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General Information for Guidebook Applicants

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Click Here for a List of titles for which we are currently seeking authors.

Channel Lake, Inc., publisher of the Tourist Town Guides® series, is actively seeking applicants to write travel guidebooks. Every year, we select towns that we believe are well-suited for this series, and we encourage applications for any of these cities. However, you may submit a proposal for any destination that you feel would fit in with our series. See the Web page http://www.touristtown.com/books for our full catalog.

What We Publish

Tourist Town Guides® publishes "regional travel guidebooks." In other words, the market for our books is usually limited to the immediate surrounding area. Our books are focused on "tourist towns" - places where a vast majority of the economy comes from tourism. These may include places that are famous for amusement parks, natural wonders, casinos, museums, or any place that draws tourists annually. Small towns work best. Towns with no competing guidebooks work best. Check online to see if the area you are interested in writing about already has competing books. If it does, the chance of your proposal being accepted is reduced (but not eliminated).

The best candidate is one that intimately know their favorite vacation destination by either living there or having visited many times, and has command of the English language. Living close to the destination is highly recommended, as you may be required to visit the destination post-publication in order to promote your book.

Our travel guides focus on local and regional vacation destinations within the United States of America, with our writers providing easy-to-understand information for a wide variety of vacations. Our books generally cover very specific, small geographic areas that are of interest to travelers visiting from within about 200 miles of that area. We do not, for example, publish books on major metropolitan areas (although we will consider books about small geographic segments of a larger metro region).

Each book in the series is organized differently, according to the specific needs of the covered destination and the author's preferences. Please note that we are only seeking travel guidebooks at this time. Please do not submit proposals for anything other than a travel guidebook.

What We Look for in Travel Destinations

In order for your guidebook idea to be considered by our acquistions team, it must meet the following requirements:

  • The town should be a smaller, regional tourist destination
  • The town should have very few, if any, competing books (check Amazon.com)
  • The town should have the vast majority of its income from tourism
  • The town should fit in with our other titles, see http://www.touristtown.com/books
  • The author should have easy access to the town, either by living in it or near it

Pitching Your Idea to Us

In order to be considered for any travel guidebook, please send a resume, a cover letter, and up to five relevant clips to jobs@channellake.com or to the fax or postal mail address at the bottom of this page. In the cover letter, indicate which title you are interested in and explain why you are the best person to write that guidebook. A full proposal is recommended, but not required, with your initial inquiry.

In addition, all applicants are required to fill out the Application Form (click here to download it). Please download the form and either fax it into our offfice or send it in with your proposal.

We will contact those applicants that we think might be a good fit for the book and ask them for a phone interview. Unfortunately, we cannot respond personally to every applicant. After the phone interviews, we will invite the those candidates that have not yet submitted full proposals to do so at that time.

Important: Be specific with your proposal. Do not indicate that you are qualified to write more than one or two specific book topics, and please let us know what those topics are.

What to Include in Your Proposal

All potential authors must submit a full proposal in order to be considered. The proposal should include as much of the following information as possible. If information is omitted, the application will still be considered, but please be thorough:

  1. Cover Letter. Give an overview of the destination, including its personality or character. A successful proposal should make us want to go to the destination. Please limit your cover letter to one page.
  2. Royalty Requirements. Although this is covered in your application, we like to see what you expect in terms of advance and royalty percentages. Please note that our guidebooks are paperback, 5.5" x 8.5" and retail for $13.95 or $14.95.
  3. Credentials and Resume. What are the reasons that you would be the best author for this book? Include applicable experience, education, and other materials previously published. Be sure to attach a copy of your resume and contact information.
  4. Market Competition. Describe all other books currently available that would be competition for your proposed book. Also discuss how your book would be different from the competition.
  5. Book Outline. Compose a detailed outline the contents of your proposed book. The outline should show the general structure of the book and how each region will be covered. Describe the content to be covered in that chapter.
  6. Sample Content. Please provide two or three sample items that show the kind of descriptions you would include in the book: include any review that you feel comfortable submitting; we like to see reviews of hotels, restaurants, and/or attractions in your book's covered destination.
  7. Author Promotion. Authors are expected to particpate in the marketing of their own work. Please answer the following questions regarding the marketing and promotion of the book:
    • Do you have an existing Web site? Do you anticipate having a Web site specifically for this book and/or destination?
    • Are you familiar with social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter?
    • Would you maintain a written, audio, or video blog, or a podcast?
    • Are you interested in doing bookstore signings?
    • Have you been interviewed by a media outlet before? Do you have media contacts that may assist in book promotion?
  8. Manuscript specifications. Please provide details about the project, including how long you require to complete the project, your estimated word and/or page count, and approximately how many photos you wil be able to provide, and how many maps you would like to see. Our books range from 168 to 232 printed pages (not word-processing pages).
  9. Sample photos. Include several (no more than 4) photo samples, with accompanying captions, that are representative of the photos that you would take for the book. If you do not wish to personally take photos, please provide information on where you will obtain the photos. Do not send full-resolution photos at this time (large thumbnails or 300x300 size would be fine), but please be aware that we wil require hi-res photos prior to publication, so those photos must be available.
  10. Coverage Area. Please provide an electronic map that outlines the area(s) that you plan to cover in the book. For this, you may provide us with one or more Google Maps or Bing Maps links.

Summary of the Writing Process

Tourist Town Guides® books range in final page count from 168 pages to approximately 232 pages, and have a list price of between $13.95 and $14.95 USD. The destination of each guide, as well as author input, determine its size. Word count usually ranged from 35,000 words to 45,000 words. The author typically has 4-6 months to research and write the book. Each book must conform to restrictive guidelines with regard to content and formatting. It is required that authors adhere to our very specific content and formatting guidelines. These guidelines will be provided to you after you have been selected to write the book.

The author is also responsible for providing photos and maps for the book's cover and interior, but the publisher may assist the author in obtaining these materials.

Our books are usually published (become available for sale) between March and May of each year.

Where to Send Materials

When you have your proposal and/or package, please send it to the following address:

Channel Lake, Inc
Attn: Submissions
P.O. Box 1771
New York, NY 10156-1771

Phone Number: 347-329-5576
Fax: 866-794-5507
E-mail: jobs@channellake.com

 

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Tourist Town Guides ® is published by Channel Lake, Inc. · P.O. Box 1771 · New York, NY · 10156
Phone: 800.592.1566 · Fax: 866.794.5507