Google Axes Frommer's Print Travel Guides [Report]

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Update: Google says it is offering no comment on this.

According to a report from travel news site Skift, Google has quietly killed Frommer's print travel guidebooks.

News that Google acquired Frommer's came out back in August. Google would be buying the brand from John Wiley & Sons. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to All Things D, the deal wasn't "a huge one". Frommer's would be incorporated into Zagat.

Google said at the time, "The Frommer’s team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team. We can’t wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world.”

As TechCrunch's Sarah Perez noted, "No definitive decision has been made on the Frommer’s printed guides, but the deal is supposed to enable users discover reviews across Google, which means online."

Skift's Jason Clampet reports today:

The last two Frommer’s 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 Frommer’s Florida in late December.

Starting with Frommer’s 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 Frommer’s 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.

Greg Sterling speculates that Google will ultimately kill the Frommer's brand, suggesting that it can't survive without the print guidebooks, though the Frommer's site is so far still alive and well.

We've reached out to Google for comment, and will update if we hear back.

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.