Sunbury Press begins its 10th Anniversary celebration

10anniver

This is the first of a series of articles honoring the 10th anniversary of Sunbury Press, Inc., the trade publisher. This article recounts the year 2004, the year of the founding.

msh2edMECHANICSBURG, PA — Ten years ago today, April 1, 2004, Sunbury Press was incorporated in the State of Pennsylvania.  The founder, Lawrence Knorr, initially intended to reprint some family histories he had written, but did not want to pay someone else to do so.  Like many entrepreneurs, he had no idea what all he was getting into, or where his little idea would lead.  Within a few months, the first book, a 1787 page three-volume set, 71 Years of Marriage : The Ancestors, Descendants and Relations of George and Alice Knorr of Reading, PA, was published for the benefit of the extended Knorr family. The first sale was recorded on September 15 to Cathy Krall, of Elizabethtown, PA.  It was one of 24 orders to be placed through the end of the year.  A second book, The Relations of Milton Snavely Hershey, 1st Edition, was published that month.  By the end of the year, the Hershey book sold more copies, outselling the Knorr book 13 to 12.  However, due to the size and price of the 3 volume Knorr set, revenue from it more than doubled the Hershey book.  Regardless, total sales fell just shy of $1000, and the company recorded a $54 loss.

In honor of this first sale in September of 2004, Sunbury Press will be announcing events for the month of September 2014.  Stay tuned.

Meet Sunbury Press’ Owner Lawrence Knorr! by Tammy Burke

http://glvwgwritersconference.blogspot.com/2014/03/meet-sunbury-press-owner-lawrence-knorr.html

LvK by Tammi KnorrHow delightful having you back at the “Write Stuff” conference again! And wow! Is it coming up fast. Anything new and exciting you can share regarding you and/or the Sunbury Press?  
 
Lawrence Knorr: Yes!  It is an honor to be asked back. It is hard to believe two years have passed since the last time! Sunbury Press just completed its best year ever from a sales perspective. We continue to grow and succeed in a very tough, competitive environment. We are celebrating our tenth year in business in 2014 — but I can tell you it feels like 100 years! We’ve transformed ourselves twice in that span — caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly — what’s next? Most recently, we have seen ebooks peak, their growth rate slowing, while independent bookstore sales have picked up. While our Amazon business has continued to grow, other channels are growing faster. We have dubbed 2014 our “Year of Collaboration” focusing on ways our 120+ authors can experience better results by helping each other and by working together in teams. So far, there has been a lot of positive energy. We also opened, February 1, our first company bookstore in Mechanicsburg, PA, where our headquarters is located. Our goal was to provide a storefront for all of our books — and a venue for our authors to meet the public. We really want to be an important part of the local community for our local and regional authors — and provide another option to our more far flung partners. It’s a great place to meet prospective authors and to talk about books with the general public.
Based on your webpage, I understand the your company holds a “Continue the Enlightenment” mentality from the 18th 3609278century and the “Age of Reason.” Could you expand more what that means to you and to the Sunbury Press?
 
Lawrence Knorr: “Continue the Enlightenment” is a motto that represents our mission statement. Simply put, we are a publisher of diverse categories, but we are always seeking to bring new perspectives and voices to the marketplace. The Enlightenment was about a new order of things — not unlike what is happening in publishing today. The old order governed by a strong center of control is being challenged by more democratic ideals. This is what the independent publishing movement is all about — whether doing it yourself or with an independent publisher. We are experiencing an era of rapid democratization of the publishing industry. If only Hugh Fox had lived a little longer! I’ll never forget the day he called me – Hugh Fox – one of the founders of the Pushcart Prize. He revealed he was dying of cancer and offered me the opportunity to publish his remaining works. He said Sunbury Press was exactly the kind of publisher he was looking for. I was very grateful for his offer, and encouraged him to spread the dozen or so works around to other presses, keeping two of them for ourselves. Hugh liked the motto, and we think it is very appropriate at this time.
What was the motivation to start the Sunbury Press? What makes it different than other publishing companies?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I started the company in 2004 because I wanted to publish some family histories. I didn’t want to pay someone else to do it, so I Ambit_Island_Series.inddembarked on figuring out how. While this was only ten years ago, it was when vanity presses were a cottage industry and print on demand and ebooks were in their infancy. I just wanted to sell some books at cost to family members. But, I really enjoyed it and realized I could publish other books — not just my own. Two hundred and twenty titles and one hundred and twenty authors later, we have really grown thanks to our business model and our philosophy. We are different for several reasons:
1) We are very tech-savvy. My wife and I both have long careers in IT and understand the Age of Content and the importance of search engines, ecommerce and mobile commerce.
2) We do NOT charge for services. Many publishers are experimenting with vanity, hybrid or subsidy models. We refuse to go in this direction, instead making our money by selling books.
3) We have editors working for us as employees of our company. We take quality very seriously.
4) My wife and I are also photographers and digital artists, able to design book covers, marketing materials, graphic designs, web content, etc.
5) We are “generalist opportunists” — working in a broad number of categories. We understand the advantages of breadth and scale to the economic sustainability of an enterprise.
6) We love what we do. I really enjoy working with authors to bring their work to the marketplace. It tickles the soul.
 
