Category Archives: Publishing

You don’t say

“I should have given you enough for at least a quote of the day. I’ll be very disappointed otherwise.”

– State Sen. Michael O’Donnell, who opened his remarks at Friday’s Pachyderm Club meeting by dissing print journalism then later explained that not “every reporter misinforms” and finally expressed his hopes to appear in the paper

Publishing house’s creative advertising attracts unwanted attention

WICHITA — As a new, small publishing house, Wichita’s C. Anderson Publishing is being creative in getting the word out about one of its first endeavors. Too creative, as it turns out.

Caleb Anderson started the company last year and published an e-book of the fantasy story “Legacy of the Bloodborn” by Max Cooper, which is a pen name.

Now, the book is going to be published in paperback, which will be the first one for the company.

“We decided, ‘Hey, let’s test some marketing,’” Anderson says.

Cooper is known for his calligraphy – he handwrites his books – so Anderson had Cooper write some quotes from his book on parchment paper and sealed each of them with wax. The plan was to put them on public bulletin boards around town, such as in coffee shops. The idea was to arouse curiosity about the book.

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Justin McClure creates cover art for bestselling Beautiful Disaster

UPDATED — More than a year ago, Justin McClure thought he was doing a favor for a friend of a friend when he designed his first book cover.

McClure has Justin McClure Creative in Delano, but he wasn’t looking to start designing for the publishing world.

“It was an artist helping another artist,” McClure says.

The author was self-publishing her book.

“We were really doing a lot of, we thought, helping out.”

Courtesy of Atria Books

Now that book is getting a lot of attention. It’s Jamie McGuire’s bestselling “Beautiful Disaster.”

“We kind of knew it had been taking off,” McClure says of the book. He started receiving requests from international outlets for artwork of the cover.

Then, last week, a colleague was in an airport in Chicago when he saw the book next to a sign for New York Times bestsellers.

“He took a picture with his cellphone,” McClure says.

“Does this look familiar?” the employee texted.

“That’s how we found out.”

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Flight International to profile Wichita

WICHITA — A reporter with Flight International, an aviation trade journal based in London, is in Wichita this week to do a spotlight on the aviation cluster here.

Talk has circulated that the story may be an examination of “the demise of Wichita,” which makes writer Stephen Trimble, who is based in Washington, D.C., laugh.

“I can confirm that rumors of my story of the demise of Wichita are greatly exaggerated,” he says. “There’s no real preconceived agenda, to be honest.”

Trimble says his publication regularly does country reports, which focus on the aviation industry in various countries. The United States, he says, is “just too big to have any real context,” so the publication looks at individual clusters.

So how does he find Wichita is faring?

“I’ve been trying to figure that out,” Trimble says.

He’s visiting all the major aircraft companies and a number of subcontractors. Naturally, not everything is rosy with Boeing’s planned departure and Hawker Beechcraft’s uncertain future.

Trimble also is visiting the National Institute for Aviation Research and the National Center for Aviation Training, and he says those programs are offering hope.

“That’s very encouraging.”

In other struggling places he’s visited, Trimble says, “They don’t have this kind of thing.”

The story will come out late next month, just before the National Business Aviation Association annual convention.

“There are some definite bright spots,” Trimble says of Wichita. “The question is where things go from here.”


New York Times review surprises Minh Hoa Restaurant & Cajun Seafood owner; Wichita surprises restaurant reviewer

UPDATED — Wichitans were surprised to find a New York Times review over the weekend of Minh Hoa Restaurant & Cajun Seafood. No one was more surprised than Sarah Vo, who owns the Wichita restaurant at 1556 N. Broadway.

“Everybody asks me the same question,” Vo says. “Do I have connections?”

She doesn’t, but Bonnie Bing does.

Bing, The Eagle’s recently retired fashion writer, is friends with freelance writer Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, who wrote the review and also is the author of “A Tiger in the Kitchen.”

“I went to Wichita for one reason: Bonnie Bing,” Tan says.

She and Houston Chronicle food editor Greg Morago know Bing from when she used to cover Fashion Week in New York, and for years they said they planned to visit Wichita.

“When I heard she retired this year, I thought this is finally the year,” Tan says.

Bonnie Bing (center) with friends Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan and Greg Morago.

She spent a week just “to kind of get away from New York” and work on her second book. Tan says it was an especially productive week.

“I guess whenever that book comes out I will have Wichita to thank.”

Tan still had plenty of time to tour and dine around Wichita, and she was impressed.

“This is going to sound probably bizarre,” she says, but, “I loved your grocery stores.” She was floored at how large Thai Binh is and says Wichita has some items New York doesn’t have outside of Chinatown.

Tan thinks the Wichita Art Museum is “just beautiful” and Watermark Books and Cafe, where signed copies of her book are on sale, is “darling” and she’s thrilled to see it thriving. She also enjoyed the Keeper of the Plains, the original Pizza Hut building, Riverside and Delano, where she shot pool at Club Billiards.

Sam Taylor, a poet who teaches English and creative writing at Wichita State University, is a friend of Tan’s and was one of her tour guides. (He also snapped the photo above.)

Tan loves the big sky in Kansas and all the space here, particularly because in New York “I live in a box pretty much.”

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You don’t say

“Local politicians like to get in bed with local business, and taxpayers are usually the losers. So three cheers for a voter revolt in Wichita, Kansas last week that shows such sweetheart deals can be defeated.”

– The lead of a Wall Street Journal opinion piece today (“A Wichita Shocker: You can beat city hall”) about last week’s Ambassador Hotel guest tax vote

You don’t say

“If the motley crew of patrons is any indication, the draw of the perfect donut is universal.”

– A AAA lodging and restaurant inspector’s review this week of Wichita’s Donut Whole, which she says makes the world “a happier, more joyful place”

Jack DeBoer to publish “Risk Only Money: Success in Business Without Risking Family, Friends and Reputation”

For two days, I lay there in the darkness, shades drawn and the covers pulled over my head. I was paralyzed — with fear, with self-loathing, with shame, and with a realization that I didn’t know what to do next.

I had hundreds of creditors I couldn’t pay. Hundreds, affecting the lives of thousands of people. A few days before, one of them had called me on the phone. “I want my money by Friday or I’ll kill you,” he said.

So writes entrepreneur Jack DeBoer in the prologue for his new book, “Risk Only Money: Success in Business Without Risking Family, Friends and Reputation,” which will be published June 8.

The 80-year-old has given countless speeches over the course of his roller-coaster career in hotel and apartment development. For years, people have asked for copies or for his notes — anything they could study.

So, out of a sense of obligation, DeBoer wrote this book to share the lessons he learned the hard way.

Lessons that “had I known, I wouldn’t have suffered a lot of the pain I’ve been through.”

Writing the book, which DeBoer has been working on the last three or four years, presented its own difficulty.

“I wish I could write it and not put my name on it, but I’ve been talked out of that,” DeBoer says.

“I do not want this to be viewed as the story of Jack’s life. That’s not the point of the book at all.”

He divides his book into three areas: striving, success and significance.

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Leon Trammell shares business experience in “How Underdogs Win”

leonUPDATED — Looking for a little inspiration during this tough economic time?

Tramco founder Leon Trammell has some insight to offer.

He and freelance writer Brian Whepley have written “How Underdogs Win” about Trammell’s experience in business (available at and

“It’s scary as hell to start a business,” Trammell says.

Several other companies share their stories for the book as well, including Wichita businesses Hiller Inc., High Touch, Greenway Electric and Kansas companies Solomon Corp. and Cobalt Boats.

Trammell founded Tramco in 1967. The company manufactures bulk material-handling conveyors and does business in every state and 57 countries.

“I did not give myself a chance to fail,” Trammell says. “You just cannot have a failure plan. If you have a failure plan, you’ll probably fail.”

So what’s his plan for success?

“You need a niche, and then be persistent,” Trammell says, quickly adding, “But you know, being persistent is kind of elusive.

“I’ve been persistent on an investment I made, and it hasn’t paid out.”

Trammell says you have to relentlessly pursue being excellent.

“Whatever you do you have to be the best at it,” he says. “You never share with your neighbor a mediocre job on anything, do you? No, you share the good job. The good service. So you have to be the best.

“Then it boils down to the Golden Rule. And I know that is hokey. . . . But you have to treat people the way you want to be treated.”

Why bother?

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