• travel guide
  • Travel Guides
  • Apps & eBooks
  • Community
  • Publish Apps

Publishing FAQ

How to create your guide


Publishing with GuideGecko


Sales and Marketing Tips


Get in touch with other writers: Check the online forum in our Writers' Café!





Other FAQ


Couldn't find what you are looking for? Please contact us or check our other FAQ:






How to create your guide


How does the publishing process work?


Our publishing process is unique and simple - we will lead you to a succesful publication, step by step, always keeping you up to date on your progress and the next task.


1. You apply


Please fill out the application form. We want to make sure you have a well-defined concept and there is a market for your guide.


2. Follow the steps


After you submit the application form, you will be directed to your profile page. This page will contain a new section with the next steps. Just follow the steps in the given order. In Step 2, you will choose your web publishing option. Web publishing is optional. In Step 3, we will present you our publishing agreement.


3. Write your guide


After you have chosen your web publishing option and accepted our publishing agreement, we will set up our system for you. When we are done, you will see a new link to your starting page in Step 5 on your profile page. Please contact us if the link does not appear within 48 hours. While you wait, check our video tutorials! Once the link is there, open the starting page. You enter your content directly on this website. You do not need to do any design, but it would be good if you have a decent photo for most articles/listings. You can use Creative Commons photos as well. To get started, simply click on 'Add Something' on the starting page.


4. We produce the app and eBook


Simply send us the table of contents when you are done (see Step 5 on your profile page). We then produce the app and eBook directly from the content on the website, and distribute them to iTunes, iBookstore, Amazon Kindle and other eBook stores. This step only takes a couple of days.


5. You earn royalties


We pay you on a quarterly basis and send you sales reports wherever available. We pay you in U.S. Dollars - via cheque, bank transfer or PayPal.


Get started: Apply now!





How do I create itinerary-style guides?


Itinerary-style guides lead users through a destination by suggesting a certain visiting sequence. This applies to suggested itineraries, walks and tours. Itineraries are highly recommended, because they release the user from the burdon of trip planning. They also allow writers to focus on the most important listings, without having to include less important sections and entries.


Note: If the below sounds complicated, simply take a look at our example.


1. Get started


  • Go to the 'Walks, Tours & Itineraries' section in your destination.
  • Click on 'Add Something' and add a new listing for each day of the itinerary or each walk/tour. Use names such as Day 1 of 3 Day Itinerary or Chinatown Walk.

2. Enter main itinerary texts


Enter your main itinerary texts into these newly added pages. These texts should not include all the details for the individual places. Instead, they serve as summaries that list all places in the suggested sequence, with some highlights for each place. Also add a few photos of highlights to these pages. Place the map marker on the starting point for the day.


3. Enter individual listings


For each place in your main itinerary texts, add a new listing under the respective section (e.g. Attractions under 'See', Hotels under 'Sleep', Restaurants under 'Eat', etc.). Remember to add a description, opening hours, costs, etc. on the listing pages, and locate them on the map. Also add a photo for each place. You may use Creative Commons photos.


4. Link itinerary to listings


Go back to your main itinerary texts and add links to the individual places. That's it!



Users will be able to follow the tour by reading the main itinerary text and clicking on the links. The linked pages provide more information for the individual places and locate them on the map, thus informing the user where to go. Please see our example.


Once you are familiar with the process, it may be faster to start with the individual listings (3.) and then only compose the main itinerary texts (2.). In this way, you can immediately add the links (4.) in one go.


The above process should be used when you choose our recommended web publishing Option A (Integration).


If you choose Option B or C, we will provide you with a new environment that does not have any sections. You may then add a section for your itineraries and additional sections for places to see, stay, eat, etc. You can then follow the above process accordingly.


Alternatively, you may also add a new section for each walk or day of the itinerary (as opposed to a listing in the general 'Walk, Tours & Itineraries' section). If you do this, each walk will have its own entry in the menu. You can then add each place that you mention in the main walk/itinerary text directly as a listing in the same section. This only works with web publishing options B or C.





How can I add something to my guide?


Adding content to your guide is easy, and you do it directly on our website. We produce the app and eBook directly from the content on the website.