tsarr_pubI was wondering…Is there anything in particular you are looking for in an author and his or her manuscript?
 
Lawrence Knorr: Quality Manuscript + Motivated Author + Publisher = Success
We are always looking for high quality manuscripts — in a variety of fiction and nonfiction categories. Quality is more than just well-written / grammatically correct. Quality is about fresh ideas, new found truths and entertainment. We like material that brings value to our readers.
We like to gauge an author’s motivations. Gone are the days of sitting at a typewriter, mailing a box of paper to a publisher and then waiting by the door for the checks to arrive. Authors need to be involved in their success. While we provide editing, design, formatting, ebook creation, printing, distribution, marketing, etc., we do best when authors are out and about advocating their work and promoting themselves. We are an ideal option for authors whose work is good enough not to have to pay to publish — who want to be writers and not start their own publishing businesses. Most writers are not business savvy. We bring the business expertise to the mix.
 
Anything you’d like to see more of? Anything you’d like to see less of?
 
ktcw_pubLawrence Knorr: Thankfully, the vampire craze has past. There’s probably a metaphor somewhere in that regarding the publishing industry! We are always looking for more history and historical fiction — more clever YA and more entertaining police procedurals and mysteries. We like good literary fiction too! We’ve had a lot of inquiries about poetry — something we rarely publish.
 
Do you work with authors to help them increase sales? Or do you allow them to do that for themselves?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We generate our revenue exclusively from selling books. So, we are ALWAYS looking for ways to sell more books — whether a new channel to open, a new retailer to call upon, a new country to access, or an author’s activities. As I stated in the opening, we have dubbed 2014 the “Year of Collaboration” and are seeking new ways to collectively leverage our scale. There are opportunities for Sunbury Press authors to go beyond our activities and their individual efforts — to work together within a category or region.
 
I understand you have authored eight books on regional history. Could you tell us more about them? What were their inspiration.  
 
JFR_fcLawrence Knorr: Where did I ever find the time? My early books: “The Descendants of Hans Peter Knorr,” “The Relations of Milton Snavely Hershey,” “The Relations of Isaac F Stiehly,” “General John Fulton Reynolds,” “The Relations of Dwight D Eisenhower” and “The Hackman Story” were family history / genealogy focused. I wanted to write about my relations — a very deep and rich history linked to important people and events in Pennsylvania and the nation. While researching at the Lancaster County Historical Society, I also stumbled upon the journal and letters of my great uncle David Bear Hackman, describing his adventure to California for the Gold Rush. I edited and contextualized this treasure into the book “A Pennsylvania Mennonite and the California Gold Rush.” My more recent works have been collaborations:  “Keystone Tombstones Civil War” with Joe Farrell and Joe Farley — about famous people buried in Pennsylvania who played a part in the Civil War and “There is Something About Rough and Ready” about the village in the heart of the Mahantongo Valley at the center of that region’s Pennsylvania Dutch culture. I have several other projects under way for release in the coming years: “The Visiting Physician of Red Cross” – about the career of Dr. Reuben Muth of Red Cross, PA (I have his collection of visiting doctor records from 1850 to 1890), “Palmetto Tombstones” — about famous people buried in South Carolina, “Scheib of Shibe Park” — a biography of the former Philadelphia A’s pitcher — and youngest American Leaguer ever — Carl Scheib of Gratz, PA.
 
