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New USA resort guide - contributors sought

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
Calling all Bears!
I am editing a new guide to US resorts, called "Snowfinder USA". (It is a continuation of the series begun with "Snowfinder France" - more info here: http://www.wave-finder.com/onlinesho...xd.asp?plid=10 )
The guide will feature detailed reports on the resorts listed below, including 2-line descriptions of every trail, and a selection of the most happening bars and restaurants. We are gathering this info using locals and ski bums ("seasonnaires") at the various resorts.

If you would like to be a contributor, please PM me with your email address and your local resort. Unfortunately there will be no payment available for your contribution, but you will get a credit in the publication, plus the satisfaction of knowing that your home mountain is being accurately described to the skiing public. Good photos are also of interest.

List of resorts
California

Heavenly (Lake Tahoe)
Squaw Valley (Lake Tahoe)
Mammoth

Colorado
Aspen / Snowmass
Beaver Creek
Breckenridge
Copper Mountain
Crested Butte
Keystone
Steamboat
Telluride
Vail
Winter Park

Utah
Alta
The Canyons
Deer Valley
Park City
Snowbasin
Snowbird

Rest of the West

Big Sky / Moonlight Basin, Montana
Jackson Hole,Wyoming
Sun Valley, Idaho
Taos, New Mexico

East

Killington
Lake Placid
Bretton Woods
Smuggler's Notch
Stowe
Sunday River

Apologies if your home resort is not included!
Many thanks,
MB
post #2 of 63
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much to those who have already replied via PM.
Unlike other ski guides, this one will not be written by ski resort media executives, or journalists (who perhaps only visited each resort for a few, unrepresentative, days). But by contributions from locals who have skied their home mountain in all kinds of weather and snow conditions!
post #3 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Thank you very much to those who have already replied via PM.
Unlike other ski guides, this one will not be written by ski resort media executives, or journalists (who perhaps only visited each resort for a few, unrepresentative, days). But by contributions from locals who have skied their home mountain in all kinds of weather and snow conditions!
Hey, be careful about insulting us ski writers...
post #4 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
Hey, be careful about insulting us ski writers...
Sorry, no insult was intended. I was merely contrasting this particular guide to other resort descriptions that are out there in the market. Hopefully there will still be plenty of work around for ski writers for many years to come - I'm relying on it for when my knees give out!
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Sorry, no insult was intended. I was merely contrasting this particular guide to other resort descriptions that are out there in the market. Hopefully there will still be plenty of work around for ski writers for many years to come - I'm relying on it for when my knees give out!
Just playing with ya! Nice apology, diplomatic and well worded.

But to clarify, most ski writers are well traveled and have a very accurate picture of a resort they visit because their articles are based on repeated visits or extended stays. They also interview locals and repeat guests. If a writer comes away with an inaccurate view, editors will address that, simply because it is possible for someone to have an experience that is not representative of the "normal" visit.
post #6 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl

But to clarify, most ski writers are well traveled and have a very accurate picture of a resort they visit because their articles are based on repeated visits or extended stays. They also interview locals and repeat guests. If a writer comes away with an inaccurate view, editors will address that, simply because it is possible for someone to have an experience that is not representative of the "normal" visit.
EXACTLY.

Ski journalism is highly competitive, so the only way a writer / photographer is going to be assigned to cover a resort other than there home hill, is to consistnatly produce good work, that accuratly portrays the location. In order to get to the point that the editors feall that they can trust the conibur is for the contributor to produce a lot of good, accurate and high quality content from there home mountian first.

The only real problem that I see with this system is that certain ski mags have forgotten that they are ski mags, and are now more interested in covering realestate developments and the newest multimillion dollar twice a week a year homes, and use people that dont even ski to do it.

I'll leave it to you to figure out wich mags that is.
post #7 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier
The only real problem that I see with this system is that certain ski mags have forgotten that they are ski mags, and are now more interested in covering real estate developments and the newest multimillion dollar twice a week a year homes, and use people that dont even ski to do it.

