Travel publishers look to children's sector for growth

Travel publishers look to children's sector for growth

Lonely Planet is launching a range of children's books called Not-for-Parents, and says that it sees children's publishing as a "good route" to grow the business.

The international travel guide publisher will launch four titles under the themes London, Paris, New York City and Rome in October for £10 each. However, it insists the books are "not kids' travel guides". Instead, editorial director at Lonely Planet, Piers Pickard, said: "They are books about places, history and culture with stories about facts, figures and people—but the story comes first and the place second."

The company will also release a fifth title onto the market at the same time, a hardback children's version of The Travel Book—a photographic collection of shots from different locations around the world, which will mimic the adult version and cost £15.

Pickard added: "We have been looking to grow and expand into related areas of publishing and saw kids as an obvious one we could do well in. We are hoping to rely on the trust we have built up from parents buying our travel guides, who will then want to buy these books for their children."

The Not-for-Parents series will be the third children's collection associated with the travel publishing sector to emerge by the end of the year.

Asia-based publisher Haven Books is also soon to release a range of children's travel guides entitled Kidsgo! Tell Your Parents Where to Go for £6.99.

Factfinder Guides has been selling travel books for kids—Unlocked Guides—for a year, and told The Bookseller it had shifted 10,000 copies in its first year.

Joshua Perry, co-founder of Factfinder, said he thought the emergence of children's travel literature onto the market would soon be significant enough to demand its own category heading in bookshops. "If you are in the travel publishing sector and you are concerned about the direction you are going, you are going to be looking around for areas of growth and kids' travel guides is an obvious route," he said.

Pickard added: "The travel publishing sector has been hit in the global financial crisis because people decided to travel less, and in those circumstances publishers diversify."