4 Great Books About Pennsylvania History

4 Great Books About Pennsylvania History

Spend quality time with some of the country's most important figures in these 4 great books about Pennsylvania history!

Pennsylvania's history is our nation's history. From Conrad Weiser's contributions to  the great risks taken by our founding fathers, you can't get stories about where America began without talking about Pennsylvania.

At Sunbury Press, we're thrilled to kick off yet another amazing year of book publishing with new books of various subject matters. And today, we're paying homage to the history of our home state Pennsylvania with this blog post of amazing Sunbury Press books about Pennsylvania.


Nonfiction Books about Pennsylvania History

#1. Conrad Weiser: Pennsylvania Peacemaker

About the Book

One of the most important figures in North America during the colonial period, Conrad Weiser was an influential Pennsylvania German pioneer with a story of deft negotiations to keep peace with the natives.

Click below to read more

#2. Pennsylvania Patriots: Their Lives, Contributions, and Burial Sites

About the Book

Three authors travel the eastern US to tell the stories of our country's founders in Pennsylvania Patriots: Their Lives, Contributions, and Burial Sites.

Click below to read more

#3. The Life and Loves of Thaddeus Stevens

About the Book

An insightful look into one of the most misunderstood figures of the 19th century. The Life and Loves of Thaddeus Stevens documents the life of an uncompromising politician and a vulnerable human shaped by his own passions.

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#4. Wrestling with George and Other Tales in Western Pennsylvania

About the Book

Tales and essays of historical and political importance in and around Western Pennsylvania, featuring George Washington's legendary wrestling match with a rowdy local.

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Stay tuned for more great books from Sunbury Press!

Thanks for checking out this list of great books about Pennsylvania history! The Sunbury Press store has over 600 titles to choose from--the best in fiction and nonfiction through various imprints--and we can't wait to share what more great work we have coming your way in 2020.
William Marcum’s “The Foreman’s Boys” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for August

William Marcum’s “The Foreman’s Boys” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for August

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for August 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 8 The Foreman’s Boys William Marcum History
2 1 The Last Ride of the Iron Horse Dan Joseph Baseball
3 Dead Center Jason Altmire Politics
4 13 Undoing Jane Doe Kristen Cunnane Abuse Memoir
5 26 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Brooks History
6 25 Holocaust’s Child Amy & William Blocher History
7 15 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
8 NEW My War and Welcome to It Tom Copeland Military Memoir
9 9 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
10 3 Baseball Under the Palms Sam Zygner Baseball
11 16 Raising Monarchs Sue McGovern Nature
12 22 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
13 Jack the Ripper Suspect Dr. Francis Tumblety Michael Hawley History
14 12 The 1932 Yankees Ronald Auguster Baseball
15 7 American Citizen Ben E Myers Biography
16 5 What Springs of Rain Lindsey Lough Nature Photography
17 NEW Conrad Weiser: Pennsylvania Peacemaker Arthur Graeff Biography
18 Tulpehocken Trail Traces Steve Troutman History
19 2 Bandstandland Larry Lehmer History
20 There Is Something About Rough and Ready Knorr, Troutman, et al History
21 19 Fifty Years in a Foxhole Charles Kniffen Military Memoir
22 17 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
23 6 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
24 14 I Made a Short Film Now WTF Do I Do With It? Clarissa Jacobson Self-Help
25 Captain Hooter’s Connoisseurs Guide to Amsterdam Coffeeshops Captain Hooter Travel
26 The Most Hated Man in America Mark Pendergrast True Crime
27 29 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History
28 The Lost Island of Columbus Keith Pickering History
29 Keystone Corruption Continued Brad Bumsted Politics
30 30 The Marines’ Lost Squadron Mark Carlson History
Dan Joseph’s “The Last Ride of the Iron Horse” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

Dan Joseph’s “The Last Ride of the Iron Horse” tops as the Sunbury Press bestseller for July