I'll leave it to you to figure out wich mags that is.
Yep, that bothers me too.
post #8 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thatsagirl
Just playing with ya! Nice apology, diplomatic and well worded.

But to clarify, most ski writers are well traveled and have a very accurate picture of a resort they visit because their articles are based on repeated visits or extended stays. They also interview locals and repeat guests. If a writer comes away with an inaccurate view, editors will address that, simply because it is possible for someone to have an experience that is not representative of the "normal" visit.
I agree, I'm sure that applies to 99.9% of ski writers, especially in the US where journalism is a more respected profession than in the UK. However, I do know of cases (on the other side of the pond) where certain ski writers take a dislike to certain resorts and allow it to impair their ability to present a balanced picture of said resort.

But then, again, no-one is perfect, and we all have different views. I'm sure that with Snowfinder USA, some contributors will disagree in their opinions of certain trails or resorts. As in ski-testing (which I run for a UK ski magazine), I will try to go with the majority opinion.
post #9 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
But then, again, no-one is perfect, and we all have different views. I'm sure that with Snowfinder USA, some contributors will disagree in their opinions of certain trails or resorts. As in ski-testing (which I run for a UK ski magazine), I will try to go with the majority opinion.
And therein lies the fun in being the editor...
post #10 of 63
Question, Are you going to actually pay those that contribute to Snowfinder, or are you going to make a few bucks off others hard work???? I ask this since you are saying that it is going to be a more reputable guide. However in my case it is not reputable journalisim if you rip of the contributors. Even if it is the average hoe thats contributing they deseve fair compnsation, otherwise your just under mining the rest of the ski journalism industry.

To those that are contributing, great, I think that the more people that contribute the better, but dont forget, your knowledge is vaulable, and should be compensated.
post #11 of 63
how about a free copy of the guide?
since my contribution will be minimal (if chosen at all) and I am not a professional, I woldn't expect much. For those who do contribute a lot what would be appropriate?
post #12 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpdad
how about a free copy of the guide?
since my contribution will be minimal (if chosen at all) and I am not a professional, I woldn't expect much. For those who do contribute a lot what would be appropriate?
For editorial ussage, a writer should expect a minimum of $0.50 per word with a minimum of $75.00 for a novice writer doing an editorial piece. An experianced writer should get at least $1.00 and up per word. More if it is used for advertising. For pics a minimum of $125.00 for a small pic for editorial ussage and at least 3x that for a 1/4 page image for non editorial.

Remember, Resorts will normally pay big bucks to have there area featured in a ski guide, and will pay top dollar for good content to be used.

In otherwords fair compensation would be cash and at least one free copy of the book. Remeber if he can afford to publish it, he can afford to pay for the content.
post #13 of 63
Let me get this straight. You want me to tell you the very best places to eat, sleep, and ski that has taken me years to find for free. Then next year I go back and the hotels will be booked, I will need a reservation to get something to eat, and the trails will be crowded and all tracked out. All because I shared my most precious information with 10s of 1000s of people . : hahahaha that's a good one.
post #14 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by catskills
Let me get this straight. You want me to tell you the very best places to eat, sleep, and ski that has taken me years to find for free. Then next year I go back and the hotels will be booked, I will need a reservation to get something to eat, and the trails will be crowded and all tracked out. All because I shared my most precious information with 10s of 1000s of people . : hahahaha that's a good one.
Dont forget, him making a good chunk of coin off of it too.
post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 
Well, mtbakerskier, if we do need some photos, I certainly won't buying them from you!
There unfortunately is no payment available for contributors, as I made clear in my initial post. (I did not decide this; I am not the publisher, merely the editor.) No-one is being forced to contribute - if members of this forum wish to help out, great. If not, we will find contributors elsewhere.
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Well, mtbakerskier, if we do need some photos, I certainly won't buying them from you!
There unfortunately is no payment available for contributors, as I made clear in my initial post. (I did not decide this; I am not the publisher, merely the editor.) No-one is being forced to contribute - if members of this forum wish to help out, great. If not, we will find contributors elsewhere.
I figured you where a bottom feeder.
post #17 of 63

uncalled for

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Well, mtbakerskier, if we do need some photos, I certainly won't buying them from you!
There unfortunately is no payment available for contributors, as I made clear in my initial post. (I did not decide this; I am not the publisher, merely the editor.) No-one is being forced to contribute - if members of this forum wish to help out, great. If not, we will find contributors elsewhere.
I figured you where a bottom feeder.
totally uncalled for, and have pm'd a copy of this post to the moderators, asking for review.
post #18 of 63
Wow, yet another wonderful guide to all of the important places to ski. How useful.

