I met with a book publisher at Book Expo that sells travel guides and maps. At first I thought: "Can these sell in a digital world? My next thought, after thumbing through some samples, was “How could one not buy these?”
The advantage of a physical map is clear:
1. It will never run out of power.
2. It literally provides you with the bigger picture. Most web sites give directions but don’t show a map of a large area in detail.
3. A map can also contain other useful information aside from streets and roads.
Really, we should see how physical maps can work with our devices. We can go to Google to get driving directions or use a GPS, but if you want a perspective of where you are and where you are going, a big map in your hand will help lead the way.
Maps have come a long way in terms of their quality, durability and appearance. I get lost crossing the street in my neighborhood – even with a GPS. A big map gives you a feeling of security – it is a canvass of connected puzzle pieces.
As for using a physical book as a tour guide to a city or country, certainly this is preferred to reading 15 different sites. On the other hand, you can do both. Your book can give you a detailed idea of where to go and what to do – and it comes from a trusted source. But independent bloggers or travel reviewers can fill in another perspective, too.
Travel books, when done well, provide good advice, photos, resources, and fast facts. You can download an e-book version but I find it is easier to thumb through a physical book, whether to find exactly what you want or to randomly discover things. Again, the physical books require no energy; it’s always available.
So before you embrace all things digital, take a second look at maps and travel guides. They may just get you to where you want to be.
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013
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