Being born and raised in the Susquehanna Valley myself I was wondering if you’ve done anything regarding Sunbury, particularly the Hotel Edison or Lewisburg?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We borrowed the name Sunbury from the town in Pennsylvania because it was near the Mahantongo Valley — and I liked the name. But, that’s about as far as it goes. We have yet to publish anything about Sunbury, the town in Pennsylvania or nearby Lewisburg. However, our book “Digging Dusky Diamonds” by John Lindermuth is about Shamokin, PA and the nearby coal regions. Our best-selling “Prohibition’s Prince” is about the famous moonshiner Prince Farrington from Williamsport, PA.  Our “Keystone Tombstones” series spans the entire state and often touches on historical figures from the Susquehanna Valley.
 
Do you have favorite time period and place regarding history?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I teach Comparative Economic and Political Systems at Wilson College once a year. I really enjoy teaching this class because it allows me to span economic history from classical times to present. My favorite time periods / places are the Roman Empire in the first few centuries AD and 19th and early 20th century America. I am intrigued by our industrialization in the early 1800s — and the entrepreneurship and personal responsibility that was present. Most of the people living today would feel very insecure without their comforts, insurances and government safety nets. I long for that time when individual hard work and creativity could amount to something tangible — and when we relied on ourselves, our families, our religious institutions and our communities.
 
What did you like best about holding the office of president for MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA)?
 
Lawrence Knorr: I was honored to be elected the President of MBPA for one year. I met a lot of great people, including my predecessor Mary Shafer. My goal was to make sure our organization survived the struggles it was going through and could become sustainable. The new team that formed was very motivated to do so, and they continue on without me. Unfortunately, the demands of my growing business prevent me from volunteering at this time.
Your digital photography is quite beautiful. I particularly enjoy your vibrant use of color. How long have you been practicing this art and I’m curious…how many book covers have you designed?
 
Lawrence Knorr: Thank you! I’ve been a photographer since I was 12 years old. I began showing my work in 2006, after a local gallery liked my attempts at “Photo Impressionism.” I was one of the pioneer artists who was trying to make photographs look like paintings. My work has been shown around the country and has won awards — and is in collections and even a museum or two. While I have not been as active at showing my work, I have designed over 100 book covers over the last three years. My wife says they are getting better!  I really enjoy doing it, and most of the authors are very pleased with the results.
 
What are your thoughts on selling internationally? Do you find that foreign bookstores cater to the same reading choices as here in our area?
 
Lawrence Knorr: We sell our books in at least a dozen other countries — UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan, Australia, India, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Taiwan … even Lebanon! We’re developing expertise in foreign rights as well as foreign distribution. We have found the rest of the world lags the US in eBook adoption — and still have a very strong book retailers. We’ve had the most success in the UK, for obvious reasons – but have also broken through where our titles touch on target markets.
 
I want to thank you for taking time out for this interview, Lawrence. We look forward to seeing you soon!
————————————————-
Lawrence Knorr has been involved with book publishing for fourteen years. His  company, Sunbury Press, Inc., headquartered in Mechanicsburg, PA, is a publisher of trade paperback and digital books featuring established and emerging authors  in many fiction and nonfiction categories. Sunbury’s books are printed in the USA and sold through leading booksellers worldwide. Sunbury currently has over  120 authors and 200 titles under management.
Lawrence has taught business and project management courses for ten years, and is the author of eight books. He is also an award-winning digital artist, and has designed dozens of book covers . Lawrence is the former President of the MidAtlantic Book Publishers Association (MBPA)
Most interested in U.S. & World history and other nonfiction (sports,
professional, hobbies) — also historical fiction, mystery/thriller.

Will consider YA fiction, contemporary and historical romance, horror (no
vampires), literary fiction.

Not looking for children’s picture books and poetry at this time.

