GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Books accompanying travelers to the Park since 2002

All posts tagged guidebooks

Holiday sale to end soon

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The latest edition of the Yellowstone Treasures guidebook came out in August. Here’s a review of the previous edition:

“[A] magnificent catalogued resource to the full enjoyment of a huge national park and area known as Yellowstone. The author has extensive knowledge and experience in exploring the beauties of the area. . . . Altogether, Yellowstone Treasures fills an ongoing need for new generations of park explorers and appreciators. She has spent much of her life becoming better acquainted with the riches of the area and she is generously sharing her knowledge with this beautiful guidebook. It is not to be missed.”

—Nancy Lorraine, Midwest Book Review, May 2009
You can find more great comments on our Reviews and From Our Readers pages.

As we explained in our November 4 press release, the updated fourth edition boasts:

  • Color tabs to indicate the six sections of the park
  • A dozen new pictures
  • Fully revised maps that show recent road changes
  • Updated geological information to reflect current research on what’s under Yellowstone and how it works, along with new diagrams like the one excerpted below
  • A new glossary of geological and other scientific terms

Yellowstone Treasures fourth edition geological figure

Part of Figure 5. What’s under Yellowstone: Moving plates, mantle plumes, and the Yellowstone hot spot.

The comprehensive guidebook also comes as an e-book in EPUB, PDF, Nook, and Kindle formats.

To encourage sales during the time of the year when not so many people visit Yellowstone, we started a holiday sale in November. You can buy the guidebook for $19.96 plus shipping and handling, which is 20% off the list price. To get the 20% discount on the print book, be sure to type the promo code “Holidays” in the Voucher box of the shopping cart. But hurry, this coupon only lasts until midnight on January 20, 2014.

Best wishes,
Beth Chapple, Editor

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Yellowstone Treasures, Updated Fourth Edition

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I just got in trouble with TripAdvisor for mentioning something on their website [July 2013]. Sorry about that, but someone wanted to know how much difference there would be between the third and fourth editions of this guidebook, and I offered to send the person an autographed copy of the fourth edition from those copies I already have and told him or her another option would be to buy it from our website. My message must have lasted less than half an hour on there!

Here is what we have put out describing how the 2013 edition differs from the previous one: Covering everything there is to know about the world’s first and most diverse national park, the fourth edition of this bestselling guide to Yellowstone boasts more facts, anecdotes, history, and travel tips than ever before. Mile-by-mile road logs document every approach to the park and every interior road. Through easy-to-understand explanations and diagrams, readers will learn of Yellowstone’s campgrounds and facilities, geyser basins and the frequency of the geysers, out-of-the-way hikes, and flora and fauna.

Updates to this edition include tinted tabs to indicate the six different regions of the park and their approach roads, in addition to the tabs in previous editions for the geological, historical, and natural history sections; up-to-date scientific information to reflect recent research, including two new geological diagrams; highlighted historic items in the road logs; a dozen new pictures; and fully revised maps to show recent road changes and other details. A four-page glossary and a twenty-page index round out this indispensable addition to any travel library.

My offer stands to my blog post readers. For as long as my supply lasts, as author and publisher I can send you an autographed copy of Yellowstone Treasures for your use this summer, but I can only accept personal checks and money orders. You can reach me for details at: janet@yellowstonetreasures.com.

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The Official Guide to Yellowstone

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As a guidebook publisher, I try to keep up with what books come out that help people enjoy and learn about Yellowstone. So, when there’s a new guidebook announced, I always take a good look at it—maybe even buy it.

This past February [2012] the famous Michelin tire and guide company threw their hat in the ring with The Yellowstone Park Foundation’s Official Guide to Yellowstone National Park, partnering with the Yellowstone Park Foundation. They’ve produced a slim and lightweight book that would fit nicely in many pockets, with quite a few colored pictures borrowed from the National Park Service and the YPF itself. The only maps are in the fold-out front and back covers and show the seven regions they’ve divided the park into and the road system, with stars for a few recommended features and areas. A nice touch in this book is the “Insider Tips” by several park experts.

But ironically this is not the only “official” guide you can buy today. The other appeared first in 1997 and is a large format (magazine-size) book, which I notice grows thicker with each new edition. Called Yellowstone: The Official Guide to Touring America’s First National Park, this one also divides our large park into seven areas. It’s published by the Yellowstone Association, another of the non-profit organizations centered on Yellowstone. It has sectional maps showing facilities and interesting features in several different regions. The large colored pictures will delight many.

Both of these guides are good contributions to Yellowstone bookshelves. Still, I cannot help but be amused at the word “official” in both guides’ titles. My dictionary gives “authorized” as a major synonym for “official,” but I fail to find in either guide by whom or what agency they were authorized. Should Yellowstone Treasures also seek to become “official”?

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Reviews and constructive criticism, part 3

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As a music student, I learned very early that teachers’ (and others’) criticisms were always meant to be constructive and helped to improve my playing or comprehension. Becoming angry or morose or coming up with objections were always counterproductive reactions.

This is a lesson that carries over into all endeavors in life, so my editor Beth and I have been inspired to turn around recent criticism of Yellowstone Treasures. We’ve taken a critical look at the book in order to tell potential readers just how it can be used for planning and visiting the park. Take a look at a new nugget of information. We hope it will make very clear how this guidebook is intended to be used—and it also showcases pictures my husband and I have taken in Yellowstone on recent trips.

2012

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Reviews and Constructive Criticism, Part 2

Categories: On the Web
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One long review with a useful criticism

Recently I decided to go through the ideas of one reviewer carefully for constructive suggestions—and I found one! More about what I learned and about what I can’t resist disagreeing with will appear soon in a new nugget of information on our website. [See The Features of Yellowstone Treasures.]

One thing the reviewer certainly got right: the book certainly reflects the author’s interests—and what book does not? I check out as many places in Yellowstone as I can every year, but I confess that I spend the most time where I most like to be.

I thank the reviewer for saying he “got a sort of ‘wikipedia’ to Yellowstone” instead of what he was expecting. That’s a compliment!

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Reviews and constructive criticism, part 1

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Since we published the first edition in 2002, Yellowstone Treasures has received 84 reviews on Amazon.com. Of those, 81 are four- or five-star reviews; one each received three, two, or one star. Barnesandnoble.com shows six four- and five-star reviews, two 3-star, and one 2-star, most with no text.

Naturally all this positive response made me happy. My main goal in writing such a detailed guidebook has always been to provide visitors with a really useful book. The occasional constructive suggestions offered online and in person by my readers contributed to the gradual improvements that my editor Beth and I have incorporated in the next two editions.

An article called “The Best Reviews Money Can Buy” caught my eye in the August 26 New York Times Sunday Business section. It seems an enterprising man named Todd Rutherford found a way to capitalize on selling positive online reviews to self-publishers. He wrote some himself and hired others to write them—you could buy reviews in bulk: $99 for one or $999 for 50. The system worked splendidly for a few months, but Google began to limit Rutherford’s ads and then Amazon cut back on the reviews, and Rutherford went into other ventures.

To my way of thinking, paying for reviews is unethical. I had qualms about asking one friend who had used Yellowstone Treasures in the park to write a review. It has been great to have feedback about what can be improved. Tomorrow I’ll post my reactions to the very long and detailed one-star review the book received earlier this month.

2012

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Counting the days

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I am counting the days until I leave for Yellowstone country. Ten days from now I’ll get close, but I’ll start south of the park to do some research in a library collection in Provo, Utah, and then visit old friends in Jackson Hole.

Then the real work begins. I have lots of things to check out in the park for Yellowstone Treasures. I suppose no guidebook can ever be declared finished, since it is only valuable if kept up to date with the changes that inevitably occur. Yellowstone is more prone to changes than most areas, what with all those geysers that keep changing their personalities. And parts of the roads may be different from a few years ago, along with other man-made features. Then, too, there are always ways to improve a book in general.

For the next edition I want to bring the writing about the geology of the park up to date. Yes, you would think the rocks would stay the same, but geology isn’t just about rocks, it’s also about how the earth got the way it is, how the geology affects all the living things in the neighborhood, and what may be going on under our feet that will bring about changes. Several types of geoscientists are working continuously to better understand the processes that make Yellowstone so marvelous.

Then, too, I’m always trying to understand what geologists are learning and bring some of it to my readers. Helping me this year is an old friend and PhD (from Brown University) in geology, Jo-Ann Sherwin. My map maker, Linton Brown, is back at work tweaking the maps, sometimes in subtle ways, and my editor and my book designer, daughter Beth Chapple and friend Alice Merrill, are doing their things for better verbal expression and design. With a little luck, we’ll have some new pictures to share, too.

And, of course, the Internet and phone access are both a bit iffy where I’m going, so I won’t try to write blog posts while there. There will be more words from me on this blog before I leave home, though. . . .

[August 2012]

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White Creek and Yellowstone Treasures

Categories: Thermal features
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From the time Yellowstone Treasures was new in 2002 until the third reprint of the third edition earlier this year [2012], I’ve told readers about a narrow unmaintained trail that leads from the Great Fountain Geyser parking area to some interesting hot springs and geysers along White Creek. Certainly not intending to go against National Park Service regulations, I nevertheless neglected to point out in recent printings that the trail was closed to visitors in about 2010.

This action was probably taken because visitors were overusing the area and harming the natural features, as a knowledgeable geyser gazer pointed out in an e-mail message last week. He said that “the number of people going up White Creek to look at Octopus Pool and other features increased drastically” about ten years ago. He also said that these visitors “had no knowledge of how to be safe in such situations. Nobody understood how much environmental damage they were doing, either,” and he pointed out that “anybody with access to the internet and popular guidebooks thinks of White Creek as a destination.”

Not surprisingly, this gave me a sense of mea culpa, which has been gnawing at me these past few days. Although I cannot correct old editions, I will no longer write about the White Creek hydrothermal features in Yellowstone Treasures—and I will point out that the area is now closed to visitors. White Creek is one of several interesting but fragile and even potentially dangerous places in the park that have suffered from overuse and been judged by the park service to need time to recover.

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One more Kindle change

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Well, folks, Amazon.com seems to have realized they’d made an error, so today (or yesterday?) they returned the price of the Kindle version of Yellowstone Treasures to $9.99. Like it or not, all publishers and authors are required to toe the mark with Amazon.

[May 2012]

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Kindle version of “Yellowstone Treasures” again available

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If you read my February 25 post or tried in the past few months to buy a version of Yellowstone Treasures for your Kindle, you know that it was not being sold on the Amazon website. But as of earlier this week, an agreement between my distributor, Independent Publishers Group, and Amazon has brought it back. The Kindle version now costs their standard $9.99 rather than the $14-something you would have had to pay for it previously. As publisher, I can live with that. I thank IPG for holding firm when Amazon became unreasonable, but I also thank both of them for arriving at a compromise.

(Added 14 hours later) Oops! I see that now the Kindle price is $11.96. Well, that’s half the price of the paperback. Trouble is, you don’t get the 37 maps or any of the color in the pictures or design elements in the book. With the next edition I will have a Kindle Fire version, which should remedy that problem.

[2012 post. 9/13/13 update: The Kindle Fire version of Yellowstone Treasures has been out for over a month now, and it looks great!]

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