled (Milford House Press)
81. Farrell & Farley – Keystone Tombstones Civil War (Sunbury Press)
82. Farrell, Farley, and Knorr -- Keystone Tombstones Volume 4 (Sunbury Press)
83. Brad Bumsted – Keystone Corruption Continues (Sunbury Press)
84. Donald Dewey -- Franchisement (Milford House Press)
85. Jason Altmire – Dead Center (Sunbury Press)
86. Karim El Koussa – Jesus the Phoenician (Ars Metaphysica)
87. Sherry Knowlton – Dead of Spring (Milford House Press)
88. Jeffrey Geiger -- German Prisoners of War at Camp Cooke, Californi... (Sunbury Press)
89. Darla Henry – The 3-5-7 Model: A Practice Approach to Permanency (Sunbury Press)
90. Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks -- Golden Beauty Boss (Sunbury Press)
91. John L Moore – Scorched Earth: General Sullivan and the Senecas (Sunbury Press)
92. William Cook – Collision Course (Sunbury Press)
93. William Lemanski – Lost in the Shadow of Fame (2 ed) (Sunbury Press)
94. Keith Rommel – The Devil Tree (Sunbury Press)
95. Kelly Park -- Just Like Me (Sunbury Press)
96. Wendy Webb -- The Eye of the Gargoyle (Milford House Press)
97. Joe Harvey -- If We’re Really Quiet, It Won’t Find Us (Milford House Press)
98. Joe Farley – Trumpet Call to Victory (Sunbury Press)
99. J G Hohman – Der Lange Verborgene Freund: The Original German Vers...(Distelfink Press)
100. Dennis Clausen – The Sins of Rachel Sims (Milford House Press)

Thank you for checking out our Sunbury Press bestselling print books from August 2020! If you liked what you read, please check out our recent blog post "Sunbury Press Authors Discuss Their Favorite Bookstores in the US," or purchase some bestsellers from our virtual bookstore.

Sunbury Authors Discuss Their Favorite Bookstores in the US

Sunbury Authors Discuss Their Favorite Bookstores in the US

“What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.” – Neil Gaiman, American Gods

If you know anything about Sunbury Press, you know we’re bookstore super fans. These community spaces offer neighborhoods the opportunity to browse, to learn, to discover, and to come together. Many of them provide author events and writing workshops—both physical and digital—and they have dedicated staff members who love the books they surround themselves with. If you go into an indie bookshop with no idea what to buy, all you’d have to do is step up to the counter, ask them for some guidance, and you’ll be stepping out of that place with just the awesomeness you were looking for.

And because of the pandemic, these bookstores haven’t exactly had the opportunity to thrive. In order to do our part in helping bookstores in the US continue their amazing and invaluable work to our communities, we gathered together eight Sunbury Press authors so that they could tell us which bookshops are the most special to them.

To help you support these shops, we’ve also included links so that you can purchase a book directly from them or through the new platform So, let's get to it!

Without further ado, here are some of Sunbury Press authors’ favorite bookstores in the US!


Harriett's Bookshop - Philadelphia, PA

This is a photo from Independent Book Review for Harriet's Bookshop in Philadelphia, PA
Photo Credit: Independent Book Review

Written by Cheryl Woodruff-Brooks, author of Golden Beauty Boss and Chicken Bone Beach

Around one month prior to COVID-19’s quarantine, Jeanine A. Cook opened Harriett’s Bookshop in Fishtown, Pennsylvania, specializing in women authors, especially black women. In addition to being a browsable bookstore, Harriett’s acts a community space for people to come together and discuss ideas in a positive way. When I was there, one large bookshelf housed titles by Zadie Smith, Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Zora Neale Hurston, Lorene Carey, and Erica A. Dunbar. Next to it, a stream of incense smoke lifted into the air. Near an adjacent wall, a majesty palm sat beside a green sofa.

Smaller shelves and fixtures throughout the shop showcase even more books, and a painted portrait of activist Angela Davis was featured among the citrus-scented candle and the sounds of music by Nina Simone.  The ambiance make you want to stay there and read. A truly peaceful and powerful setting.

Purchase books from Harriett's Bookshop

The Book Loft - Columbus, Ohio

photo of the book loft Columbus
Photo credit:

Written by Jerry Roth, author of Bottom Feeders

Instant gratification! That’s what we love, and that’s what we now hold in high esteem. But when you talk about a bookstore, things melt into something more substantial—something we lost as humans. And The Book Loft in the heart of German Village is one of those rare destinations that transcends a storefront or bookshop.

Legend says that The Book Loft, with its 32 rooms that combine into an intricate maze, was once the site of a horrific event that summoned the Skeleton Lord” Malamarkus. He is ever watching the patrons from a pit under the independent bookstore—guiding the purchases of the customers spiritually—using his dark control to shape the inhabitants and tourists alike with every selection. As a horror author, I’m not sure anything could be more exciting to me.

