About Us
Custom Book Publishing

Ascend Books is a highly specialized publishing company with a burgeoning presence in sports, entertainment and commemoration events. Ascend Books publishes a variety of formats each year — in a variety of subject areas.

Ascend Books executes publishing projects in a tightly defined market — that of sports celebrities, including athletes, coaches and teams, and of significant anniversary celebrations of sports institutions, such as football bowl games, franchises, and halls of fame. Ascend also provides exciting titles in the entertainment arena, including books on jazz music, beer, and other popular topics. Ascend Books has also been recognized for publishing wonderfully illustrated children’s books written by national and regional celebrity authors.

Our custom books publishing initiative provides a multi-dimensional approach for a select number of titles. Each year, Ascend preserves the legacies and milestones of groups, associations, charities, and teams who celebrate significant anniversaries, events, and accomplishments worthy of a custom book project. With these milestones comes the opportunity to broaden the collective mindshare of the customers, fans, or memberships close to that organization or individual.

Ascend Books evaluates and recommends various book publishing options for high-profile individuals and groups in areas of business, sports, and entertainment. We are interested in books worthy of regional or national trade distribution, as well as opportunities requiring an industry-specific emphasis to a targeted and specific readership. We will consider publishing projects for private consumption or distribution to both the regional or national trade.

Each year Ascend Books works with the nation's leading industry professionals and associations. The Ascend Books distribution team shepherds thousands of books from press to audience each month. Ascend employs professionals in editorial, sales, production, and distribution roles. Our stringent publishing criteria, however, limits the number of books we publish each year. When we accept and initiate a book publishing project, we put our full complement of talented editors, collaborators, photographers, artists, and sales professionals behind each project. Unlike many other publishers, the Ascend Books team works with setting goals, then establishing defined objectives to maximize the sales opportunities for each project. When the decision is made to proceed on a book, we put the full strength of our sales, editorial, production, and distribution resources to work.

At Ascend Books we pride ourselves on:
  • Efficient and frequent communication with our authors and strategic partners
  • Hands-on project management to maximize book sales and distribution
  • A coordinated plan for effective regional, national and industry-specific publicity
  • Managed celebrity appearances and strategic bookings coordination
  • Up to date royalty reporting and contract administration
Your group or organization may be recognizing an event or anniversary worthy of a custom book.

It may be time to contact us if you are:
  • A published author or agent with a professional book proposal
  • An author with a book manuscript to which you own the copyright
  • An association or organization with an upcoming anniversary or milestone
Ascend Books considers a variety of approaches, distribution channels and publishing efforts for each submission. We count on our strategic partners to assist in reaching our collective goals. Our publishing efforts are a true partnership in every sense of the word.

Contact us to discuss your custom book publishing opportunities.
Direct your submissions to:
Bob Snodgrass
Ascend Books
CEO & Publisher
(913) 948-5500

Welcome to the Blue Heaven:  Don't Bet Against the Goalkeeper
By Jimmy Nielsen
 with Paolo Bandini

Major League Soccer's Goalkeeper of the Year for 2012, Jimmy Nielsen, has established himself as one of the best players in the league and a fan favorite in Kansas City, playing for Sporting Kansas City. Yet while supporters are familiar with his achievements on the field and larger-than-life personality off it, few are aware of the remarkable story that led him to the US Midwest.

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Inside the Park:  Running the Base Path of Life
By Willie Wilson
 with Kent Pulliam
16 page photo insert

Willie Wilson played baseball with the mentality of a football player — a grimace, on his face. Totally unprepared for the spotlight of being in the major leagues, Wilson experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, sometimes unable to tell them apart. He helped lead the Kansas City Royals to their first World Series in only his second full season in the Major Leagues.

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Tigers vs Jayhawks:  From the Civil War to the Battle for No. 1
By Mark Godich

16 page color photo insert section

Missouri and Kansas went from unranked at the start of the 2007 college football season to playing for No. 1 in the country on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so no wonder Brent Musburger chose his words carefully as he addressed a national television audience moments before kickoff of the rivals’ historic meeting.

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Winning with Purpose:  Raising Our Game and Lifting Our Teammates, On and Off the Court
By Satch Sullinger
 with John Dauphin

Sports is filled with successful coaches, but Satch Sullinger’s story offers championship-level inspiration to players, parents and coaches who care about values and winning the right way, on and off the court. In an ego-soaked era where highlights and sound bites speak to a “me first” societal mentality, Sullinger’s message cuts through the din, to the core of what matters most: mastering the fundamentals of selflessness that allow us to raise our game, lift our teammates and rise to collective glory.

