Lessons of a Travel Guide Author

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How to Write a Travel Guide LogoWhat better way to streamline your travel guide writing process, by learning about the challenges and lessons I learnt whilst writing my first two Turkey travel guides:

Bodrum Peninsula Travel Guide: Turkey’s Aegean Gem

Gumusluk Travel Guide: Bodrum’s Silver Lining

Both of these books are available as e-books on Amazon, and I’ve been rewarded by the continuous stream of sales for both of these labour’s of love.

How I Wrote a Travel Guide – 1st attempt

I went to Bodrum planning to write a guidebook, and spent the trip gathering information and I took about 5,000 photographs (many were just reference shots, to use instead of copious notes).

I naively assumed it would take me 4 months to write my guidebook, but it actually took me just over 8. That’s not including the month I  spent in Turkey doing the initial research – so truth be told it took me over 9 months to deliver.

It was my baby, and I wanted it to be perfect. But the biggest challenge I encountered was how to organise the content. I had so much of it, and I didn’t have a clear idea of how I wanted to present the information I’d gathered.

I went down a few rabbit holes and mis-starts, and ended up changing my mind a lot. I felt like I wasted a lot of time by not having a clear plan and intent at the beginning of the process, so I started to capture “How to Write a Travel Guide” ideas in Evernote.

How I Wrote a Travel Guide – 2nd attempt

All the lessons I learnt from my book, I leveraged to create my second travel guide about Gumusluk.

I wish I could tell you that my second book was written and produced in a snap and only took me a couple of months. But honestly – it still took me 5 months.

Whereas my first travel guide was a summary of multiple locations within the Bodrum Peninsula, the second book focused on a small village. It was the first travel guide ever written about this area, and involved a lot of on-line research and cross-referencing using Turkish Language websites.

Here’s a couple of key learnings from my travel book experience, that are relevant to you as you begin your own journey:

  • No two travel guides are alike – each one has its own individual challenges and needs
  • The more travel guides you write the easier the process gets

Write a Travel Guide by Jay Artale


The more #travelguides you write the easier the process gets. #amwriting Click To Tweet

March 15, 2016

  • Always helpful to get insider tips from other travel guide authors. Been thinking about going down this road myself, helpful post.