Cicerone Help & FAQs
- About our Guidebooks and...
Why are your guidebooks different colours?
We have refreshed our front covers to make them bolder, brighter and easier to recognise. The bigger photographs and improved information on the back cover and spine will help you to quickly focus on the topic, country, content and highlights of each guide.
Each series is colour coded by activity and the colours have changed in the redesign. The colour coding is now as follows: light blue - International day walk collections, dark blue - International treks, dark red - UK long distance paths, green - UK day/short walk collections, purple - UK mountain walks, teal - technical routes, orange - cycling.
With over 350 guides, the colour-coded covers help readers distinguish the different types of guide at a glance. It is not a perfect system – there are anomalies as many guides cover a range of activities. Please let us know on a feedback form if it is unclear.
The updated designs are appearing on new titles being published and on new editions since October 2014. If you would like to swap your 'old' book for a new cover edition then please click here to find out about our New for Old Scheme.
What is the difference between a reprint and a new edition?
A reprint is organised when our stock of a current guide runs low. Authors are contacted a short time before publication and asked to read through carefully for anything that needs updating. (It is also part of a Cicerone author's responsibility to keep track of any significant changes relating to their guide all the time that it is in print. Many things will already have been noted and published as an Update.) Reprinted guides carry minor changes and corrections to the guide’s previous print run, not wholesale revisions.
A new edition of a book is commissioned when a guide becomes more significantly out of date, in terms of content or design, or when the lie of the land has changed so dramatically that the guide is no longer valid. A new edition requires a thorough updating of the text, confirming all the routes and revising any information that may have changed, which may result in some structural changes and new photos or maps as required.
An edition of a guide can stay in print and be reprinted (with updates if necessary) multiple times over a given period of years. It is only when the current edition becomes out-of-date, in need of a new design or invalid that it is ready to become a new edition.
The bibliographic information under the front cover image on each book’s page on our website shows the book’s last published date, which is the date of the last print run (this can be the first print run of a particular edition or a reprint). Inbetween printings the Updates tab on the book’s page carries any corrections or updates that we know about.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. After the author has checked them over, they will be published under the book’s Updates tab.
Why are only some of the guidebooks covered with PVC?
The PVC protects the guidebook against hard use and the weather and ensures it lasts a long time. The guide can be as good as new even after a long, tough expedition.
So we save on trees, but cost the planet a bit more oil. The cost of PVC does affect the overall price of the book too. It’s a question of balance, and we do our best to get this right.
Why do you sometimes not reprint guidebooks?
We would love to keep everything in print all the time, of course. But we have to be tough with ourselves. If the guidebook doesn’t sell well, then we may not be able to repeat it. If we cannot be sure of keeping the guide up to date and accurate then we will not go ahead and reprint it until we can be confident.
Does the paper you use come from environmentally friendly sources?
Absolutely. For every tree used in the paper that our printers buy for printing our guides, another tree is replanted.
What other areas and countries are you planning guidebooks to in the future?
We are always working to improve our range of guidebooks, even in the areas we already cover in depth. We also work to extend our coverage into other outstanding regions in the world. Our coverage in North America and South America is limited, and Africa and Asia we barely touch at all, except the Himalayas.
In due course we hope to publish guidebooks for all the world’s best walking, trekking, mountaineering or cycling areas. And if we’ve missed anywhere, let us know!
You can see the guidebooks that we will publish in the next three months here.
The guidebook I really wanted has just gone out of print. Can you suggest how I might get one?
There are a number of possibilities such as Amazon, AbeBooks or eBay. Second hand bookshops are the best places to find second hand copies of our guidebooks but you do have to hunt around for them.
If the book has recently gone out of print you can ask us - we may still have copies.
If we get lots of enquiries about a particular guidebook, then we will listen, and may see if we can make the book available again.
Can I ask an author a question?
Hopefully we can answer your question as the author may be away or busy and unable to answer.
If your query is about a book and its contents please check the book page thoroughly. If the answer you need is not here, let us know, and we’ll add it.
If you're after advice or guidance please have a look through Extra - there may be an article covering your issue.
However, sometimes you just need to go straight to the author with a question. Where possible, we try to help with that. Here are some ways to get in touch with our authors:
1) If an author has a website or social media profile, these details are given on their author page. We don’t give authors’ email addresses on our site, at the authors’ request.
2) Secondly, you could email us saying ‘I have a question for the Author’ on our Contact Us page. We will pass the question on.
I've got an update for you
If you have spotted an error or route change in a guidebook then please send us an update and we will pass your information to the author for use in future editions. Once this information has been verified we will add it to the relevant book page as an update.
What are the updates and how do I get them?
We know that a guidebook can be out of date as soon as it is printed. We do our best to help readers with this by passing on any update information we have.
Updates are available for free either by visiting the book page or by subscribing to Updates in your account. You can subscribe to all updates, or just choose the books you need updates for. We send update emails every Friday but you will only get an email when there is something new to send.
If you have an update for us please let us know: Send Us an Update.
I am going abroad with a trekking company. Do I need the guidebook?
Many trekking companies will give or sell you a Cicerone guide for your trip. Indeed many treks are based around Cicerone guides.
The trekking company will give you enough instructions and briefing, the leader will know the route and the paperwork will summarise it. You could certainly manage without a guidebook.
But our purpose in writing Cicerone guides is to help the walker and trekker have a great time. The extra information in the guide may help you do this, so why not take the guidebook? The whole planning and plotting of the journey doesn’t stop just because it’s organised.
How do you decide which guidebooks to publish?
As we only cover outdoor activities and are walkers and trekkers ourselves, we hope we have our ear close to the ground.
Ideas can come from almost anywhere.
One is users calling in asking for the Cicerone guidebook to somewhere when we don’t have one. After a few calls we finally get the message.
Other editors and magazines often have ideas – ‘why don’t you do a guidebook to ABC?’ which we investigate. Likewise retailers and our distributors around the world make many suggestions for guides.
Our authors are a fertile source of ideas and we work closely with them to develop a range of guide ideas.
And we have our own opinions and ideas about what we should cover.
Out of all this, plus a little more formal thinking, comes a broad plan of what we will be doing over the next few years. We tend to be scheduled about 2 years ahead, but have a rough plan that keeps us thinking up to five years in the future.
Why are some of your very old guidebooks still for sale?
Because we are a specialist publisher, and like to take a few risks, some of our guides will never be best-sellers. There are steady sales, but no amount of marketing is going to sell more.
Such specialised guides are an important part of the service we offer to walkers, trekkers and mountaineers. It is a part of Cicerone’s ‘job’ to find and publish about new areas, so providing exciting opportunities for our users.
Inevitably this means that some of our guides take a long time to sell. We carefully look at them to be sure that they are still relevant and provide important and useful information, even if the details of accommodation and facilities (and sometimes even the route) have changed.
If the guide still serves a useful purpose, we continue to keep it available. If it does not, then we withdraw it from sale.
What countries do your guidebooks cover?
As well as extensive coverage throughout the UK, Cicerone have guidebooks to areas all over the world. We have guides to the Himalayas, long-distance treks in the United States and have the most comprehensive range of titles to the Alps available in the English language. We even have a guidebook to Polar Exploration although, perhaps not surprisingly, that is a slower seller than some of the others.
We are always seeking to expand our coverage of the best mountain and outdoor areas of the world, and we're excited to bring you new guidebooks for adventurous and far-flung corners of the world.