About Summerthought Publishing
Based in Banff, Canada, since 1971, Summerthought is a family-run, independent publisher committed to producing Canadian Rockies non-fiction books.
We strive to publish unique and imaginative books that enhance people's experiences in the Canadian Rockies. We create books that we believe in and that we think readers will enjoy—even if they don’t make us rich.
Summerthought is the only publisher solely devoted to producing books about the Canadian Rockies, all of which are printed in Canada.
As residents of the Canadian Rockies, we
identify with the local market, which translates to understanding the
needs of retailers and the customers they serve.
In 1965, Peter and Barbara Steiner opened the Banff Book & Art Den, Banff's first bookstore. Five years later, when bookstore employees Brian Patton and Bart Robinson set out to compile the first comprehensive hiking book to the Canadian Rockies, Peter Steiner and bookstore manager Jon Whyte agreed to form a company that would publish the guidebook and, perhaps, other books about the Canadian Rockies. Since summer was the only busy season in those days, most business ideas were hatched during winter, hence “Summerthought” as the name for their publishing company.
With the publication of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide in 1971, Summerthought Publishing was officially launched. Over the next 35 years, the company operated as a subsidiary of the Banff Book & Art Den, publishing other books written by Brian and Bart as well as by local authorities such as Jon Whyte, Eleanor Luxton, Rick Kunelius, Esther Fraser, Bob Sandford, Ted Hart, Erling Strom, and Rick Langshaw. Throughout this time, the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide remained the best-selling hiking guidebook to the region, having sold 230,000 copies by 2006.
In 2006, with only the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide still in print,
the founders of Summerthought were looking to sell, but
in the time-honoured spirit of independent book publishing were intent on
keeping the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide out of the hands of the larger publishing houses. At
the same time, Andrew Hempstead and his wife Dianne were looking for a
challenge related to Andrew’s 17 years as a full time travel writer, but
one that allowed more time together with their young family in Banff. The
sale was an ideal scenario for both parties, and in early 2006 the deal
was done, with Summerthought remaining in Banff and independent.
As of 2013, Summerthought has around 30 books in print, including award-winning titles by Wayne Lynch and books by locally celebrated artist Max Elliott. After selling through two print runs, Hempstead's own coffeetable book, The Canadian Rockies, has been redesigned and republished for spring 2013 while Ted Hart's encyclopeodic history of Banff is slated for late 2013 publication.
Looking forward, upcoming years will see the release of three related titles that will combine to create the most comprehensive and useful tool ever offered to Canadian Rockies' visitors. Using the region's most respected authors and accompanied by stunning colour photography, the Canadian Rockies Nature Guide, the Canadian Rockies Hiking Guide, and the Canadian Rockies Travel Guide will be available in book form as well as electronic versions created for all available platforms.
"Guidebook writer extraordinaire of Gen-X"
As a fulltime travel writer and photographer before purchasing Summerthought Publishing in 2006, Andrew Hempstead spent much of the last two decades travelling the world from his home in Banff, Canada.
Hempstead has authored, coauthored, and updated over 60 guidebooks that have sold over 800,000 copies. His books are available worldwide and have been translated into multiple languages. Major guidebook clients include Avalon Travel, Frommer's, Michelin, Odyssey, Dorling Kindersley, and Michelin. His travelwriting has also appeared in dozens of different magazines and online for clients such as Alaska Airlines, Expedia, and Microsoft Automaps. He also writes and edits for corporate clients such as Parks Canada and Travel Alberta.
He is an academy member of S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants; has spoken on guidebook writing to a national audience; has contributed to a university-level travel writing textbook; joined Tony Wheeler and Tim Cahill as an interviewee of Rolf Potts; and is called on by CNN Travel as a Canadian travel expert.
Hempstead's photography has appeared in a wide variety of media and hundreds of graphic products ranging from international golf magazines to a Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Museum.
Andrew Hempstead has authored or co-authored all of the following books:
Summerthought cares passionately about the Canadian Rockies and about books.
Based in Banff, Canada, we are a vibrant, proudly independent publisher producing books that we believe in and that we think readers will enjoy.
© 2013 Summerthought Publishing. All rights reserved