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At the Hang-Up:  Seeking Your Purpose, Running the Race, Finishing Strong
By Ted Owens
 with Jim Krause
and Jesse Tuel

16 page photo insert

This is the inspirational story of Ted Owens — still the coach with the most wins in the history of Allen Fieldhouse — from growing up as a boy on a cotton farm in Southwestern Oklahoma during the Great Depression to coaching at the highest levels of the college basketball world.

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Relentless:  From Redshirt to the Rock of the Jayhawks
By Travis Releford
 Matt Fulks

Every team has at least one. That one player who’s called on to make some- thing happen. Throughout his career on the University of Kansas basketball team, Travis Releford was that guy. So much so, in fact, that on Senior Night 2013, head coach Bill Self told the Allen Fieldhouse crowd that Releford was “the rock of our team.”

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Live an Extreme Life:  Losing the Weight and Gaining My Purpose
By Bob Brenner
 Reji Laberje
16 page color insert

Growing up in small-town Wisconsin, Bob Brenner fed his addictions to food and football, becoming the biggest guy in his family of six siblings and on the defensive lines of winning team after winning team. Bob's size was an asset that he wanted to continue growing.

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It's Awesome, Baby!:  75 Years of Memories and a Lifetime of Opinions on the Game I Love
By Dick Vitale
 Dick Weiss
Joan Williamson

It’s hard to believe, but Dick Vitale, ESPN’s perennially youthful basketball analyst, is 75.

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Building the Perfect Star:  Changing the Trajectory of Sports and the People In Them
By Dr. Bob Ward
 Mac Engel
Foreword by Randy White

16-page photo insert

Today, it is inconceivable for a professional or even small college sports team to go without a coach designated to enhancing conditioning, strength training, and overall performance. But someone had to be first.

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From the Guys Who Were There:  The Kansas City Royals
By Bill Althaus

16-page photo insert

For 365 days, the Kansas City Royals have lived with the specter of the 2014 World Series hanging over their heads.

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Just Let 'Em Play:  Guiding Parents, Coaches, and Athletes through Youth Sports
By Dr. Andrew Jacobs
 Jeff Montgomery
Peter D. Malone with Matt Fulks

The stories seem more prevalent today than ever: coaches and parents pushing kids to the point of “burnout” before high school, parents fighting with referees and umpires, coaches berating kids in front of teammates and parents, and even kids using performance-enhancing drugs.

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Finding My Father's Voice:  A Baseball Love Story
By Leigh Ann Walker
 with Chuck Carlson
Foreword by Pat Hughes

Soft cover with 16-page photo insert

A father's presence or absence in their children's lives, especially their daughters, impacts them on multiple levels. Finding My Father's Voice addresses what this loss meant to a daughter who fell in love with a father that she never knew.

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Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie:  A Kansas City Adventure
By Aja James and Audrey Masoner
 with Sly James
Illustrated by Rob Peters

Full color illustrations, hard cover with color dust jacket

What would you do if you could travel back in time in your favorite city?

Kansas City is a gem in the Heart of America! And to understand why it’s such a great city, one should learn about the events and people behind its rich and remarkable history. So, what about a time travel adventure to explore Kansas City’s history as it happened? And who better to be our guide on this fascinating journey than Kansas City’s Mayor Sly James. Presenting the wonderfully illustrated adventure, Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie for your bookshelves!

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Kansas City Chiefs ABCs and 1-2-3s:  Second Edition
By Rob Peters

KC Wolf, mascot for the Kansas City Chiefs, guides the child reader through the book, teaching letters, colors, and numbers while also sharing interesting facts and terms related to the Chiefs, Kansas City, and football in general. For example: “A” is for Arrowhead, the legendary home of the Chiefs; “B” is for Barbecue, a favorite food among Kansas Citians and something for which the city is known; “Q” is for Quarterback, a key position on any football team.

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Puppies on Parade:  Let’s Learn the States
By Julie Snodgrass
 Meagan Martucci

Kids are invited to come along and join in the fun in this educational children’s book. We’ll travel the country and meet some cute puppy friends along the way. You’ll find puppies of all kinds while learning interesting facts about each state. What a great way to learn about our amazing country! There is so much to learn about all of your American neighbors. Along the way a friendly dog introduces rhyming facts for each state.