Frankly, you should post this over on TGR. I could use the laughs.
post #19 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyblake
totally uncalled for, and have pm'd a copy of this post to the moderators, asking for review.
Lenny,

If you dont see whats wrong with the very unprofessional and unethical tatics that Martin Bell is using to generate content for a ski guide that he is going to be proffiting off of then, please, please. End your subscription to every ski mag you read, dont buy any newspapers, quit watching TV movies etc. All ofthese things are made possible from the hardwork that writers, photographers, and videographers do. The entire media industry is in trouble because low-life editors and publishers feal that it is ok to take advantage of all of the new comers to the field that have not yet realised how much it actualy costs to produce acceptable quality content. What may seem like the the uneductede public as a harmless method of generating content, these methods are VERY HARMFUL to this industry and only serve to DEVALUE our hard work.

If they can afford to print it, they can PAY for CONTENT. Just like any business you have to pay for your supplies and raw materials. Publsihing should be no difffernt.

My comment was very approiate and I stand behind it 100% as everyone that is thinking about contributing to this should know the full deal up front. As a ski instrutor, would you have a problem with other instructors giving away lessons for free under the table? Howabout if the mountian deiced that they where not going to pay you, but still charge for the lessons? Howabout if they charged the client more for a private lesson, but pay the instructor less?

Lenny, until you actually become educated on this tpic I dont really see how you can decide what is and isnt an apropriate comment. BTW if you do contribute to this, I hope you realise that you may very well be ruining you favorte spots, unless you make some very educated and well thought out decisons (Something that thouse of us in this industry have learnedto do long ago).
post #20 of 63
You may have a point (I don't know that I agree with it, but it is a fair point), but it's the ad hominem element that I think people may have problems with ... plus you should at least check out the hominem you're ad.
post #21 of 63
I momentarily toyed with the idea of covering my mountain. Thought about the time involved to do it right, thought about the possible impact to me as a skier, the lack of compensation and said, "NO WAY". Then I thought of writing for some other mag for payment, realized it would bring more skiers here and once again said, "NO WAY." (I'd be willing to entertain bids of $1000 and up, though. )
post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Hopefully there will still be plenty of work around for ski writers for many years to come - I'm relying on it for when my knees give out!
There won't be if you keep undervaluing the market with your oh-so-generous
"credit in the publication, plus the satisfaction of knowing that your home mountain is being accurately described to the skiing public" as payment for peoples work.

Buck up and pay. I know you can afford it. After all, your books are available at "Amazon, Angus & Robertson, Barnes & Noble, Beach Culture, Becker Surf, Borders, Bora Bora, Brothers Neilsen, City Beach, Dymocks, Mambo, Oneill, Ottakers, Quiksilver, Ripcurl, Ron Jon, Snow+Rock, Surf Dive N Ski, Trigger Brothers, Virgin Books, Waldenbrooks, Waterstones…and online at wetsand.com, surfmaps.com, as well as every good local store."

Sounds like you're doing all right with your international line of guidebooks. Suck it up and pay your contributors leech!

Have a great day,

Signed, Just another concerned and educated media professional trying to make a living in an industry with too many *******s trying to exploit.
post #23 of 63
Well, I've refrained from posting much to this thread because I'm afraid I'll be mean to Martin. But I am glad to see I'm not the only one has problems with gathering and writing content for free. I'm a professional journalist, I have a master's degree in journalism, and this highly undervalues my profession. It also undermines the ethical boundaries we are expected to uphold. I would never dream of telling my writers I wouldn't pay them for their efforts, even if it was someone who is new to writing (I do have some writers who are newbies, and I do pay each and every one of them).