QUICK START


  1. Open any page of your guide (e.g. from the link on your profile page) and click on 'Add Something' (located above the map).
  2. Add Sections, Listings and Articles: Just enter the title and click the appropriate button. A new page will be created and open. Note: You cannot add listings and articles on the 'Travel Guide' page of a destination directly. Add a section first, and then click on 'Add Something' on the section page.
  3. On the new page, click the 'Add description' button and enter your text.
  4. Click on 'Upload Photo' (located above the map) to add photos. Always enter a meaningful photo description.


VIDEO TUTORIALS (all the details)


1. How our guides are structured


Our guides are organized in sections, articles and listings. Click on 'Add Something' to add one of these.


The main 'Travel Guide' Section of any destination shall be used for an introduction to the city or country. It serves as a landing page for your users, and has links to the other sections. For this reason, you can also not add articles and listings to the 'Travel Guide' Section directly. Instead, you need to add another section first, and add articles and listings to this section.


You should use sections like chapter headings in a book. Check the sections in our Singapore Guide as examples (Travel Guide, Getting in, Hotels, Sights, etc.).



How to add sections (Tutorial 1)
   
How to add articles and listings (Tutorial 2)


Listings are points of interest that can be placed on a map, for example places to see, eat, sleep, walks & tours, etc. To add a listing, click on 'Add Something', select the type and enter the listing's name. Each listing belongs to a section, so add the section first.


Articles are listed below the main section text. Articles do not have a map location and no quick facts (e.g. no opening hours, no costs, etc.). To add an article, click on 'Add Something' and enter the article title. As with listings, each article belongs to a section - add the section first.


2. How to add your texts and photos


A new page will be created for every article, listing and section. You enter your description text directly on these pages. Click on the blue 'Add description' button to enter your description text. You can also upload photos and videos.


To edit the quick facts (e.g. opening hours, costs) for listings, click directly on the (empty) field. Place the listing on the map by dragging the map marker to the correct position. Be as precise as possible. When you are done, don't forget to click 'Save'. You may also add quick reviews by clicking on the link.



How to add descriptions (Tutorial 3)
   
How to add quick facts and maps (Tutorial 4)


You should also enter a description text for the section pages. This text shall provide an overview for the respective section. On the main 'Travel Guide' page, write an introduction to the city as a whole (see e.g. Introduction to Singapore, Eating or Sightseeing).


Simply click on the blue 'Add description' button on the section pages, and add hyperlinks within this text to other articles and listings where appropriate.



How to add photos (Tutorial 5)
   
How to select photos (Tutorial 6)


Some people have reported problems with fonts and formats when they copy texts directly from Word. One way to avoid this is to copy your texts to Notepad first. Then copy&paste from Notepad into the description field.


You can format your texts with headlines, lists, bold and italics directly in the description field. See this example of a text with H1-style headlines.


3. FOR ADVANCED USERS: Multiple destinations and how to add districts


Some guides cover multiple destinations, e.g. a country guide covers multiple cities. The information below does not apply if you cover only a single city.


If you write a guide with multiple destinations, make sure that you are on the correct destination page before you add anything. We have continents, countries, regions and cities. You will find links to the sub-destinations (e.g. cities in a country) in the middle of the parent page.


If you are adding an article that covers multiple destinations, always add it to the next higher level. For example, an article that covers Berlin and Munich should be added to Germany.



How to add districts (Tutorial 7)


You may also add districts if needed. For example, you may add a disctrict 'East Malaysia' to Malaysia or a district 'Chinatown' to San Francisco. To do this, click on 'Add Something' and then on 'Add a District'.



If you have further questions, please check the other FAQ here on this page. If you can't find the answer, please ask in the forum of our Writers' Café.





In which format shall I enter telephone numbers?


Use the Telephone field in the quick facts to enter a telephone number for a listing.


If telephone numbers are not formatted corerectly, they will not work on the iPhone.


Please strictly follow these guidelines:

  • Enter only the telephone number, without any explanations or any other description.
  • Enter only digits "0" to "9" and the "+" sign, e.g. "+49 30 123456". Do not use any other symbols.
  • Enter numbers that can be dialled as they are given. Numbers in the format "+49 (0)30 123456" will not work.
  • Enter only one (1) telephone number in this field. If you have multiple telephone numbers, you can mention them in the text. But there can be only one number in the field.




