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#460697 - 03/21/13 09:35 PM Google quietly pulls plug on Frommerís
Marty Offline

The first edition of "Europe on $5 a Day" alongside "Frommer's Belize," which is the last title in the series that has a cover image on Amazon.com.

Google has ceased production and publication of printed guidebooks bearing the Frommerís brand name, Skift has learned.

The last two Frommerís books to roll off the presses were guides in the all-color Day-by-Day series devoted to Napa and Sonoma and Banff and the Rockies, and went on sale in early February. The last book in the traditional complete guide series was Frommerís Florida in late December.

Starting with Frommerís New York City With Kids, which can still be found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in other bookstore inventories and was supposed to publish on February 19, the entire future list of Frommerís titles will not see the light of day. Many of the authors attached to these 29 titles told Skift that they were informed by editors now working at Google that the books would not publish. Some authors were told that the books would merely be delayed before new contracts were signed. None of the authors contacted reported that their titles would appear in print.

Google purchased Frommerís Travel and Unofficial Guides from Wiley in August 2012 for $22 million. The search giant would not comment on the present or future of the travel brand name, print series, or digital assets.

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#460707 - 03/22/13 12:41 AM Re: Google quietly pulls plug on Frommerís [Re: Marty]
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
This includes Frommer's Belize. The new edition has already been researched and written by Eliot Greenspan and was scheduled for publication July 15, 2013. Apparently that has been canned, though Google may use the information from it online.

Thankfully so far Fodor's (owned by Random House, which is owned by the German media company Bertelsmann) is still publishing its 300 or so print guides, including the one to Belize that I've been doing for 15 years or so. In April and May I'm revising and updating Fodor's Belize & Tikal. Another Fodor's guide that I co-write, Fodor's The Carolinas & Georgia, is in production now and will be published this fall. Of course, Random House/Bertelsmann is merging with another "Big Six" U.S. publisher, Penguin, so who knows what will happen in the future?

In the past I've done a Frommer's guide and also books for Moon/Avalon, which was sold a few years ago to Perseus. The BBC bought Lonely Planet but is now selling it to a Kentucky billionaire at a big loss. The industry is changing and not for the better.

I strongly believe that the future of travel guides, such as it is, is in self-publishing and on-line.

--Lan Sluder

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#461693 - 04/05/13 02:17 AM Re: Google quietly pulls plug on Frommerís [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
Google has reversed course and now says it will sell the Frommer's brand back to founder Arthur Frommer, 83, who will publish some guidebooks in print form. Fate of Frommer's Belize guide, due out this summer, is as yet unknown. Earlier Google, which bought Frommer's from Wiley, had said it would stop publishing all Frommer's print guides immediately.

-from Lan Sluder

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#461800 - 04/05/13 11:32 PM Re: Google quietly pulls plug on Frommerís [Re: Marty]
Diane Campbell Offline
BUMMER.
I love books.
Real Books.

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#461804 - 04/06/13 12:40 AM Re: Google quietly pulls plug on Frommerís [Re: Marty]
Lan Sluder/Belize First Offline
Actually, Diane, it's good news for book lovers. Arthur Frommer, the original founder of the company, will publish some Frommer's guidebooks in book form. Just not sure which ones. After Google bought Frommer's, it said it was going to stop publishing all Frommer's guides in print form. So the sell back to Frommer is a positive for print publishing.

One of the travel publishers for which I write, Fodor's (owned by Bertelsmann's Random House, which is merging with Penguin to become by far the largest U.S. book publisher) puts out an amazing 300 different guidebooks in print form (including Fodor's Belize & Tikal, which I've done for more than 15 years).

I can't even imagine how much effort it takes to research, write, edit, print, publish and distribute 300 guidebooks on nearly every destination in the world.

However, at Fodor's and other companies, increasingly parts of the guidebooks appear only online, and there is pressure on writers to limit text and reduce the length of reviews. On the positive side these guidebooks are updated regularly, and more of them are going full color.

--Lan Sluder

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