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You're in luck! No longer do you have to give out your travel tips (through Lonely Planet's Thorn Tree Forum or WikiTravel) for free or carry the heavy guidebook that you only intend to use half of. If you've been slaving away at your own self-published travel guidebook or if you've been trying to find just the right guide to your destination, head over to GuideGecko.com and market your writing through its online shop and publishing platform.
A few months ago, GuideGecko's founder, Daniel Quadt, got in touch with me to get some advice on how to construct a website that would be both useful for travel writers with helpful insight and travelers seeking destination information. He and I spent a good hour on Skype (the sun was setting in Honolulu for me as it was rising in Singapore for him) discussing the best ways to make his innovative online travel resource benefitial for both parties.
Just a few weeks later, Quadt made some necessary tweaks and launched GuideGecko in late March. The result is a site that offers a variety of guidebooks -- both mainstream and independently published.
The greatest part about GuideGecko's collection is that you don't have to be a well-known, published travel writer to submit your travel tips. As a member/user, you have the ability to upload, manage, market, and price your travel expertise as you see fit! Authors and publishers can offer their guides for download and as printed books. Guides can be updated at any time and customers will always get the latest version.
GuideGecko is an equally useful travel resource. It attracts customers with its large variety of guides, tailor-made search functionalities to help them find exactly the guides they need, and very competitive prices at up to 30% below the suggested retail price for commercially available guides.
The site already offers close to 2,000 guides on nearly 200 countries and 250 cities and regions around the world. The guides are classified into several categories that range from diving to dining, shopping to sightseeing, and trekking to traveling with children.
I encourage you to have a look at GuideGecko.com yourself. If you're not completely satisfied, I'm sure Daniel is open to any kind of feedback or suggestion. In fact, I intend to interview Daniel on behalf of Gadling within the coming week to understand the inspiration behind GuideGecko as well as learn about his own travels, so stay tuned!