Do I need to write something for every city in my destination?


No, of course not.


We will provide you with a link where you can compose your guide. On that page, you may see a list of regions and cities. For example, the page for your "France Food Guide" will have a list of regions and cities in France, but you do not need to add content to all of them. Just pick the regions and cities where you want to add content. You can also add your general articles (e.g. on French cuisine) directly to the France page.


Your app and eBook will only include places and pages where you have added content, other cities and regions will not appear.





How long should my guide be?


Rather than a general rule, the number of articles and listings should be determined by your type of guide and destination. All our publication formats are well-suited for short guides with a limited number of entries as well as for guides with hundreds of listings.


For traditional guides with sections for places to see, eat, sleep, etc., we usually suggest to include at least 80 listings and articles. This would make it a "Best Of" kind of guide. 100-200+ articles/listings would be better for a comprehensive guide that can sell at a higher price.


Typically, itinerary-style guides can have fewer listings.


There is no word limit for articles and listings. Browse through our Singapore Guide for some examples.





How can I include photos?


You can (and should) include photos for sections, articles and listings. Click on Upload Photo above the map to add photos.



How to add photos
   
How to select photos


You do not need a photo for every entry, but the entries in the app will look better with a photo. If an entry does have a photo, we use a small thumbnail in the section overview screens of the app. If the entry does not have a photo, we use an unobstrusive placeholder instead.


See the screenshot below. The listing for Hotel Arcata does not have a photo, therefore the app shows the placeholder image. Compare that to the listing for Curly Redwood Lodge, which has a photo.



Hotel Arcata does not have a photo, therefore the app shows a placeholder image.


You may also use photos under a Creative Commons License from sites like Flickr or Wikimedia Commons. If the license requires it, do enter the author's name and license information in the Attribution field when uploading photos. Use the sample format provided for the attribution field.


You can upload multiple images for the website. The first image that you upload will automatically become the main image, and will be displayed as the header image at the top of the page. The header image may be cropped at the top and bottom. You should therefore use an image that has the main part in its (vertical) center. If you want to set another image as the main image, you can do so by clicking on Use as main image on the photo page. Contact us if this link does not appear for you.


The main image will also be used for the eBook. We will use the complete (uncropped) version for the eBook. The eBook will only have one image per article.


You can include one image for each entry in the app. Check the iPhone box below the photo on the photo page to include the image in the app. If you select multiple photos, only one will be chosen.


To upload a video, click on Upload Video. Videos will only be displayed on the website. Currently, videos are not included in the app or eBook.


You can now also insert images inside the description text. See how.





What resolution should the photos have?


Always upload your photos in the highest resolution available to you. Good quality photos should have a file size of at least 1MB, and more than 2000 pixels along the longer side. We will automatically reduce the file size to achieve fast download times, so you do not need to worry about big file sizes.





Can I add links to external websites?


You can add links to external websites in the special External Resources section in the right column. External links will be displayed on the website and in the app.


Think twice before adding links, and only add links of high relevancy (e.g. to the official website of the place). Every external link may also imply that a visitor will leave your site. In doubt, you should rather include the information on the page than linking to another website.





Can I update my guide once published?


You can update your guide at any time on the website. However, these updates will only appear in the app and eBook when a new edition is released, which we typically do after 12 months.


We are working on an automatic update functionality for the app, but currently do not have a release date yet.



Can others edit my content?


No. You can lock all your articles and listings. This means that no one can edit them until you unlock them again.


However, you may choose to keep some articles and listings unlocked. This gives other users the chance to update facts (e.g. opening hours, costs, etc.) and to correct typos. It also enables you to build up a community around your content. You need to apply to make a guide to lock your pages.


The above only applies to web publishing options A and B. With web publishing option C ("no web publishing"), others have no access to your content on the web, and can therefore also not edit it.






Publishing with GuideGecko


Why should I publish with GuideGecko?


We produce and publish cutting-edge and fully interactive iPhone apps, eBooks and websites. We offer an unparalleled distribution network for all these publishing formats and high royalties of 50%. Last but not least, we are nice girls and guys :-).