The reality: This business was rumored to have its start as a saloon a hundred years ago—an old Kroger grocery store—a doll hospital, and possibly a church—adding to its rich history. Now, they pack this amazing bookstore full of unique books that you just can’t get anywhere in the city and maybe the world. Within the 32 rooms, cut creatively throughout the building, patrons enjoy the thrill of the hunt that rises (in my opinion) above so many other independent bookstores. If German Village is the gem of Ohio, then The Book Loft is the jewel within the gem. Still carrying an independent spirit inside its walls, you cannot visit Central Ohio without making a stop at this historic landmark. And If you make the trip, be sure to say hello to Malamarkus for me!

Purchase books from The Book Loft

Pretty Good Books - LaGrange, Georgia

This is a photo of Pretty Good Books in LaGrange Georgia in our blog post about favorite bookstores in us
Photo Credit: Sharon Marchisello

Written by Sharon Marchisello, author of Going Home and Secrets of the Galapagos

Georgia authors are excited about Pretty Good Books, a new independent bookstore in LaGrange. It's located in a stand-alone structure surrounded by plenty of free-parking, and there's enough space inside to hold author events while respecting social distancing guidelines. The store carries the latest bestsellers and genre fiction, children's books, rare books, used books, and there's even a prominent shelf dedicated to local authors.

Booklovers Joshua Rigsby and his wife sold books online for years and later moved to a shelf at a consignment shop. They had a hard time keeping up with demand there, so in December 2019, they fulfilled their dream of opening their own brick-and-mortar bookstore. Then the pandemic hit. The store reopened in May, and I was honored to participate in their first in-person author event in June.

Customers who are uncomfortable coming into the store can order directly from publishers through Bookshop (link below). The bookstore can still make recommendations and receive a portion of the sales. When I reached out to the owners about this blog post, Josh relayed just how much he loves chatting with readers and helping them discover their new favorite authors. "Book people just tend to be good people," he said. "Interacting with our patrons gives me hope for the human race."

Purchase books from Pretty Good Books

Rainy Day Books - Kansas City, KS

This is a photo of the founders and shop of Rainy Day Books in Kansas City
Photo Credit:

Written by Virginia Brackett, author of In the Company of Patriots

As its name suggests, Rainy Day Books offers shelter to Kansas City, Kansas and Missouri-area readers through the comfort of great books and excellent service during good times and bad. Since its doors opened in 1975, RDB owners Vivien Jennings with her partner Roger Doeren have engaged and supported their community far beyond the activity of book selling.

In addition to providing full bookstore services, Rainy Day offers personal recommendations to customers, sells all-occasion greeting cards, and offers many author readings throughout the year. Its owners specialize in community awareness, devoting their efforts to provide a “Legacy of Literacy.” They support a focus on the arts through books, but also act to promote community arts activities.

An example was their inviting local teen poets on stage to accompany Caroline Kennedy’s promotion of a love of poetry through her own favorite collection of poems. Their sense of the importance of reading to the community has never been more present than during the period of Covid-19, when the store has remained devoted to connecting books and readers.

Purchase books from Rainy Day Books

Diesel, a Bookstore - Los Angeles, California

Diesel Bookstore images in Los Angeles
Photo Credit: CBS Los Angeles

Written by Arthur Hoyle, author of Mavericks, Mystics & Misfits

“Diesel, a Bookstore,” located in the Brentwood Country Mart on the westside of Los Angeles since 1989 is my favorite hangout for book browsing. It’s a classic indie bookstore, with a thoughtful selection of titles across all genres, a knowledgeable, literate staff eager to guide you to a good read, and a robust events program that serves up both national figures like Erica Jong and David Sedaris, and local authors like myself. I gave a talk and reading there when my first book, The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur, was published six years ago.

What I especially like about Diesel is that it feels deeply embedded in the community around it, a hub for both socializing and growth through reading. Partly this is because Diesel is housed a popular local landmark, the Country Mart, where you can also shop for clothes and household accessories, get a haircut, or grab a bite to eat while mingling with the locals. And partly this is because the staff knows the tastes of its customers and stocks the books that appeal to them. They also host the First Tuesday Book Club. I can’t wait until the pandemic subsides enough to let them reopen. Meantime, check out their virtual events online.

Purchase Books from Diesel, a Bookstore

City Lights Bookstore - San Francisco, CA

City Lights is open
Photo Credit:

Written by Gerri Almand, author of The Reluctant RV Wife

Remember those radicals from the Beat Generation of the 1950s, folks like Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others? The City Lights Bookstore, established in 1953, became one of the meccas for these writers, poets, and artists to gather and share ideas. In June, 2019, I paid homage to this North Beach shrine during a trip to San Francisco, California.

I wandered through the tight, overstuffed bookshelves, not sure where to look first. It felt like sacred ground. I couldn’t believe I was treading on the same planked floors where those hipster beatniks had walked. The bookstore’s unwavering commitment to freedom of expression, no matter how revolutionary and nonmainstream, warmed my liberal soul. I wish City Lights was my neighborhood bookstore. However, as a fulltime RVer, I have no bookstore to call my own. If my husband and I ever settle down, perhaps we’ll live in North Beach. Then, City Lights could truly become my neighborhood haunt.

