“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.

Focus on imprints

One of the most important changes we implemented in the last two years was the introduction of additional imprints (beyond Sunbury Press) to address the variety of categories. This came about for several reasons:
1) Some authors of serious (academic) history books were complaining they were on the same label as children’s books. This would be an issue when peer-reviewed.
2) Nasty scary horror thrillers were branded with a positive upbeat rising (yep — not setting) sun.
3) Customers were confused about fiction books actually being nonfiction due to the Sunbury Press label.
It was clear that Sunbury Press as a brand had become associated with history and biography — especially about Pennsylvania. We felt our other categories were likely suffering due to the lack of identity.
We are committed to continuing to publish in a variety of categories and created a number of imprints to address this. We have been publishing new titles under these imprints since then and have been refurbishing our back list as we are able. This will continue over the next couple years until all of our active titles are properly branded.
Now, while that is going on, we need to bring more attention to these brands and categories. To that end, I am suggesting we start quarterly brand meetings involving the authors under that label and the marketing staff. The goal will be to come up with brand-specific activities, opportunities, or collaborations that we can work together on.
For instance,
1) Imprint-specific contests
2) Imprint-specific conferences or conventions
3) Group advertising / marketing opportunities
4) Reviewing each other’s books
5) Imprint-specific show(s) on the BookSpeak Network
… and many more.
As a reminder, here are our imprints. Become familiar with which imprint your book(s) are published under. Some of you deal with multiple imprints.
Ars Metaphysica — paranormal, psychic, metaphysical, spirituality, Eastern philosophy F & NF
Brown Posey Press — literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, politically left F & NF
Catamount Press — this is our new imprint for the Northern Appalachian region F & NF — more on this in upcoming newsletters (it has not launched yet)
Hellbender Books — horror / thriller / fantasy F only
Milford House Press — mystery/detective police procedural comedies romance YA this is our main Fiction imprint
Speckled Egg Press — currently coming out of hibernation — children’s F & NF
Verboten Books — edgy humor — rated R+ F only
Sunbury Press — our primary NF imprint — history / biography / memoir / religion / science / economics / politics non-partisan
Schedule:
Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct – Sunbury Press / Hellbender (& Verboten) Books
Feb/May/Aug/Nov – Ars Metaphysica / Milford House Press
Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec – Brown Posey Press / Speckled Egg
Look for invites coming your way soon! These will be conference calls.
Beth Lancione’s “Solomon Screen Owl’s First Flight” is the Speckled Egg Press bestseller for November

Beth Lancione’s “Solomon Screen Owl’s First Flight” is the Speckled Egg Press bestseller for November

SPECKLED EGG PRESS – Bestsellers for November 2018 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 2 Solomon Screech Owl’s First Flight Beth Lancione Juvenile Adventure
2 3 The Magic Is in You Carole LaPlante Juvenile Adventure
3 1 Pink Flamingos All Around Matt Anderson Juvenile Animals
4 4 The Mouse with the Broken Tail Dan Shutters Juvenile Christian
5 5 Colors in the Garden the Creator Made Wendy Latty Juvenile Christian

Announcing our new imprints …

I’ve made a career of implementing change in the IT world. For years, I’ve been the guy who comes in and leads large implementations to transform organizations. I’ve been the guy a lot of people groan about because I have been a harbinger of change — often difficult. Ideally, these changes work out and organizations become more efficient. I suppose I would not have survived for 35 years in IT if that were not the case.
Then comes Sunbury Press. While I am the owner, I was dreading changing anything. Everything seemed to be working well enough. Why should I disrupt what we are doing? Maybe it will screw things up!  Maybe I should just ride it out a little longer … funny how I, too, am nervous about change over my own domain — not so much when it is someone else’s!
After a lot of thought, and listening to advice from many quarters, including reviewing what other publishers in the industry have done, I have decided to go ahead and launch our new line of imprints. These will serve to better target our reader communities and hopefully develop loyalty in more of our offerings.
This decision was not easy.  We are not a large publisher from a financial perspective, and creating five additional brands could be cumbersome.  But, it is also necessary to achieve the level of success we are collectively seeking.
First, before I unveil them, know that we are still Sunbury Press, Inc. The corporate name is not changing. We are only changing the imprint or brand under which we register our books for sale. This means, depending on your category, your books will begin to have this new targeted branding. Nothing changes regarding our contracts, or from a legal perspective with the book trade.
So, here we go:
Sunbury Press — remains as our primary nonfiction imprint. Our history, self-help, science, political, biography/memoir titles will continue to be published under our traditional brand. This makes a lot of sense since it has been very successful with these categories. In fact, many bookstore buyers think of Sunbury Press as a history-oriented press.
Milford House Press — is our new general fiction line, including mysteries, historical, sports, westerns, and young adult titles. Several years ago, I was on my way to Boston and stayed over in Milford. There was a lovely classic revival mansion in the town which had been converted to the library. At the time, I thought of Milford House Press as a potential brand and had the logo in my head until just the other week, when I designed it. Some of you are already holding books with this new logo.
Hellbender Books — is our new imprint for our horror, thriller, fantasy, and science fiction titles. It has been clear for some time that segmenting these titles into a more appropriate brand would eliminate confusion. Usually, in my experience, a rising sun, as in the Sunbury Press logo, is the bane of the nasty things that dwell in the night. So, why would we want such a positive enlightened logo on our more disturbing material? I know Tom Malafarina and Keith Rommel are happier now. Hellbender came from the large salamanders found in streams in the northeast. While not creepy themselves, the name was cool. And, the logo has kind of a horned “H” thing going on. Anyway, I think it works.
Brown Posey Press — is our new imprint for our literary fiction, creative nonfiction, and arts-oriented titles. For these books, we wanted a more boutique feel — something more niche sounding. Tammi and I were watching a movie some time ago, and the actor mentioned brown posies. I actually reserved the URL that evening and have held it for quite awhile. Now it’s being put to use.  The logo includes a wood carving from the Middle Ages overlaid with two shade of brown.
Ars Metaphysica — permits us to segment our spiritual and metaphysical fiction and nonfiction. It will also be home for our paranormal titles. This imprint was cooked up last year, while talking to Susan Kiskis about a potential blog under this name. I pulled a mystical design from ancient times.
Speckled Egg Press — has been resurrected to be used for our childrens (juvenile) titles. While we had taken a hiatus from publishing them, we are looking at reintroducing a line of paperbacks under this brand. Tammi designed the logo several years ago, and it had been used on a limited number of books.
So, how will this work?  New books will be assigned to their appropriate imprint. As we release your new books, we may take that opportunity to rebrand your other titles, especially if they are in the same series. This takes time, and money, and will likely require many months to accomplish.  The goal is to complete the rebranding effort of active titles over the next 12 months.