Monday, April 18, 2011

A book with a purpose

The mission of the Kansas Sampler Foundation is to preserve and sustain rural culture. Everything we did with the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook was designed to meet that mission.


Kansas photographer: Harland Schuster, Morrill

Kansas editor: Bobbie Pray, Lawrence

Kansas-at-heart-graphic designer: Liz King, California (but she's my sister)

Kansas printer: Mennonite Press, Newton

Kansas hardback book binder: Koerperich Bookbinders, Selden

Of the 71 book stores that have contacted us to carry the book, all are locally-owned. Each retail outlet keeps 40% of the sale. Twelve dollars from each book goes to that store and helps keep it alive and thriving. If Barnes and Nobles, Borders or Hastings calls, we will fulfill those orders as we want to support the notion of bookstores, even though those are national franchise.

The remaining 60% goes to the Kansas Sampler Foundation to help pay for this project (payment to those Kansas names mentioned above -- except for my sister who donated her time and expertise) and beyond that the monies help make it possible for the Foundation to keep two employees, have modern equipment, and do many uncompensated projects for rural Kansas.

When we published our 2005 Kansas Guidebook for Explorers, a store enlightened me that nothing hurt their sales more than Amazon. We chose then and now to not put our book on Amazon in order to support independent book stores as best we can.

Our shipping department is Mom, with an occasional assist from WenDee, Dad, and the rural route carrier. We send all of our books through our local Inman post office in order to help with their revenue and the consequences of that.

When you choose to purchase this book, you're helping set off a positive snowball effect on the Kansas economy.


The best outcome of all will be if the 216 places in the book get extra traffic and attention. We also hope that the many explorery places in between the 216 will get more visits!

If the explorers or visitors, or even the armchair travelers, fall just a bit more in love with Kansas that would be mighty good, too.

If those that do visit could drop an extra dollar in the donation jar or feel good about making a purchase or just pat a volunteer on the back or thank an owner for choosing a Kansas community in which to do business, that also would be terrific. All those things make a bigger difference than you might imagine.

On April 16, the guidebook made it's debut at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. That was pretty special. An appreciative audience of over 300 came to see the 8 Wonders of Kansas exhibit on two floors of the library, to hear the program, and to peruse and buy the 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook. The Eisenhower staff put an exhibit together on the 8 Wonders in each of the nine categories (overall, architecture, art, commerce, cuisine, customs, geography, history, and people) and it will be on display until September 5.

Karl Weissenbach, director, of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and Linda Smith were gracious hosts along with the Kansas Sampler Foundation board and assistant director WenDee LaPlant.

Cookies and an orange cake in the shape of an 8 and Kansas symbol cookies that came from Amanda's Bakery and Bistro in Abilene provided some great snacks. Marci and Karl made the first cut of the cake.

Author Marci and photographer Harland had a good time signing books.

Let's all get ready for a great travel and explorer season in Kansas. Nothing like being out on the Kansas road to "Get Kansas!"

KE #2 Marci Penner


Mary said...

This is a wonderful story. I'm going to print it & put it on display with the books in my store.

Window On The Prairie said...

Hey Marci, I finally put up a post on my blog about the book signing. Thanks again,