SUNBURY PRESS – Bestsellers for July 2019 (by Revenue)
Rank Prior Title Author Category
1 12 The Last Ride of the Iron Horse Dan Joseph Baseball
2 17 Bandstandland Larry Lehmer History
3 20 Baseball Under the Palms Sam Zygner Baseball
4 The Georgia Segregated School for the Deaf Knorr & Whatley History
5 3 What Springs of Rain Lindsey Lough Nature Photography
6 6 Gettysburg Eddie Lawrence Knorr Baseball
7 NEW American Citizen Ben E Myers Biography
8 2 The Foreman’s Boys William Marcum History
9 13 Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last, 2nd Ed. Mike Campbell History
10 14 Collision Course William Cook Basketball
11 9 1780: Year of Revenge John L Moore History
12 8 The 1932 Yankees Ronald Julyer Baseball
13 7 Undoing Jane Doe Kristen Cunnane Abuse Memoir
14 NEW I Made a Short Film Now WTF Do I Do With It? Clarissa Jacobson Self-Help
15 18 Well-behaved Taverns Seldom Make History Diane McCormick History
16 16 Raising Monarchs Sue McGovern Nature
17 Freemasons at Gettysburg Sheldon Munn History
18 A Year of Change and Consequences Mark Singel Political Memoir
19 5 Fifty Years in a Foxhole Charles Kniffen Military Memoir
20 General John Fulton Reynolds Lawrence Knorr Genealogy
21 Look, I Shrunk Grandma Karen Severson Medical Memoir
22 10 Call Sign Dracula Joe Fair Military Memoir
23 Adventures in Distant and Remote Places William Lemanski Travel
24 Keystone Tombstones Gettysburg Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
25 4 Holocaust’s Child Amy & William Blocher History
26 Chicken Bone Beach Cheryl Brooks History
27 Dear Ma: Civil War Letters … John Hoptak History
28 Keystone Tombstones Civil War Farrell, Farley, & Knorr Biography
29 24 Indian Villages and Place Names in Pennsylvania George Donehoo History
30 23 The Marines’ Lost Squadron Mark Carlson History

Fiction Book Releases (Soft and Grand Openings)

Q: When will my novel be released?

A: Historically, publishers have a long lead-time from contract signing until the book is released. This is a throw-back from the days of paper manuscripts and snail-mail. Today, things move along much faster.

Sunbury Press does not deal with paper manuscripts. The entire process, from submission, contract signing, to book release is done electronically. We communicate most often through email and public posts on our website. We do this for efficiency and to free our staff to concentrate on editing and getting your books out the door. For fiction, we are also moving to a single point of contact, so you have access to the primary person in charge of your book’s publication. Internally, at Sunbury Press, we work together, but there are no review boards or long review processes to contend with. We’re a small company of professional, hardworking people committed to publishing good books.

We have over 800 fiction manuscript submissions in our queue right now, with more coming in every day. We are working as fast as we can to evaluate and get back to the authors that submit to us. The only way we can hope to better serve all those authors, is to streamline our process. And that is just what we are doing.

Once we take on your novel and the contract has been signed, your book will be released within three months, sometimes even faster depending on the quality of your manuscript and the workload in our queue.

This quick pace might not allow you the time to do all the set up necessary to properly release your book to the world. If you are a new author, you’ll want to setup a new website, Facebook page, get a list of family and friends to help you, etc. So, we recommend that no matter the date that your book is available for purchase, you choose your own Book Announcement date far enough into the future that you have time to prepare. You can think of this as a ‘Soft Opening,’ and ‘Grand Opening’ model. For the Soft Opening, your book is out there selling and available for more reviews. For the Grand Opening, you announce your book with parties, emails, and whatever else you are planning. This lead time also allows you to purchase books (at discount) and have them on hand for your Book Announcement party(s) to sign and/or giveaway.

As an example, your book might be released on April 1st. But you schedule your Book Announcement or Grand Opening on June first. You will have time to work with local bookstores and establishments to plan your party(s), order and get books, make sure you have your website and other pages up and running and your author pages on Amazon and Goodreads ready. In this way, you can maximize the effectiveness of your Book Announcement.

Authors spend a good amount of time slaving over the words, trying to create the best story. But after it’s complete, they are anxious to get it out to the world. We understand! Many of us at Sunbury are also authors. We believe this model will serve authors wants and needs but still give time to give your book the splash you hope for.

