Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Get Together

I used to spend every Easter at my grandmother's house where we'd hunt eggs and eat ham and get grass stains on our Easter church clothes. This Easter I spent the morning with our friends and their kids and then went to a party where a dozen kids hunted Easter eggs and I sat on my friend's dock. The party was fun; the sounds of all those kids playing, intoxicating; and the view beautiful.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Print is Dead, Long Live Print!

We've been hearing it for a while - print is dying. It is. But it isn't. In the same month that Google announced they're killing the Frommer's print guidebooks, I signed a contract with Avalon Travel to write their next edition of the Moon North Carolina Handbook.

Which begs the question, why would Google kill a print edition of a popular guidebook series?

I'm not sure of the answer.

Yes, it's expensive to produce and market a book properly, but Google certainly has the capital and reach to do that effectively. Yes, people are consuming a lot of information on their smartphones and tablets, but, reportedly, only 30% of readers say they read an ebook in the last year. As new technology comes to light and new ways of consuming information hit the streets, print will suffer a few more blows, but, like the man says in the Wall Street Journal article, print is here to stay.

What's my proof?

My proof sits on my bookshelves at home, in the glove box of my car and in my bag. My proof is the dogeared, paper clipped, annotated guidebooks for damn near every place I've ever visited. If I'm planning a trip to North Carolina, I don't want to grab my iPad and go, I want a book I can hold in my hand, flip through, stuff in a bag or the glove box or even my pocket. There are more people like me than who want a purely digital experience, which is why I think Google is making a mistake in killing Frommers. But don't tell them that; because next time you come to North Carolina, you'll have one less choice of guidebooks at the store, which bodes well for Avalon, Moon and me.