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Added 5 March, 2013

The Internet is putting the final nails in the coffin of printed travel guidebooks

In 2007, combined U.S. sales from the big five travel publishers that represent over 80% of the market (Frommer’s, Dorling Kindersley, Lonely Planet, Fodor’s, and Avalon’s Moon/Rick Steves) were just over $125 million. By 2012 combined sales had dropped nearly 40% to $78 million. Since its purchase by Google in August, Frommer’s sales have plummeted as its new owner has done nothing to assure the book-buying community that they will continue to publish printed books or continue using the brand name. Penguin’s DK Eyewitness brand carved out an enviable niche with colorful, illustrated titles, but it’s been a failure on the web, and it’s labor-intensive production and Penguin’s internal challenges have made the move to digital versions clunky at best and woefully out of date, too.
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