Also published on this date: Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018: Dedicated Issue: DK Eyewitness Travel

DK: Eyewitness Travel 25th Anniversary

Editors' Note

Books & Authors

Travel Book Success in the Digital Age

Excellent graphic design, striking photos and detailed, useful maps distinguish DK Eyewitness Travel guides from the competition. "We believe the best way to plan your trip and get excited about a place is to see it, so high-quality photography and illustrations are absolutely at the heart of our guides," said publisher Georgina Dee. "With color maps, museum floorplans and street-by-street illustrations, our guides let you fully immerse yourself in a destination before you've even set foot on the plane."

Only a decade or so ago, when many in the business predicted that digital books and the Internet would lead to the imminent demise of printed books, travel guidebooks were considered to be one of the most vulnerable categories. The travel market has changed considerably, but printed travel guides continue to be popular, if not more popular than ever.

Dee pointed to one reason that dire predictions didn't come true: "The Internet is a vast, unwieldy beast that takes time and effort to tame. The curation of our guides does that taming for you, while giving you enough information to make your trip unique to you."

Georgina Dee (center); photo: The Bookseller

Several other factors include that many people like to take a break from digital devices while traveling. Dee observed: "Poring over a printed guide while sipping your morning coffee is a calm and sociable experience. Sitting across from your travel partner while you're both on your phones is just not the same."

But in this digital age, DK Eyewitness Travel books are a good bridge between digital and print: their visual emphasis is helpful for "a digital population who is used to pictures first and words after," as Dee put it.

To keep up with the digital world, DK invests a lot into revising its guides and is updating more and more of its guides on an annual basis. The company wants, Dee said, "to offer our consumers the confidence that what they are reading has been recently revised and updated."

In fact, in the digital age, the travel guide has taken on a new, important role. For many travelers, the book is the first tangible thing involved in travel planning. "Gone are the days of paper tickets and travel brochures, so for many this will be the first part of your trip that you can hold in your hands," Dee said. "It's the first time you can really start getting excited."

In addition, browsing travel guides in bookstores is important for prospective travelers. As Dee put it, "Travel guide sections are always full of people with wistful travel in their minds."

DK: Eyewitness Travel 25th Anniversary

A Bookseller's Guide to Selling and Merchandising Travel Books

At the Tattered Cover Book Store's four locations in and around Denver, Colo., travel books make up a significant part of each store's offerings. Stephanie Coleman, the Tattered Cover's director of buying, here shares some insights into arranging, merchandising and handselling travel books.

Coleman reported that the Tattered Cover's travel sections are generally organized the same way at each store, and a key part of each travel section is a prominent, Colorado-focused subsection that is "front and center." Among these local-themed books are guides to hiking, fishing, things to do in Denver or Colorado Springs, and more. Beyond that, the three main Tattered Cover stores each have several cases of general travel guides, organized by region, country and then city. Also included within the broader travel sections are travel armchair, meaning travel literature and memoir, travel pictorial, which encompasses art and coffee table books, travel reference material such as maps and atlases, and a family travel section.

"Something else we do that might be different is that we shelve our language phrasebooks with an appropriate region's travel books," remarked Coleman. The phrasebooks, she explained, make good impulse buys and can serve as an upsell without a bookseller even being present.

Coleman said that one of the things that is key to keeping the Tattered Cover's travel sections "so successful" is carrying travel guides and books produced by a variety of publishers, from "all the big names in travel," such as DK, to guides made by smaller publishers that may pertain to niche topics like cycling in a specific city. The major guides, she said, are industry standards and need to be there, but customers also enjoy finding unusual, new voices pertaining to niche topics.

Stephanie Coleman

Concerning trends in travel books, Coleman said that in addition to the popularity of niche travel guides, she's noticed that maps, usually made from strong, travel-resistant materials, are selling well, as are travel guides with a more modern art design and a stronger focus on pictures and graphics. She added: "That kind of travel book is more of a keepsake, almost."

Broadly speaking, Coleman said that there are three types of travel books: first, there's the book that someone uses to plan a trip; second, there's the book that they actually take with them; and third, there's the travel book that serves as something of a souvenir, that someone uses to "show where they've been."

Based on her own experiences and what she's seen from customers, Coleman said that DK guides often make up the third type of travel book. "People immediately like the color pictures and the page quality," she explained. "Personally, I want the DK guides to help me plan and to keep for after the trip."

And when it comes to handselling travel guides, Coleman said that her biggest recommendation was to be as personal as possible: "Be just as excited as if you're selling your favorite novel."

Top Destinations for 2018

Among likely top destinations for the coming year are Malta, South Africa and Japan, in part because of celebrations of anniversaries, sporting events and major recognition. Malta's capital, Valetta, is European Capital of Culture in 2018, which will include many festivals. And, besides, the tiny island national boasts sun, sand and sea--and 7,000 years of fascinating history.

2018 is the centennial of Nelson Mandela's birth, which will give rise to a range of celebrations in South Africa, from arts exhibitions to sporting events. All of these will complement the country's vibrant cities, fine wine, rugged coastline and world-famous wildlife.

Japan is preparing to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 and the Summer Olympics in 2020, making next year a good time to see the country's modern cities and ancient temples--before the crowds descend.