One final note, Sunbury Press loves a big splash, just like any publisher. But we prefer the long, slow burn to the quick flash and then burn out. So, plan your big Grand Opening, but also make your plans staggered throughout the year to keep interest flowing and growing your readership. And then write another book! 😉

-Chris Fenwick

#bookrelease #bookannouncement #grandopening #longslowburn #welovebooks


We’ve signed a number of new authors in recent months. We also continue to receive many of the same questions from a lot of you. I thought it best to summarize these into an FAQ for this month. Here we go!
Q. When will we see the production queue report? It’s been many months since you included it in this newsletter.
A. I know we promised to provide an updated version of this but we just aren’t ready. We’ve been too busy releasing and selling books. We will get to this soon.
Q. How do I order books at the author discount?
A. Go to our bookstore at www.sunburypress.com. Find the books you want to order and use coupon code A50 when you check out. This code is for authors only and triggers your discount. Please note that your order total must be at least $100 in order to qualify for free shipping.
Q. When will I get my author copies?
A. We do not automatically send you your author copies. Many authors wait until their first book order and have them added to it. In that case, include a note with your order. If you just want your free copies, send a note to orders@sunburypress.com. Identify yourself, your book title, the number of copies, and the shipping address.
Q. When will I get my royalty statement?
A. We send statements four times a year on January 31, April 30, July 31, and October 31.
Q. I have not received a royalty check. When can I expect one?
A. When your total royalties hit $50 or more, you will receive a check in the mail. These checks are issued fifteen days after the royalty reports — four times a year.
Q. It’s Wednesday and I need books for a signing on Saturday. Can I get books?
A. Please allow up to three weeks lead time to be sure to get your books in plenty of time. Our print orders usually are prioritized lower than consumer orders so we are at the mercy of the capacity of our printer partners. Please try to plan ahead, if possible.
Q. I am working on a new manuscript. Must I go through your submissions process like I did the first time?
A. The short answer is “no.” If a new fiction concept, send to Chris Fenwick at cfenwick@sunburypress.com. If nonfiction, send to me at lknorr@sunburypress.com. Please include a summary of the book in your email and your estimated completion date. Also note which number it is in the series, if applicable.
Q. I’ve been waiting quite a while for you to start my book. Why the delay?
A. We are working diligently to catch up on our backlog all the while signing new authors. We are making significant progress in recent months. Bear in mind we are also always re-prioritizing our backlog based on category and market conditions. If you think your manuscript has been waiting too long, reach out and find out why.
Q. I’m selling too many books and my royalty checks are too large!
A. Yeah, right! Maybe you should move to Baltimore and run for mayor!

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.

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.
“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.


“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
Trade Paperback – 6 x 9 x 1
240 Pages with b&w photos
FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Children with Special Needs
MEDICAL / Diseases / Genetic

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
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.

Sunbury Press book production goes global

While we have had the ability to print books overseas, we have been reluctant to do so for many years. We have always taken pride in putting “Made in the USA” on our books. Most of you might recall the recent controversy about doing that — we had cover designs rejected for proudly noting the country of origin. We since adjusted the slogan to say “Designed in the USA” despite the fact every book was still printed here.
Our US distribution model had books printed and shipped from locations close to the end customer. We had contracted with three print operations in each time zone in the US except Mountain. Except for some Amazon orders and our eBooks, all other foreign orders had to be exported. This has now changed.
We were very pleased with a recent test of our print/ship capabilities in the UK and Australia. Karim El Koussa was able to get his new release to Beirut via our UK printer much quicker and cheaper than shipping from the USA. Martine Kalaw had a number of overseas orders that were printed in either the UK (for Europe) or Australia. All worked very well. Captain Hooter had a number of his books about Amsterdam “Coffee Shops” printed in the UK and shipped to the Netherlands.
Going into 2019, we now have print/ship operations overseas through our distribution partners that did not exist before. This greatly increases the potential reach of your books — and we need to think about possible target markets overseas (at least in English-speaking countries.) Here’s the updated list of countries we print and ship from:
USA – Pennsylvania
USA – South Carolina
USA – Tennessee
USA – California
UK (for UK & Europe)
Australia (for Australia, New Zealand, and Pacific Islands)
India (coming in 2019)
One of the most amazing things I noticed is the reduced shipping cost for UPS in the UK versus in the USA (after the currency conversion). I am not exactly sure why — but I’m not complaining!
As we continue to market your books, we will expand our thinking to include these opportunities. It might finally be time for us to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair (Buchmesse) in person. Germany anyone?