————————————————-
Tammy Burke, GLVWG member, 2011 conference chair and past president, has published around 400 newspaper and regional magazine articles. She has interviewed state and local government officials, business and community leaders, everyday folk and celebrities, in addition to helping write scripts for over a dozen television commercials and writing various business communications. Currently, she is in the revision stage for her first YA fantasy adventure book, the first in an intended series. When not writing, she works in the social service field and is a fencing marshal in the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA).

Sunbury Press bookstore to open February 1 in Mechanicsburg

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Sunbury Press, the book publisher of trade paperbacks and eBooks located at 50 West Main Street, Mechanicsburg (www.sunburypress.com), is celebrating its tenth year in business in 2014. Sunbury’s books feature established and emerging authors in many fiction and nonfiction categories and are sold through leading booksellers worldwide.

Standing room only...

Standing room only…

“2013 was our best year ever,” said co-owner Lawrence Knorr. “Our sales topped all prior years and we exhibited at Book Expo America in New York City. We also held several great events at our Mechanicsburg office.”

Sunbury Press has grown rapidly over the years and now publishes, on average, 70 books a year, having over 200 titles and 120 authors under management.

“We are a traditional press, not a vanity press,” explained co-owner Tammi Knorr. “We receive over 1,000 manuscript proposals a year and select only the best for publication. We do not charge our authors to publish. Instead, we invest in the manuscript by editing, designing and formatting it into a high quality finished product at our expense. We then pay our authors royalties on the sales.”

Some of Sunbury Press’s best-selling titles include “Pit Bulls” by Anthony Julien, a compilation of historic photos of pit bulls with

Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls

their families, the “Keystone Tombstones” series by Joe Farrell and Joe Farley, documenting the lives and graves of famous people buried in Pennsylvania, Mike Campbell’s “Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last,” revealing the fate of the aviatrix, lost in the South Pacific,” and Ernie Marshall’s “That Night at Surigao,” recording the last engagement between battleships in World War 2. In addition to local, regional and world history, the company publishes historical fiction, action adventure, murder mysteries, horror, literary fiction, children’s, self-help, sports and etc.

The Knorrs have decided to up the ante in 2014, converting their office, which had been a showroom and event space, into a full-fledged Sunbury Press bookstore.

“We had a lot of success with our author events – especially on First Fridays,” said Lawrence. “We had people standing out on the sidewalk trying to hear our authors who were presenting inside. While the vast majority of our sales are online and through bookstores around the world, we have had a number of local people who just want to stop in to buy our books. Our books sold well at our events, so we’ve invested in shelves and fixtures and will be offering all of our titles all of the time at our 50 West Main Street location.”

The new Sunbury Press retail store opens February 1st. Store hours are Tuesday thru Friday 10-5 and Saturday from 9 to 2.

ktcw_pub“We will also be holding events on most First Fridays,” said Tammi. “Those Fridays, we’ll stay open until 10 pm.”

Sunbury Press will be offering special deals available only to walk-in customers, such as bargain books and buy-one-get-one free offers. There will also be a limited number of used books not published by Sunbury Press.

For more information, please see www.sunburypress.com, or on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Sunbury-Press-Books/143239….

Dr. Musgrave’s medical school memoir tops the Sunbury Press bestseller list for November

hour30_pubMECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Hour 30, Dr. Brandon Musgrave’s memoir of his challenges in medical school, was #1, returning to the list after a two-month hiatus, thanks to charitable author events in Illinois. Karim El Koussa’s Jesus the Phoenician, a well-researched alternative history regarding the origins of Jesus Christ, ranked #2 due to international export sales.

Sunbury Press’s year-to-date sales for 2013 are up 17% over 2012. EBook sales are up only 8% over the year-to-date prior, significantly lagging the growth in print sales. Sales for the quarter to date were up 3% compared to the same period in 2012.

Jim Dohren’s Letters from a Shoebox: The Civil War Correspondence of John Huffman, David Huffman and William Bowman, jumped to #3, thanks to author events and brisk sales in Ohio and Indiana.

Mike and Ethan Sgrignoli’s Dinorific Poetry series, a father-son collaboration highlighting interesting “ancient animals,” ranked #4 (Volume 3), #7 (Volume 2) and #8 (Volume 1) due to author events.