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Hermit:  A Novel
By Gene Bicknell

From Author and Community Advocate O. Gene Bicknell comes this story of triumph over isolation. HERMIT is the fictional tale of Sgt. Jackson Eagle, U.S. Special Forces Ranger and his struggle dealing with the punishing aspects of his isolation, and victory over it. He discovers heartbreak, adventure and the value of self-reliance. He also learns that we all need relationships with each other for encouragement, refreshment, and growth. He realizes that there is strength in numbers, and we should show compassion to anyone who falls and has no one to help them get back up.

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Baby Jay’s Jayhawk Journey:  The Ultimate KU Story About What It Means To Be A Jayhawk
By Written and Illustrated by Jacob Hood

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The Best in the Land:  The Story of Brutus Buckeye
By Paul Keels

The Best in the Land by “Voice of the Buckeyes” Paul Keels, tells the story of Brutus Buckeye, from nut to beloved mascot. Young Brutus dreams of one day playing football for his favorite team, The Ohio State Buckeyes. He works hard, but when his chance arrives, it’s not as a player. As Brutus finds new ways of helping his friends to victory week after week, he learns there’s more than one way to be part of a team.

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Banner Year:  The Championship Season of the 2021-22 Kansas Jayhawks
By Brian Hanni

“Banner Year” is the only KU-officially licensed chronicle of the Kansas Jayhawks‘ historic run to the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship. It covers the entire 2021-22 season in unique ways no non-licensed book can. This limited-edition KU collector’s item includes a foreword from Hall of Fame Coach Bill Self ...

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Game Maker:  A Creative Kid Becomes the Father of Basketball
By Brian Hanni

Game Maker’s inspirational message is based on historical insights that Author Brian Hanni learned while interviewing Jim Naismith, the grandson of the Father of Basketball.

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Take the Crown!:  18 Core Principles to Grow Your Business and Improve Your Life
By Miles Schnaer

Miles Schnaer is the owner of the Crown Organization, a multi-brand auto dealership based in Lawrence, Kansas. With a long history of success in the sales and service of major car brands, he has won numerous industry awards and twice been named the Time Magazine “Dealer of the Year” for both Kansas and Illinois. In 2017, Schnaer was inducted into the Lawrence

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Are You a Baseball Guy?
By Steve Physioc
 Rex Hudler

Being a “Baseball Guy” is more than just learning a game. Baseball Guys come in all sizes and shapes and ages – and it’s not just for guys! It is learning that kindness, hard work, respect, positivity, and teamwork are qualities of players and winners – and these traits are important not only on the baseball diamond but wherever you are.

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Cy’s Perfect Day:  The Iowa State Way
By John Walters

Cy’s Perfect Day tells the story of Cy enjoying the company of friends before Cyclone football games. All is well when the Cyclones win. But Cy is concerned, after a loss, about how his friends will react.

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Between The Lies
By Marv Levy

The Los Angeles Leopards and the Portland Pioneers are on a collision course toward the Super Bowl Championship. One team is led by a take-no-prisoners head coach; the other by a cerebral, slow-and-steady coach who has been thrust into the spotlight because of a tragedy. A tense showdown is about to unfold before the world’s football fans.

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Lombardi’s Left Side
By Herb Adderley & Dave Robinson
 with Royce Boyles

Winning was not the only thing. Something more important than winning football games occurred during the Lombardi Dynasty. Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers ushered the National Football League to the forefront of American sports popularity during a racially explosive time, proving that teamwork transcended the color barrier.

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Getting a W in the Game of Life:  Using my T.E.A.M. Model to Motivate, Elevate, and Be Great
By Dick Vitale
 with Reji Laberje

It’s tip-off time and time to get that W, a WIN, in the most important game of all... the game of life! Dick Vitale has been in our homes for more than 30 years calling College Basketball on ESPN. Now, invite him in to share the incredible legacies lived and lessons learned that have resulted in a formula for success he’s willing to share with today’s young men and women.

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One Man’s Dream: My Town, My Team, My Time
By Frank White
 with Bill Althaus

When the Kansas City Royals appeared in the 1985 World Series, manager Dick Howser had to make a difficult, and controversial, call. Because the series started in the National League city of St. Louis, there would be no designated hitter, which meant that Hal McRae would be relegated to the role of a reserve player coming off the bench.