What kinds of guides can I publish?


Any guides such as travel, city, country, food, nightlife and/or itineraries are welcome. We publish guides for general audiences as well as for special topics/target groups. We are especially interested in fresh ideas.


Let us know yours!





Which publication formats do you offer?


We offer iPhone apps, eBooks (for Kindle, Nook, iBookstore, etc.) and web publishing. All publication formats are optional, and all of them use the latest technologies and cutting-edge features.


We currently do not offer Android apps, but will do so when we see a substantial revenue opportunity.





Do I need to publish in all formats? Can I publish apps only?


You may publish your guide in all or only some of the provided publication formats (app, eBook, web), and you can also keep the content on your own website.


We recommend you maximize your revenues by choosing all publication formats. Since all formats are based on the same content that you enter on the website, there is no additional work for you.





Can I see a sample app?


Yes, of course. Please check our Singapore App, we always keep this up to date with the latest features.


More apps are listed on our App Page.





Do rights belong to me when I publish a guide?


You grant us a right and license to use your content in your chosen publication formats. You retain all copyrights in your content, and you may keep it on your website.


On the other hand, we retain all copyrights and all other rights and interests in the publications and publishing tools. The details are covered in our publishing agreement.





How can users find and purchase my apps and eBooks?


Users can find and purchase your iPhone apps directly in Apple's iTunes app store. Your eBooks will be available in the Amazon Kindle store, Apple's iBookstore (e.g. iPad), for Sony and Barnes & Noble's Nook. Apps and eBooks are distributed worldwide.


We will also promote your guide on GuideGecko.





Is a map included in every app?


Yes, a fully interactive and GPS-enabled map is included in the app. As a special feature, the map does not require internet connection. Therefore, it does not incur data roaming charges when used abroad.





What is web publishing?


Web publishing means that you get a section on the GuideGecko.com website to make your guide available on the web, and we share the AdSense advertising revenue on your pages. Web publishing is optional. There are three options, all of them with distinct advantages.


Option A: Integration in our general travel guide


You integrate your guide into our general travel guide. This is the easiest and fastest option, because you can use our ready-made sections to structure your guide. You just enter your articles and listings to the city/country pages and upload photos. You don't need to worry about how to structure your guide, as we have already done the hard work for you!


This works for general guides and itineraries, as well as for focus topics. For example, you could write a 3-Day Itinerary or a Singapore Shopping Guide, and integrate that into our general Singapore Guide. Of course, this also works for cities and countries for which we do not have content yet.


Advantages:

  • Priority in search results
  • More visitors through network and community effects
  • Higher advertising revenues from the start
  • Promotes your apps and eBooks

Recommended for:

  • General guides with sights, attractions, hotels, etc.
  • Itineraries and walking tours
  • Special topics that fit into the general guide

Option B: Dedicated environment for your guide


We will create a whole new environment for your guide on GuideGecko.com, dedicated for you. You define what sections shall be included, and what kind of listings you want to add in these sections. Your guide is accessible to the public on the GuideGecko.com website, and you receive AdSense advertising revenues for all your pages.


This works for general guides and itineraries as well as for special topics, such as wine guides, museum guides, traveling with kids, etc.


Advantages:

  • Full control over how to structure your guide
  • Tailor-made sections and listing categories for your guide
  • Allows you to build a community around your topic
  • Earns advertising revenues, promotes your apps and eBooks

Recommended for:

  • Special topics that do not fit into the general guide.

Option C: No web publishing


We will create a whole new environment for your guide on GuideGecko.com, but it will only be accessible to you. Others cannot view your guide on the web. You use the website to compose your guide, and we create the iPhone app and/or eBook as soon as you are done. You won't earn any advertising revenue from the website.


Advantages:

  • Allows you to do apps and/or eBooks without a public website

Recommended for:

  • Only if you do not want a website




Why should I publish a website on GuideGecko?


1. The web is very competitive

You need a lot of visitors to make money from your website. The majority of visitors come through search engines, and high search engine rankings are essential. We take care of the nitty-gritties of search engine optimization, so you can concentrate on writing the best content.

