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The Future is . . .

March 28 2012 at 2:08 PM
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Tom Lopez  (no login)

Response to Question for Tom Lopez

Kevin, Guidebooks for small markets are probably not dead but certainly near death and undoubtedly not profitable.

Last year my book (which is the second edition) finally sold out the first printing. The first edition's first printing sold out in 2.5 years (as opposed to 12 years for the much better second edition). At the current rate of sales it will take 25 years to sell the same number of books the first edition sold in 8 years.

When preparing for the second printing, I tried to get the publisher to add another 50 pages. The answer was "no--not cost effective." I was not surprised but I was happy they at least did a second printing.

You can put a lot more information on a web site than in a book and the cost is much less for the web site owner and the consumer. There is no reason to suspect the one is more accurate than the other. However, the fact that you can edit entries, add trip reports, add as many photos and maps as you wish means much more data is likely to be found on the web than in a book like mine. More data should mean more accuracy.

I was brought up on books and thus I have a great attachment to them. However, I suspect that before long there will be many people who do not own books and have little or no contact with them in their daily lives.

The future? There is a great app for Android phones for Colorado's 14ers. You can download everything for a climb on your phone and consult it as you climb even if you do not have coverage. Its free. The info is free. Sweet! Not sure how long it will be free but I suspect it will be free as long as the publisher is alive.

What happens is SummitPost goes away. I imagine some one has copied the whole site and it will come back.

The world will continue to turn . . . .

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