John Lindermuth’s Digging Dusky Diamonds, a history of the Coal Region of Pennsylvania, ranked #5 due to sales in the Shamokin area.

jtp_fcColors in the Garden the Creator Made, Wendy Latty’s richly illustrated children’s book introducing the ROY G BIV color spectrum, nabbed the 6th position thanks to author activities.

Mike Campbell’s Amelia Earhart – The Truth At Last rejoined the list, taking #9, thanks to bookstore and library sales.

Tony Julien’s Pit Bulls returned to the rankings, taking #10 on the list, due to sales to dog enthusiasts.

Following are the top overall print sellers by category:

History / Memoir – Hour 30 by Brandon Musgrave
Fiction  – The Closer by Alan Mindell
Horror/Mystery – Undead Living edited by Thomas Malafarina
Children/YA – Dinorific Poetry Volume 3 by the Sgrignolis
The Arts – Contemporary Photo Impressionists by T K McCoy
Self-Help – Raising Monarchs by Sue Fox McGovern
wtdam_fcMetaphysical/Spiritual – Jesus the Phoenician by Karim El Koussa
Reference – Linnea’s Kitchen: Yummy Ayurvedic Recipes and Life Lessons by Linnea Jepson

The company released four new titles during the month of November:
Dead Catch by L.D. Knorr
Meteors by Dr. Stephenie Slahor
What to Do about Mama by Barbara Matthews and Barbara Trainin Blank
Pink Flamingos All Around by Dr. Matthew Anderson

For a list of Sunbury’s all-time best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:

http://www.sunburypressstore.com/BESTSELLERS_c3.htm

For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/COMING-SOON_c47.htm

Oh What a Night! Mechanicsburg comes out in droves on First Friday to support Sunbury Press authors…

Mechanicsburg, PA — Friday November 1, besides being All Saints Day, was First Friday in this borough — an evening to emphasize the arts.  Sunbury Press, the trade publisher headquartered on West Main Street, participated with a program of six authors from a variety of categories.  The author readings ran from 7 to 9 PM.  Sunbury’s showroom was packed with patrons — standing room only.  Many people lingered on the street outside in order to listen in.  Following are some pictures from the event:

Standing room only...

Standing room only…

Some of the young patrons...

Some of the young patrons…

Mike & Ethan Sgrignoli presenting "Dinorific Poetry Volume 3"

Mike & Ethan Sgrignoli presenting “Dinorific Poetry Volume 3”

Thomas Malafarina reading from "Undead Living"

Thomas Malafarina reading from “Undead Living”

Wendy Latty presenting "Colors in the Garden the Creator Made"

Wendy Latty presenting “Colors in the Garden the Creator Made”

Karim El Koussa in front of his sign

Karim El Koussa in front of his sign

Karim El Koussa in front of the Sunbury office

Karim El Koussa in front of the Sunbury office

Karim El Koussa, Mike Sgrignoli and Wendy Latty after the show.

Karim El Koussa, Mike Sgrignoli and Wendy Latty after the show.

Fred Burton reads from "The Old Songs"

Fred Burton reads from “The Old Songs”

Karim El Koussa presents "Jesus the Phoenician"

Karim El Koussa presents “Jesus the Phoenician”

Karim El Koussa signs a copy of "Jesus the Phoenician" for a patron

Karim El Koussa signs a copy of “Jesus the Phoenician” for a patron

Cathy Jordan reads her story from "Undead Living"

Cathy Jordan reads her story from “Undead Living”

Karim El Koussa on West Main Street

Karim El Koussa on West Main Street

 

“Monarchs” rule the July bestseller list at Sunbury Press

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — “Raising Monarchs,” Sue Fox McGovern’s book about raising butterflies in the backyard,  was #1 thanks to author events in Illinois.  Dennis Herrick’s “Winter of the Metal People,” a historical novel about the Tiguex War in New Mexico ranked #2 due to author events in that state.

rm_fcSunbury’s sales for July 2013 were up 19% over July 2012, making it the best July ever for the company.  Year to date, sales are up 32% over last year.  EBook sales continued to be flat while print sales were up. “The eBook trend continues,” said publisher Lawrence Knorr. “The Nook platform is down 54% this month as compared to last year. Kindle is also down a bit.  Our sales increase is primarily due to direct sales from our eCommerce site.”

Dr. Nirmal Joshi’s newly released “Five Drops of Estrogen,” a memoir about the female influences in his life, grabbed the 3rd spot thanks to author activity

“The Closer,” Alan Mindell’s baseball novel, took the 4th spot thanks to online sales.

John Cressler’s “Emeralds of the Alhambra,” last month’s #1, slipped to 5th, but continues to sell steadily.

Markus Roberts’ “More Bread Please” ranked 6th due to author events.

The Joe’s — Farrell and Farley — took the 7th spot with “Keystone Tombstones Civil War” thanks to interest in the Gettysburg 150th anniversary.

David Parmalee’s “The Sea is a Thief” slotted at #8 thanks to summer sales along the Virginia coast.

Mike Campbell’s “Amelia Earhart – The Truth At Last” moved up a notch, taking #9 on the list, thanks to continued steady sales.

The late Linnea Jepson’s “Linnea’s Kitchen” cookbook nabbed #10 thanks to online sales.

Following are the top overall print sellers by category:

History / Memoir – “Five Drops of Estrogen” by Nirmal Joshi
Fiction  – “Winter of the Metal People” by Dennis Herrick
Horror/Mystery – “A Dead Issue” by John Evans
Children/YA – “In the Field” by Joanne Risso
The Arts – “As a Guest of Clive Barnes” by Susan Emmi
Self-Help – “Raising Monarchs” by Sue Fox McGovern
Metaphysical/Spiritual – “Messages from Beyond” by Michele Livingston
Reference – “Linnea’s Kitchen: Yummy Ayurvedic Recipes and Life Lessons” by Linnea Jepson

The company released six new titles during the month of July:
“The Book of Zane” by Tess Almendarez Lojacono
“The Lust for Reverence” by A. Gimbernat
“A Dead Issue” by John Evans
“Love, Sex and Other Near Death Experiences” by Michael Brown
“Wild Life” by C. A. Masterson
“Five Drops of Estrogen” by Nirmal Joshi

For a list of Sunbury’s all-time best-sellers, please see the Sunbury Press web site:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/BESTSELLERS_c3.htm

For a complete list of recent and upcoming releases, please see:
http://www.sunburypressstore.com/COMING-SOON_c47.htm

Book Expo America a blast for Sunbury Press authors, owners and staff

BEA - 002

“Power Readers” pour into BEA on Saturday June 1, 2013

New York, NY — Book Expo America, the largest publishing trade show in North America, was held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City from Thursday May 30 through Saturday June 1, 2013.   The exposition highlighted the latest technology and developments in the book publishing industry, and was a showcase for star and emerging talent.  All of the big publishers including Simon & Schuster, Hachette, McGraw-Hill, Penguin, Random House, Scholastic and others, joined with leaders in publishing services such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Createspace, Sony, Kobo and many others.  Notables such as Chris Matthews, Stephen King, Jim Carey, Ann Romney and Rick Atkinson were just a small number of the multitudes of well-known authors and personalities present.

Sunbury Press joined with the Independent Book Publisher’s Association (IBPA) and other independent publishers in aisle 2300. Sunbury had a slate of authors appear at their table. Several were photographed or interviewed by the media. Appearing at this year’s expo were:

Thursday May 30: Carole LaPlante, Robert Miller and Ernest Marshall

Friday May 31: Mary Dimino, Thomas Malafarina, Cathy Jordan and Margaret Meacham

Saturday June 1: Mike Sgrignoli, Shelly Frome and Joanne Risso

 

 

 

BEA - Carole LaPlante

Carole LaPlante

BEA - Ernest Marshall

Ernest Marshall

BEA - Maggie Meacham

Margaret Meacham

BEA - Mary Dimino

Mary Dimino

BEA - Mike Sgrignoli

Mike Sgrignoli

BEA - Robert Miller

Robert Miller

BEA - Shelly Frome

Shelly Frome

BEA Cathy Jordan

Cathy Jordan

BEA- Joanne Risso

Joanne Risso

BEA Tom Malafarina

Thomas Malafarina