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Blood, Sweat, & Bears: Putting a “Dent” in the Game I Love
By Richard Dent
 with Fred Mitchell

Bears’ overwhelming defense during their Super Bowl run, and a 2011 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was an 8th-round draft pick out of tiny Tennessee State in 1983. The tall and skinny rookie would become a 4-time Pro Bowl selection who also played for the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles. Dent wound up his brilliant 15-year career with 137.5 sacks, eight interceptions, 13 fumble recoveries, and two touchdowns.

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The Shame of Me:  One Man’s Journey to Depression and Back
By Ryan Lefebvre
 with Jeffrey Flanagan

Kansas City Royals’ broadcaster Ryan Lefebvre seems to have it all – a dream sports job of announcing Major League Baseball, a huge house on a lake, plenty of expensive toys, good looks, and the admiration of friends and fans. But depression is seldom deterred by such superficial trappings. And depression’s grip on Ryan was so strong and so unyielding that he nearly ended his life.

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The 300 Club:  Have We Seen the Last of Baseball’s 300-Game Winners?
By Dan Schlossberg

Foreword by Wayne Hagin

Coming in April: Since the beginning of Major League Baseball in 1876, only two dozen pitchers have won 300 games. And because of new philosophies about pitch counts, the role of relief pitchers, shrinking strike zones, and fi ve-man rotations, there’s a good chance that the 300 Club has admitted its last member.

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The Curse:  Cubs Win! Cubs Win! ... or do They?
By Andy Van Slyke
 with Rob Rains

Could this finally be the Cubs’ season? The team is in first place and playing well as the All-Star break approaches.

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The Guy on the Wall:  Shaping Game Day from the Colts to Covid
By Bob Leffler

Bob Leffler details his journey from teacher to sales director for the Baltimore Colts and the ultimate founding of his flourishing ad agency. He shares his front-row seat for events affecting pro and college sports, including the Colts’ ill-fated decision to draft John Elway and their “Midnight Ride” to Indianapolis.

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Dickie V’s ABCs and 1-2-3s:  A Great Start for Young Superstars
By Dick Vitale
 Illustrated by Craig Lueck

Do you know a young superstar who’s old enough to begin learning their alphabet and numbers? A budding basketball fan who’s ready to take on the world of reading and hoops?

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Many Happy Returns:  The Story of Henry Bloch, America’s Tax Man
By Tom Bloch
 Introduction by Henry Bloch
16-page color insert

Does the very thought of preparing your own taxes give you a headache? Get to know the man who is responsible for helping more than 20 million taxpayers with this dreaded annual burden.

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Sullen Sally
By Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove

Sally woke up feeling blah, so she swallowed her smile, but her best friend Josie was there to help Sally through the day and help turn that frown upside down. The story reminds readers that nobody is expected to feel happy all the time. It provides an opportunity for adults and children to talk about feelings and the meaning of true friendship.

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Unhitch the Wagon:  The Story of Boomer and Sooner
By Toby Rowland

Two ponies on the Oklahoma prairie have a dream to become the ponies chosen to pull the Sooner Schooner at a football game at the University of Oklahoma. Through hard work and perseverance, the ponies achieve their dream. An officially licensed book of The University of Oklahoma..

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Trust Your Next Shot Legacy Edition:  A Guide to a Life of Joy
By Meadowlark Lemon & Cynthia Lemon

A newsreel of the Harlem Globetrotters captured Meadowlark Lemon’s heart when he was 11 years old, giving him a dream to play for the team. Though he had no money for a basketball, he was determined. His first hoop was made out of a coat hanger and an onion sack nailed to a tree in Wilmington, NC. His ball was a Carnation Milk can. It was a humble beginning for a legendary career that would change the face of basketball forever.

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Hark! It’s Harold the Angel
By Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove

Harold is an angel who thinks he can’t sing very well, but with a little help and encouragement, he finds his voice in time to proclaim to the world the news of Jesus’s birth.

It’s an unconventional aspect of the Christmas story and a read-along companion to the song by Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove. This book tells the overlooked story of one of history’s most infamous angels. Hark! It’s Harold the Angel encourages readers to discover their own talents and reminds them that a little practice can boost their confidence to do great things. The rhythm and rhymes encourage a read along and sing along with adults.

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