Purchase Books from City Lights

The Firefly Bookstore - Kutztown, PA

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

Written by Thomas M. Malafarina, author of 15+ horror books

The Firefly bookstore, located at 271 West Main Street in Kutztown, PA is a great place for books and games. It is an independently-owned and operated new and used bookstore with almost 3,000 square feet of space for over 65,000 items. They also offer free gift wrapping, customer requests, and special orders. They have regular events all year long, including author signings and book releases.

It’s a wonderful place to browse, trade or sell books (for store credit) and just enjoy the pleasure of reading. They just reopened in June after COVID lockdown and are ready to serve all your book buying needs. Firefly is a breath of fresh air in the tradition of independent bookstores before it. They’ve been in business in Kutztown since 2012 and moved to a new bigger store in 2017.

Purchase Books from Firefly Bookstore

Winding Way Books - Lancaster, PA

Photo Credit: Lancaster Online
Photo Credit: Lancaster Online

Written by Job Tyler Leach, author of As the Raven Flies

Winding Way Books is an independently-owned bookstore in the heart of Lancaster City on West Chestnut Street, just off of Prince Street. If you follow the shop on social media, you get straightforward updates on what new books are available with photos of the new inventory shot in the store. The shop boasts a wide variety of genres in both fiction and non-fiction, and often features curated selections and hard-to-find niche books. My personal favorites include the rare Charles Bukowski books frequently offered. The arrangement of the shop is simple and organized with efficient use of the space for easy browsing –exactly what I prefer in a good bookstore.

The shop is close to a number of great eating and drinking establishments. For breakfast or brunch, the Prince Street Café is an excellent option. If you’re looking to grab a pint, check out The Taproom. It’s already an awesome area to spend the day, and Winding Way Books makes it particularly attractive if you’re a booklover!

Purchase Books from Winding Way Books

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The Rise and Fall of eBooks – What’s Next For 21st Century Publishing?

by Emma Crosby

2012-12-11_ebookThere’s no denying the power of a good book, whether it’s in traditional print or digital format, and new tales are constantly being woven that continue to make the move to the big and little screens. However, the initial boom of eBooks looks to be coming to an end, with eBook sales taking a severe hit in recent years. This has caused some large print retailers, such as Waterstones in the UK, to claim that the print form is set to make a comeback. Whether the digital marketplace really is dead for books could be more complicated than it seems, and there are a number of reasons that could account for the lull in popularity over the last few years. The fact is that the written word is becoming increasingly digital, whether it appears in the form of creative literary works or marketing material, with ever increasing access to mobile internet and portable digital devices, we are all far more likely to be reading from digital sources. It could be the latest book in the Game of Thrones series, or some content produced by web copywriting agencies, and it perhaps this ongoing reliance and preference for the digital format that makes the drop in eBook sales so puzzling.


eBook Facts and Trends

nookbutton3In order to put things in perspective, it’s perhaps important to remember that eBooks have been through a bad patch before. Since their initial appearance in the late 1990s, eBooks were initially slow to be accepted. While a few big name authors, such as Stephen King, were quick to embrace the new format, technology limitations at the time made reading an eBook a generally unpleasant experience, with many of the early devices developed exclusively for eBooks causing eye strain and headaches as a result of bright screens and poor letter visibility. However, as the technology became better, the demand increased. The release of the first Amazon Kindles met with great success, and spurned on a huge growth in eBook sales. Understandably, a number of publishers were quick to get involved as well, leading to eBooks being distributed by a number of major publishing houses and book retailers. Furthermore, the Apple iPad, and accompanying tablets that hit the market, helped to increase the popularity and convenience of eBooks even more.


Two Sides of the Coin

kindle-img.1While there is concern over the recent plummet in sales figures, it’s not necessarily all bad news. To begin with, many thought that the previous triple figure growth was not sustainable, and bound to come to an end sooner or later. Additionally, many in the sector see the slow down as a good sign, or at the very least a mixed blessing to some extent. The slow down in eBooks sales has for example, also slowed down the decline of print sales, which is good news for both traditional book shops and publishers heavily invested in print. Additionally, a large proportion of the growth last year is thought to be down to big blockbuster books, such as Fifty Shades of Grey, and The Hunger Games. There were no titles that claimed this level of popularity in the intervening time period. Secondly, while tablet sales have been going through the roof, research has shown that tablet users are much less likely to buy eBooks than those that purchase dedicated eBook readers, such as the Kindle. Analysts also point to the fact that everyone in the industry is likely to be much happier with a more stable, cross format marketplace in the future, and that eBook sales are likely to remain much lower than before for a few more years. That said, it certainly looks like the eBook isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, and will simply be another possible choice for the reader. Finally, the fact that just over 30% of all eBook revenue was generated by indie and self publishing authors is a sign that the eBook will certainly continue to be a favourite platform for writers to showcase and sell their work. Overall then, while the sudden drop in sales may be a shock, it doesn’t necessarily translate into bad news for the eBook, or the book world in general. In fact, we are likely to see not only a return to print in the future, but a much more stable marketplace in general, while eBooks continue to be a great platform for up and coming writers.