In addition, in a heartening change, Paris, a perennially popular destination, has been "coming back slowly after being overshadowed by tragedy," publisher Georgina Dee said.

All the same, in global travel, destination is "not necessarily king anymore," she added, explaining that more people are traveling far and wide for specific experiences--whether to go to the best restaurant in the world or to see a favorite band at a festival or to learn to paint in a lovely setting. In those cases, the destination and what it has to offer comes secondarily.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guides

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Italy
Discover the best sights to see in the fifth most visited country in the world--from a gondola ride down Venice's Grand Canal, to exploring the medieval streets of Bologna or marveling at the treasures displayed at Florence's Uffizi Gallery--all of which are brought to life with photographs and illustrations. In-depth reviews of shops, restaurants, and hotels from expert insiders, including food and wine guides for each area, will help to plan the perfect trip.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Ireland
Explore the beauty, culture and history of the Emerald Isle. Discover Dublin's finest cultural icons with a visit to Trinity College and see the Book of Kells. Explore the medieval Rock of Cashel and Celtic archaeological sites at Newgrange and the Hill of Tara. Outdoor lovers can enjoy the beaches along the Southeast coast, see the wonder of Northern Ireland's Giant's Causeway and tour the western seaboard on the Wild Atlantic Way from Cork to Donegal. This guide also covers the top hotels, shops, and restaurants in Ireland.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Iceland
See stunning glaciers and geysers or the bewitching northern lights, visit the beautiful national parks, or experience the vibrancy of Reykjavik with this newly updated and redesigned pocket travel guide. Rely on dozens of Top 10 lists--from the Top 10 waterfalls, the Top 10 volcanoes and hot springs, and the Top 10 museums in Reykjavik; there's even a list of the Top 10 things to avoid. The guide is divided by area, covering all of Iceland's highlights, with reviews for restaurants and hotels.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: London
Discover the spectacular sights of a truly historic and cosmopolitan city. This guide now includes a free audio download of five walks around the city, from Buckingham Palace to the British Museum, all of which are showcased with photographs, illustrations, floor plans and detailed descriptions. Explore the cobbled streets of Covent Garden, eat in the best restaurants in London and join the hustle and bustle in Borough Market with maps, reviews and insider information.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 London
This guide features Top 10 lists of the best places to visit in London, from the British Museum and Buckingham Palace to the greatest pubs. Thirteen itineraries explore the city's most interesting areas--from the cobbled streets of Covent Garden to the vibrant East End--with reviews of London's restaurants, hotels and shops.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: New York City
Discover the sights of a truly iconic city with this guide, which now includes a free audio download of five walks around the Big Apple--from Ellis Island to the top of the Empire State Building. Rise to the heights of Freedom Tower, discover restaurants in Brooklyn or paddle around the Lake in Central Park using photographs, illustrations, floor plans and detailed descriptions.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 New York City
Top 10 lists outline the best New York attractions, from Times Square and the Statue of Liberty to the city's world-class shopping. Fifteen itineraries explore everywhere from vibrant Chinatown to the leafy Upper East Side, with reviews of New York's best restaurants, hotels and bars.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Paris
This guide helps visitors find both unmissable Paris landmarks and sights off the beaten track. The best places to visit in Paris--from the splendid Sainte-Chapelle, the iconic Eiffel Tower and the art treasures in the Louvre to the St-Germain quarter of the Jardin du Luxembourg--come to life with photographs, illustrations and floor plans. Eight walks reveal the city's lesser known pleasures, and come with insider tips on everything from restaurants, cafés, shopping, activities for children and river boat tours.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Paris
This pocket-sized guide reveals the best places to visit in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame to the top Paris restaurants. Thirteen itineraries explore the city's most interesting areas--from the historic Ile de la Cité to the coolest bars in St-Germain and the Latin Quarter--while reviews of Paris's best hotels, cafés and shopping help plan your perfect trip.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: South Africa
From the wilds of Kruger National Park, to cosmopolitan Cape Town, to the lush western cape winelands and the stunning beaches along the Garden Route, this guide leads straight to the greatest attractions in this fascinating country. Get insider tips on everything from the best shopping, restaurants and hotels, to outdoor activities such as whale-watching, surfing and hiking, as well as practical information on how to get around. As a bonus, a comprehensive field guide--which includes the birds of South Africa--helps get the most out of any safari.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Japan
This guide will lead you straight to the best attractions this beautiful country has to offer. Explore Japan's busy city streets, historic temples and beautiful culture, from Tokyo, Kyoto and the rest of Japan's exciting cities.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Top 10 Malta & Gozo
Take spectacular island walks and drives to experience the area's natural beauty, tour charming towns and villages, or visit fascinating temples and ancient sites. This guide includes hotel options for any budget, and gives fun ideas for enjoying Malta and Gozo with families and children.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Canada
This guide has everything necessary to plan the trip of a lifetime, whether that includes snow sports in the Canadian Rockies, witnessing the power of Niagara Falls, or simply discovering the best restaurants in Montreal. Photographs and detailed descriptions, plus illustrations and floor plans, show the best places to visit in Canada--from the quiet beauty of Prince Edward Island to Vancouver's buzzing nightlife and top things to do in Toronto.

Order these titles and more here!

DK: Eyewitness Travel 25th Anniversary

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