Resurrecting a 19th Century Business
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. —Jason Clampet, SKIFT, Mar. 21, 2013
Four Months Later, Arthur Frommer Buys Himself Back
This past July, it was announced that Arthur Frommer—at the ripe young age of 83—bought his brand back from Google and will start publishing books again.
For years, I had been carrying Arthur Frommer in my mental inventory of the dead. At 78, I was delighted to discover this fellow geezer is very much alive and once again at the helm of a business he loves.
However, as a traveler, I think his 19th century business model—printing and trying to sell printed travel books—sucks.
Peggy and I travel a fair amount. We have shelves full of travel books going back to an 1895 Baedeker's Lower Egypt, modern day Fodor's and illustrated guide books from all over the world.
However, we refuse to lug a pile books when we travel. They weigh a ton and are chock full of information we do not want or need. What follows is an open letter to Arthur Frommer about a business model I urge him to test. I would love to be his first customer.
Dear Mr. Frommer,
Congrats on reacquiring your publishing company form Google. I am thrilled for you.
You have the world's greatest database for world travelers. I would like to buy some of it from you—but only the parts that interest us. Can you help?
We have signed up for an 8-day Viking River Cruise on the Danube leaving from Budapest. After Budapest, stops include Vienna, Melk, Passau, Regensburg, the Main-Danube Canal and Nuremberg.