In August 2012, Google had purchased all of the assets from John Wiley for the Frommer’s Guidebook franchise. The deal cost the big G almost 22 million and the move was made to have a hot property to publish and call its own. Google sold the books in physical bookstores and also published the digital editions online. Today, it is official that Google has ceased publication on all Guidebooks and will not publish anything in the future.
The last two guidebooks to be published had to do with the Napa Valley region and and Banff, Alberta. Almost 24 titles that were supposed to be made available over the course of 2013 will not see the light of day and have since been cancelled. Most of the existing book titles were not even available on Frommer’s own bookstore since last September.
Google has not commented on the deal and is likely not to divulge this sort of thing to the media. I think that Google experimented with publishing but is focusing its efforts on expanding the visibility of its ebook store online. The company just opened in Mexico yesterday and is really bent on opening as many new markets as possible.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.