Thatsagirl
post #24 of 63
LIGHTEN UP in here.

He set the perameters up in the first post. They are not paying but accepting contributors. If you want to contribute, fine, contribute and get your name published. If you don't, move on and let the it go. If he is making money, so be it. I hope you make money in what you do. He is not exploiting anyone but asking for people who want to contribute.

If it gets more unruley, posts will get deleted.
post #25 of 63
I thought about responding and then saw that Canadas resorts are not on the list. But after reading all the responses i can understand where the proffesional writers are coming from and I would definetly think twice before contributing to anything in this format. If it was for a website that was going to be free maybe,, but for a 25-30 $ book i dont know.(I really hadn't thought about it before, and probably would have attempted to contribute). I feel that if Martin Bell is allowed to promote his livelyhood here then mtbakerskier should be allowed to protect his. I really appreciate the response from both sides,, and I dont think any moderation is needed....
so far .....
Matt
post #26 of 63
mtbakerskier, thatsagirl and others....I applaud your comments. I also feel Martin Bell has every right to solicit contributors willing to accept his offer if they so choose to do so.

I don't know much from the writers side of things but I have been a professional photographer for over 25 years and have seen magazines, phonebook publishers, ad designers, etc doing this type of thing for many years. There are so many writers and photogs out there now, hungry to break into the business and looking to gain experience and credits. Unfortunately it's become a buyers market.

For photographers, this problem pales when compared to the recent explosion of royalty-free image stock agencies. It has become so huge that even the long-time big name stock houses are going the way of "can't beat them so we might as well join them".

I mean why would a magazine pay me or any other photog $200 for the one-time use of an image when they can choose from millions of royalty-free images available.

While the number of photogs and I assume writers as well increase and the number of buyers willing to pay industry rates decrease, the only way to continue to compete is to adapt to the changes.

I admire the noble stance some of you are taking here but I think your pretty much fighting a losing battle. At the same time I do not begrude publishers and editors for doing what they have to do to succeed.

If your in the business and pay industry rates and pay every photog and writer you use you have my respect and admiration.
post #27 of 63
JHRefugee, I hear you. I've been a journalist for 16 years. As you say, this kind of situation has been going on for many years, not just in journalism but in the photography business as well (my husband is a photographer).

I'm sure there will always be people out there who undervalue their work in efforts to "break into the business," but I'm not so sure that it's a losing battle to point out to people what they should EXPECT to be paid and how undervaluing work ultimately affects standard fees down the road. Perhaps it will make some people think twice about it.

The only reason I finally posted some of my true thoughts is because I was afraid that people would not hear the truth in mtbakerskier's words, or in The Truth's words (interesting username, BTW), because of the anger behind them. This really hits home for some of us here, in a way that directly influences our livelihood, and it's easy to become angry. But the minute anger enters the discussion, it turns off a lot of people and they forget to listen to the message.

Thatsagirl
post #28 of 63
Thread Starter 

New resorts added

Lake Tahoe Area (Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Mt Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl)

Solitude, Utah

Big Mountain, Montana

Anyone wishing to make a contribution regarding these resorts, as described at the beginning of this thread, please PM me.
Anyone who doesn't - that's fine too!
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Bell
Lake Tahoe Area (Alpine Meadows, Kirkwood, Mt Rose, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Sugar Bowl)

Solitude, Utah

Big Mountain, Montana

Anyone wishing to make a contribution regarding these resorts, as described at the beginning of this thread, please PM me.
Anyone who doesn't - that's fine too!
Martin, Question for you.

Are you getting paid for edditing this book?
post #30 of 63
I don't agree with the concept of a moderator weighing in on one side of a discussion as opposed to moderating the civility of the discussion. By threatening to delete posts that state an opposing opinion of the ethics of a certainly questionable post, you are taking sides in a manner that damages your credibility.
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