New AMC Maine Mountain Guide is out

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peakbagger

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I must admit the MMG was a relatively static guide for the first few editions, trail descriptions were not updated that often and it tended to focus on the bigger mountains. That has changed with a new editor a few editions ago who works for the Portland Press Herald. He had been expanding the trails covered and updating descriptions. There have been a lot of new trails and trail systems build in Maine in all parts of the state and he seems to be picking them up. It also helps he has access to Larry Garland talent for maps.

I realize that the White Mountain Guide gets most of the attention but expect the MMG would be a great gift as online coverage of Maine trails is far less extensive than those in the WMG.
 
I have the 10th Edition edited and compiled by Carey Michael Kish and find it to be useless except for the most basic of needs. It pales in comparison to the White Mountain guides we have known and used for years. I'd have to thumb through it at a bookshop and evaluate before I ever decided to buy it again.

(Apologies to Carey if he is on here or known by someone here. I have no idea what the circumstances are of this person or how they came to be associated with the Guide. I know Steve Smith is extraordinarily passionate about the Whites and is probably the exception to the rule as a complier of such a book. But I have his guides none the less and use them as a comparison to all others).
 
As a point of clarification, the latest MMG was published back on September 12. I know that Carey made a lot of changes in this edition with removing some trails and adding others. For one person covering the entire state I'd say he did a pretty great job.
 
I think Ken pointed out an important thing, If you look at the radius of territory covered by the WMG its probably less than a 2 hour radius. Maine is lot bigger, almost the size of the 5 other New England states. A lot more territory to cover.
 
As a point of clarification, the latest MMG was published back on September 12. I know that Carey made a lot of changes in this edition with removing some trails and adding others. For one person covering the entire state I'd say he did a pretty great job.
My 10th edition is copyright dated 2012. Is that the version peakbagger is referencing?? When he referenced a "new" editor I was imagining something in the past year or two. So I have the new and improved version?

EDIT: I scanned your post quickly and saw "2012" not September 12th. Shouldn't have tried to respond while simultaneously watching the Bills/Chiefs game. I Googled and see that the 12 edition is the newest. I'll make it a point to thumb through it at a bookstore at some point.
 
I think Ken pointed out an important thing, If you look at the radius of territory covered by the WMG its probably less than a 2 hour radius. Maine is lot bigger, almost the size of the 5 other New England states. A lot more territory to cover.
Fair point. But the content is still the content. He may get 5 stars for the effort involved in getting to and hiking everything but the details are very minimal. He was eventually at all of these places (I assume) so he could have logged more details and data to put in the guide.

EDIT: My comments related to the 10th edition, not the recently released 12th edition.
 
He was eventually at all of these places (I assume) so he could have logged more details and data to put in the guide.
I'm not going to speak for Carey but as someone else who does stuff for AMC, we are contracted for a set word count (although this has some flexibility within reason in the end).
 
I'm not going to speak for Carey but as someone else who does stuff for AMC, we are contracted for a set word count (although this has some flexibility within reason in the end).
Good to know. How does Steve Smith manage to provide such concise, detailed information for the WMG with that limitation? I have no clue how many trails the WMG covers versus the MMG. I suppose that could be handcuffing Carey's efforts? Maybe 2 books for Maine would be a better solution, like the Northern and Southern NH guides, so that descriptions can be more verbose and informative.
 
It would be interesting to see the print runs on the MMG versus the WMG. My speculation is a MMG print run is a fraction of the WMG and probably both are seeing substantial decreases in overall print runs from prior years. It may just come down to economics. I run into references frequently to small regional hiking guides and "best of guides" in Maine frequently. See these written by the reporter for the competition https://www.amazon.com/Books-Aislinn-Sarnacki/s?rh=n:283155,p_27:Aislinn+Sarnacki The WMG is pretty well considered the authority in the Whites but I am less certain the MMG is as respected. Part of it comes down to as I mentioned previously, someone looking to go hiking in western Maine could care less about trails 6 to 7 hours drive in northern or eastern Maine. This would support breaking up the MMG into regions but then it goes back to print runs.

I am not sure if Ken can comment but Mike Dickerman commented years ago that the revenue from the early books with Steve was minimal at best as they were writers not publishers, where he made money was buying cases of the books at a discount along with prior books selling them during the book tour. Mike had contacts from the press so his tours were generally quite long and extensive, any organization with a couple of warm bodies willing to listen might have Mike and Steve show up to talk out his book. Mike initially just recycled articles from his Littleton Courier column while Steve tended to write new works and I think they bought a few rights to other out of print books. That is one of the reasons that Mike and Steve (or at least one of them) created Bondcliff books so they could self publish and cut out a middleman. In AMCs case I think Globe Pequot is the publisher with no doubt AMC taking a cut so the profit distribution may be different.

I had a similar discussion with someone who worte for the Images of America series Images of America Books Series | Arcadia Publishing on a subject he was expert on. He got paid a fairly low fee and if he wanted to make money on the book he could buy them at discount and sell them on a road show. He would have liked to get in a lot more history, but they really only wanted his name and enough text to fill in around the historical photographs. To him the subject was far more interesting than the money. No doubt editors of the MMG and WMG feel the same.
 
How does Steve Smith manage to provide such concise, detailed information for the WMG with that limitation?
Steve and I have less ground to cover. The MMG is for an entire state; the WMG is mostly the middle third of NH. There aren't a ton of trails in northern NH and southern NH is covered in the SNHTG.
 
Creative endeavors are most often done as a labor of love than for profit. My 52WAV book has done really well but I ain't retiring anytime soon. 😉
Your guides and Facebook page are top notch. Too bad it can't be more lucrative for you.
 
Kind of nice that he posts things for cavemen like me on this forum that are not on facebook ;)
 
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I'd be most interested in the map updates for the 12th edition. It sounded, as peakbagger aluded to, that they made a major upgrade. The maps with the 10th edition (only 2 IIRC) were limited. I think the online description mentions 6 full color maps now. I wound up buying a map from The Wilderness Company for the Rangely area and the 4ks incentrail Maine back when I got the 10th edition. I forget if it wasn't covered at all or was just minimal. I'm not even sure where my MMG guide is anymore.
 
I have the 11th edition and while it gathered dust for the first year I had it, eventually I began to make use of it as I ventured deeper into the state. Biggest issue with that version was that the included maps didn't include much of Carrabassett Valley south of the Bigelows.
 
I have the 11th edition and while it gathered dust for the first year I had it, eventually I began to make use of it as I ventured deeper into the state. Biggest issue with that version was that the included maps didn't include much of Carrabassett Valley south of the Bigelows.
That's why I bought the Wilderness Company's map of the area (was recommended on here and is excellent).
 
Section 3 of the 10th edition covers the Western Lakes and Mountains from about 201 to the NH border and 2 to the Canadian border.
Sorry, I was confused, the issue is that the included maps (even in the new one, someone just told me) don't cover them as mentioned by Rhody above. I also got the Winderness Company one from the Mountain Wanderer.

The new guide includes the new (and pretty boring trail after #4) to the view-less Baker mountain.
 
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I guess the days of doing the off the beaten track mountains in Maine using the Delorme Gazetteer are long gone. i used that to get me to near the mountain and then pulled out the topos.
 
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