AAA Publishing is adapting to the digital age to ensure that its name remains synonymous with trusted travel tips and information. To that end, AAA is becoming a digital-first publisher, putting core data in digital formats at the top of its publishing pyramid.
The popular TourBook guides are perhaps getting the greatest facelift: their proprietary content is served up by destination as eTourBook guides for tablets and smartphones, available for free to members. There are still 33 TourBooks in print, but digital has considerably increased AAA’s reach—there are 101 eTourBooks, which are updated every day by AAA inspectors all around North America.
AAA’s digital shift extends to all of the publisher’s plans. The Traveling with Your Pet book (which was the first e-book AAA published) is now supported by a companion Web site that gathers tips and photos. Certain AAA Spiral and AAA Essential titles are formatted for use on tablets and smartphones; on AAA.com, content is available in searchable, geocentric digital formats to support travelers based on their current location, and inspectors are tweeting from all over the continent. As of this month, 14 AAA titles are available to nonmembers digitally, but that number should increase dramatically because of the new capabilities that digital has opened up.
Despite the overhaul of the publisher’s strategy, AAA is still keeping up a print component for its banner series (NBN is its print distributor; NBN’s Fusion division is its e-book distributor). The pet series, as well as the Essential guide series and the Spiral Guide series, will still have print editions. And there are 95 sheet map titles still in print.