Nowadays, the travel guides are becoming more sophisticated and targeted. Regardless of the format, apps or printed, the quality content is always king and will continue to be so. Curious to find out the latest news and opinions about the world of travel writing, I’ve asked the opinion of Daniel Quadt, for GuideGecko. If you have ideas about an outstanding travel guide, go to the site, set up a profile and write your proposal. If your idea is focused and interesting, most likely you will be able to start the work straight away!
GuideGecko is more than apps
– What differentiates GuideGecko from other guide apps?
First of all, GuideGecko is more than apps. We provide a one-stop shop for travel writers, with all digital publishing formats. That includes apps, but also eBooks and online publishing on our website.
As an author with GuideGecko, you can concentrate on what you really want to do: write articles and provide travel advise.
We provide you with an online system to enter your texts and photos. When you are done, we create and publish your app, eBook, and website. Of course, all of these formats are optional: You can only publish an app if you like, without eBook or website.
Coming back to your question about apps. What differentiates our apps from other travel apps is that all of them are written by genuine travel writers.
There are too many cheap apps out there that source their content from Wikipedia and other, similar sites. Often, the content is not geared towards travellers, and often also lacks in good, opinionated advice.
As a traveller, you don’t want a lengthy discussion of all churches in, say, Cologne. You want advise on which ones you should see, and which ones to skip. Only apps with original travel content will give you this.
– What are the most sought guides for the moment?
It very much depends. In general, we see good sales numbers for specific guides that have a very well defined target audience. So, instead of “Guide #827 on City XYZ”, write “Traveling with Kids to XYZ” or “Kite Surfing in ABC”.
But you also need to be able to reach that target audience. For example, it helps to be active in communities and to have a good Facebook page with interested followers and frequent updates – even better if you already have a related website with a decent number of users.
– Are the classical printed guides dead?
They are not dead, but their decline is going to continue. There will be a niche market for printed guidebooks, but why would you want to search in an index or flip between maps and description pages, when all you want is specific information on a certain place?
Technology, such as in apps, can really help here. Looking back, travel information in printed book format is far from optimal. But books have been the only portable solution for a long time.
Daniel Quadt in Thailand
– What are your plans for the next 6 months?
We will continue to sign up new authors for destinations worldwide.
Geographically, we are strong in Asia and want to strengthen this even further. But we have also expanded to other areas, and already have a good number of guides for America and Europe.
Technically, we have just released a “container app” that includes all our guides as in-app purchases. This will make it easier for users to download more than one guide, and also allows us to cross-promote guides from different authors.
Go Southeast Asia!
– What would you recommend to someone interested to take a break of travel for 3 months?
Southeast Asia, of course! Pick a starting point and a general route, and then just see how it goes.
I have recently been to the Philippines, and I can really recommend it. The beaches are among the nicest in Southeast Asia.
Bangkok and Singapore are good starting points as well. In 3 months, you can make it all the way from Singapore via Malaysia to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
If you want to get off the beaten track, head to Ambon in Indonesia. You can easily spend a few weeks in the area there.
We actually offer free “Backpacker Cheatsheets” guides on http://www.GuideGecko.com. These graphical guides include a suggested itinerary with all highlights as well as options off the beaten track. So, in a nutshell, I recommend to download a few of these Cheatsheets – and then just go!