Armchair Mountaineers Unite!

The authors of the books we love need our support.

This will interest you even if you’re an active climber, and not the armchair-type…

I am announcing the start of a campaign to encourage you and anyone that appreciates mountaineering literature and guides to support the authors of those books. Where would you be if your favorite hiking or climbing book was never written? Without loyal readers that buy and refer other readers to these books, the authors would not be given the chance to share their knowledge with you. These authors need your help.

Climbing Authors on a Precipice

Here is something you probably didn’t know and should realize: The segment of the publishing industry that provides you with outdoors and mountaineering literature is very small and fragile. The publishers that print the books we enjoy often don’t print many copies – maybe a few thousand, unless they are publishing works by Jon Kraukauer or David Roberts. For example, The Mountaineers Books, the publishing arm of the Mountaineers based out of Seattle, Washington prints about 25-30 titles a year (down from 40-45 before the American Recession) – most of which are guidebooks. This is according to Publishers Weekly. Now consider this:

  • Promotions – The authors have to overcome a lot of obstacles in order to be published and promote their book – most of which they must do without their publishers’ help, contrary to common belief that the publisher-alone sells the book.
  • Sales – Authors have to sell new books in order to make a profit. That used book by your local author you bought at a discount didn’t help put money in her pocket to climb and write again.
  • Referrals – Many book buyers today are nervous to purchase books they never heard of by authors they don’t know. Those books often go unreviewed on booksellers’ websites and without any word of mouth or electronic chatter. This could hold back the publishers of our favorite genre from printing new copies and investing in other great works by authors you might enjoy.

Suburban Mountaineers for Authors

Here is where you come in: In order to keep the books you love in print you need to help publicize them! One of the best way to sell a new book in a buyer-be-ware market is through word-of-mouth referrals and quality reviews on the Internet.

As of today, I am asking readers of the Suburban Mountaineer to buy these books and review them as part of my new campaign: Suburban Mountaineers for Authors.

Together, we will read and review the latest books, talk about them on Facebook and Twitter and on our blogs. If you don’t have a blog, send me your reviews and I will post them on The Suburban Mountaineer and attribute them to you.

Click on the Suburban Mountaineer for Authors page on the right of the homepage and get clear, easy guidance on how to help. I’ll also let you know how to contribute your reviews to be posted on The Suburban Mountaineer.

If you are an author of a climbing book or guide, please contact me as well so we can help get the word out about your work.

Thanks again for visiting the Suburban Mountaineer.  If you enjoyed this post, you can follow me on Facebook or on Twitter.


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