According to this USA Today article, MapQuest announced the formation of MapQuest Publishing, which will produce travel guidebooks, along with a series of atlases and laminated street maps. Their affinity travel guides are tailored to interests like auto racing, campgrounds and college searches.
Publishers Weekly has more on this move back to books:
MapQuest, which adopted its current name in 1999, began as a cartographic services division of R.R. Donnelley that became a supplier of custom maps to reference, travel, textbook, and directory publishers. Even as the company moved more of its business to the Internet it continued to provide custom publications for such clients as National Geographic and Micheline Travel.
It's great to hear that a successful internet company continues to use the cartographers and map editors that are a core part of their 38-year history. Their research center in Mountville, PA is only about an hour from me...I wonder if they give tours? And if they need any new researchers or writers for their guides?
HarperCollins: Publisher Branding
Ok, I'll admit it, I didn't know that HarperCollins started author tours. And I have never even heard of Jane Friedman. But considering how big I am on author events, tours, and book publicity in general I was happy to read this article.
Michael Crichton? He's Just the Author" by Edward Wyatt, New York Times
While we authors struggle to build our names, note that some publishers are trying to do the same.
"HarperCollins is beginning its branding effort with the United States start-up of Collins, a British imprint that accounts for half of the HarperCollins name yet is all but unknown to Americans....
The new Collins brand will focus on reference, lifestyle and business books and is expected to make its debut in the United States this year. Also coming this year is the redesign of HarperPerennial and Perennial Classics, two paperback imprints whose books straddle the line between commercial and literary fiction. Among the authors popularized by the Perennial imprints are Rebecca Wells, author of "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood," and Barbara Kingsolver, author of "The Poisonwood Bible."
The overhaul includes putting special material like author interviews in the backs of books and creating a more uniform design and format, to help readers recognize that "if you pick up a HarperPerennial book, you know what you're getting," Ms. Friedman said.
All the efforts, she said, are aimed at reducing the company's reliance on finding the next hot author. "We can no longer keep chasing the big best seller," she said. "I feel we can really build an audience for our brand."
It is refreshing to hear the publisher's side of the workload. Because even though you wouldn't think it, it's not all about the authors. Oh, did I hurt your big writer's ego? Let me say it again, it's not all about you. Read this all the way to the end, Jane has a healthy positive attitude.
Want to know more about HarperCollins? Here is their website.
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