2. We have traffic

With us, you are a part of the GuideGecko community and have strong partners. The network effect allows you to get more visitors, as readers browse to your guide from other parts of the website. Having a large website is also beneficial for search engine rankings of individual pages, leading to even more visitors for you.

3. You want to earn money

Making money with a travel website means that you need to place the right adverts at the right position on your pages. This requires a lot of experimenting and fine-tuning. We maximize your profits by placing adverts at the right places, without overloading the page. You receive 50% of all AdSense revenues.





If I choose web publishing, how can visitors find my guide on the web?


Your guide will be accessible on the GuideGecko website. Once your content has grown to a decent size, we will include links to your guide in the specific continent and country sections. You may also contribute a featured article for our homepage.


Your guide can also be found through search engines such as Google.






Sales and Marketing Tips


What are my royalties/revenue share?


We offer a high revenue share based on 50% of all net proceeds from sales and AdSense ads on our webiste.





How do I receive my AdSense revenues?


As an approved writer, you receive 50% of the Google AdSense revenue from your pages on GuideGecko. Apply here with your guide idea if you haven't done so already.


To enable AdSense for your pages, all you need to do is sign up with Google AdSense and send us your AdSense publisher ID. We will then randomly alternate your AdSense ID with ours on every page load, on a 50-50% basis. This means on average, every second page impression will carry your ads.


All ads on one page impression carry the same publisher ID - either yours or ours, but not mixed on the same page. This makes sure that "your" ads (i.e., AdSense ads with your publisher ID) are shown in all lucrative ad positions. You may check the HTML source code and find the AdSense publisher ID. Please reload the page multiple times if you see only one of the IDs in your first attempts.


You receive your earnings directly from Google. Please make sure that you have the appropriate settings for your AdSense account with Google: Log in to AdSense, select "Account settings" in the left panel on the "Home" tab, and scroll down to the "Access and authorization" section. Here, you need to set "Sites authorized to show ads" to "Allow any site to show ads for my account". This should be the default. On the previous AdSense interface, you find this setting under "AdSense Setup->Allowed Sites->Allow any site to show ads for my account".


Your earnings should start showing in your AdSense account as soon as people click the ads.





How much can I earn from the website?


This answer has been moved here.





What price should I set for my apps and eBooks?


In general, we suggest to set the selling price based on the number of articles and listings - the more, the higher the price.


We recommend a price of US$0.99 for guides and itineraries with up to 100 articles and listings. US$1.99 for 150 articles/listings, and US$2.99-5.99 for 200 articles/listings or more. The topic of your guide also has an influence.


Of course, you decide on the final price. These are just suggestions.





Do you promote my guide?


Yes, we promote your guide through search engine optimization and by placing adverts and notices on our website. You may contribute an article and get featured on our homepage.


We may also include your guide in other marketing campaigns. Do contact us if you have any specific ideas.





How can I promote my guide?


We recommend these simple but effective marketing steps:


1. Reach out to your target audience


Define the target audience for your guide. Who and what kind of person would use your guide? Approach this group directly through online and offline communities. Maybe even purchase an advert on relevant highly targeted websites or in newsletters.


2. Issue a press release


Write a press release and distribute it to the local media in your destination area. Also consider media in your home area - they may be interested in your personal story. Learn how to write effective press releases.


3. Engage in social media


Create a Facebook page and a Twitter account specific to your topic. Update the page and tweet frequently. Use them to interact with users, be resourceful and answer questions. Link to your guide, but do not oversell.


4. Become an authority


Approach blogs and online media and offer them a guest post or article. Ask for an author bio section with a link to your guide. This will make you an authority in the field and the link helps for your search engine rankings as well.


Also make sure to read and implement our tips on search engine optimization.





How do I get paid?


All payments are made in U.S. Dollars - via cheque, bank transfer or PayPal. We will pay your revenues within 45 days following the end of the calendar month in which we receive payment from the retailer, customer, advertising partner, or other partner for the sale of your guide.





How can I track my sales?


We will send you quaterly sales reports wherever available.


We currently have a beta program that enables you to track daily sales of your app, so that you can fine tune your marketing campaigns. Please contact us if you want to be enrolled in this beta program.









Have you been there, done that?
The Ultimate Backpacker Bucket Lists: