Over the Thanksgiving break, while we stuffed our free-range turkeys with herbs foraged from our yards, baked our organic vegan pumpkin pies, washed it all down with sustainable bio-dynamic wines and burned the calories off on wintry walks, we had some time to reflect on how many people really contribute to our effort of publishing excellent outdoor books. And we want to express a little bit of the immense gratitude that we feel for all the people who enable us to do what we love!
So, what are we grateful for here at Mountaineers Books? A whole lot.
Our loyal readers – There’s just no way we could offer too much thanks to our many readers—whether they find us in a bookstore, online, or through a friend. Maxine Dunkelman, librarian at the Mountaineers Olympia branch, might be the epitome of a loyal reader, as she not only reads our books but shares them with others and leads us to new projects. She alerted us to the fact that “Rare Bird,” Maria Ruth’s vivid account of the marbled murrelet and citizen science, was out of print and a book we might be interested in re-publishing… And she was right!
Our terrific authors – It would be easier for a parent to name their favorite child, than for us to pick a favorite author. Each and every one of our authors has provided us with invaluable knowledge, a terrific story, or stunning photography. In some case, all of the above! So, while it’s difficult (read: excruciating) for us to pick just one, we’ll take this opportunity to give a shout out to Bill Thorness. As the author of “Biking Puget Sound,” he inspired our Sales and Marketing Director Doug Canfield to take up cycling several years ago. Now Doug is obsessed with everything bicycle — “in a good way,” so he says. Bill volunteers in his community, is a wonderful writer and an all-around cheerful guy to hang out with. (Bill’s other Mountaineers Books titles are “Cool Season Gardener” and “Edible Seattle”.)
Our colleagues at nonprofits across the country – We’re lucky to work with many groups who share our passion for getting people outside and the people who run these organizations have the greatest energy! Take, for example, Christian Green at the Colorado Mountain Club. Christian is a one-man show for Colorado Mountain Club Press, which Mountaineers Books distributes. He makes great books, wears lots of hats, and is just plain wonderful to work with.
Bookstores or booksellers who carry our books – We appreciate the large chains that sell a lot of our books and we’re also super grateful for small stores – businesses the size of Mountaineers Books – who have limited space and resources and still choose to sell our books because they’re as passionate about the outdoors as we are. Michael Coy of Third Place Books-Ravenna in Seattle is always generous with his praise and enthusiasm for local publishing, while Celia Sack of Omnivore Books in San Francisco has been incredibly supportive of our Skipstone lifestyle titles. And we will sorely miss the smart and attentive choices that Steve Gerken has made for many years as REI’s outdoor book buyer!
Our generous funders — Creating unique, inspired products is often a labor of love. The ideas expressed in our books have benefited from the support of generous funders who have helped us bring ideas to fruition, and helped our books find their audiences. We’d like to thank Wilburforce for their most recent gift of $20,000 toward our upcoming book on the Crown of the Continent and, we’re eternally grateful to the Campion Foundation for bringing the Braided River dream to life.
Our freelance crew – Proofers are the unheralded heroes of the publishing biz! Their names don’t appear on the copyright pages but they’re absolutely critical. One freelancer who regularly saves our bacon is Lynn Griesz. She is the Sherlock Holmes of proofers, sniffing out wayward grammar and pointing the finger at the most elusive of typos. Julie Van Pelt and Kris Fulsaas regularly provide detailed and thorough copyedits; Elizabeth Johnson makes sure nothing is amiss and Jane Jeszeck’s designs bring beauty and grace to our books.
The inspiring athletes who write and use our books – Once again, there are too many to single out! We are lucky to work with many outstanding climbers, hikers, paddlers, skiers, and more. It’s truly an honor that they write, read, and use our books! Take climber and writer Matt Samet. He used Freedom of the Hills when learning to climb; reviewed our books and wrote about our authors while editor at Climbing magazine; has written two amazing works on climbing for us—”Climbing Dictionary" and the just-published "Crag Survival Handbook"—and now he supports our climbing legacy by being on the Advisory Council for our Legends and Lore series.
Our incredible natural environment – We are so blessed to be located in Seattle, on the edge of Puget Sound, tucked between the rugged Olympics, the volcanic Cascades, and the glittering Salish Sea.
One quality common to everyone on our staff is that we need to be outside – A LOT – to stay sane. So, we are all grateful for nature!
Making books about beautiful wild places, thrilling sports, and inspiring outdoor legends is an awesome line of work to be in and we’re thankful every day for the people who support Mountaineers Books.
Readers, booksellers, authors, athletes, partners and friends - we’re grateful for you!