It’s no surprise to anyone, let alone in-the-know litwits, that the travel shelf has struggled in recent years. The onslaught of fabulous, immediately up to date travel blogs, worldwide social media check-ins and gorgeous photo posts, plus travel review sites have travelers reaching for their gadgets over guides.
The adaptive publishers are those that thrive in this constantly changing book landscape. I’m incredibly excited to see Lonely Planet doing just that: adapting to the market, and giving readers a new experience. From the Source: Italy and From the Source: Thailand explore each country through flavors, dishes, and meals from all styles of cooking! What better way to experience a culture, than through food?
Cookbooks continue to thrive in the marketplace. Despite the multitudes of recipe websites and cooking blogs, there is just something special about flipping through a physical cookbook while you make your grocery shopping list, running your flour-coated finger down the page as you work out what your next step is for the delectable dessert you’re making for the holidays (without scrolling past your spot!), and jotting down your own notes in the margins to customize your dish (or deal with your finicky oven). For these reasons–and many more–the cooking shelf is one that continues to grow, and succeed.
Smartly, Lonely Planet is capitalizing on the tenacity of print cookbooks to revitalize their print publishing program while honoring their travel authority history. Each From the Source book will explore exemplary dishes of the cultures the book is exploring. Recipes are contributed by high-end restaurant chefs and street cart and food truck vendors alike, truly covering all the foods that make up the cuisine culture of each country. I can’t wait to sink my teeth into each of these beautiful books!
The question is: will this new venture revitalize the travel shelf? Will foodies and world travelers alike come to From the Source? Only time will tell, but I’m very optimistic. Lonely Planet has clearly done their market research smartly, not only in their decision to mashup an abundantly popular genre with a flagging one, but in their decision to go for the gusto and publish two entries in to the new series simultaneously. From the Source: Italy will draw the traditionalists whereas From the Source: Thailand will draw the adventurers. Taking on this real-life A/B test will help Lonely Planet direct the series in the future. This move alone tells us how confident Lonely Planet is in the series, and that we should expect more entries down the road! Cheers to that.