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So you want to be a guidebook writer?

Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 04/30/08 11:46 PM

Research assistant wanted to help update popular Belize guidebook.

Preferred qualifications:

  • journalism/writing/research experience
  • guidebook experience or published travel writing
  • familiarity with Belize
  • already living in Belize a big plus
  • highly organized and have laptop
  • insane, borderline-compulsive attention to detail


Guidebook work is mostly tedious, tiring, and thankless, with only brief flashes of glory, but it's also an excuse to travel and chance to make some cash. You will need to inspect scores of hotels, bus stations, water taxi terminals, restaurants, etc. Payment is per updated chapter, depends on size/complexity of region, and does not include expense account.

To apply, please send a resume, links to published works, and letter of intent to:

Josh Berman
jberman AT gmail DOT com
Posted By: Cooper

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/01/08 02:17 AM

We travel through Belize continuously servicing our outlets, have been for 8 years now...recently been to all bus stations, ride the water taxi weekly..know alot of the Hotels, I really know the best for less places to eat and stay..but Im not ajornelest, not so much organised, dont rite much, and mi spellin aint so hot...be glad to help thow....I got a laptop, also a P.C plus have a fone....
Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/01/08 02:55 AM

You don't necessarily have to be a journalist. Organization and efficiency are key though, as there is quite a lot of ground and properties to cover.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/01/08 03:12 AM

Probably already covered them within the last 6 months..WE TRAVEL ALOT..in Belize, we live here..I have sat in Hotel rooms here and read guide books left in the rooms..and wonder where they get their info...its all wrong....I like the Toucan Trail Books...seems a journalist could hook up with a person living in Belize and do reviews in a question and answer format..I am sure you could find another 10 people like me and do a question and answer and come up with better info than one persons perspective of the country.
Posted By: Harvey

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/01/08 06:08 PM

Being a published author and international business administrator, I will say one thing. Cooper has come up with an escellent answer for compiling the data you are requiring to update or write your travel guide. Save a lot of time, effort and finance. Good thinking Cooper!
Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/01/08 10:49 PM

I welcome all applications. Thank you for your interest!

Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/02/08 09:01 PM

I agree that interviewing key local experts should be part of every guidebook writer's plan when updating a book; of course, it should be done in addition to visiting every single property listed in the book. I always buy beers for knowledgeable expats, Peace Corps Volunteers, and local tourism folks who are willing to help me check my facts--and add to--my own research.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/03/08 05:33 AM

The people you speak of are why some guide books are trash...HELLO.. Peace corp volunteers,,are great...they are being terminated from Belize this year,,due to the fact that Belize is now considered a vacationland..no help needed here???????????? I know them, they are great,, being here helps them as well as us..but they do not travel..Local tourism folks????????????? You need the gringos living here..that have lived here for years.. that eat beans and rice,,,take the bus..spend some money..talk the language,,,or you do not HAVE A VALID PUBLICATION...................
Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/03/08 05:27 PM

Originally Posted by Cooper
The people you speak of are why some guide books are trash

I was specifically referring to knowledgeable expats like yourself, so not sure what the problem is.

Originally Posted by Cooper
Peace corp volunteers,,are great...but they do not travel

This is a joke, right? It's a rare long-term volunteer (Peace Corps, VSO, or other) that has not thoroughly explored his or her host country, taking advantage of the time, language skills, and contacts. In addition, some volunteers work on community-based, small-scale tourism efforts which I can share with my readers. (An example is the artists/tour-guide cooperative in Indian Church.) They also live on small budgets, so always know about cheap places to eat and public transportation -- In short, a goldmine of info for the budget traveler who reads my books.


Originally Posted by Cooper
Local tourism folks?????????????

Yes, absolutely. Although some government tourism folks are useless, others are very helpful; I'm also talking about non-government Belizeans in the tourism industry (1 in 4 Belizeans, right?) -- water taxi drivers, hotel owners, local business group leaders.

All of these people need to be interviewed to add to the legwork and site inspections that I do myself -- or hire someone to do.

Posted By: Pedro1

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/04/08 12:00 AM

I live here -personally hate rice and beans
do not travel by bus but know how to do so
have known Peace Corps volunteers who stayed for a year on AC-
rarley venturing to BZ. City
I speak the national language of Belize -ENGLISH
I spend a lot of money in BZ
Like this paticular guide book
Cooper appears to think that he is the resident living expert on BZ.-why because he sells odd art in Caye caulker
Posted By: dabunk

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/04/08 01:56 AM

We have several peace corp friends here in Toledo and they are not being sent home.
Posted By: klcman

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/04/08 02:10 AM

Actually, PC is still recruiting volunteers for service in Belize.

And now, back to your regular programming.
Posted By: Ernie B

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/04/08 03:04 AM

If the pay is good enough, send me your proposal. Cash in advance.
Posted By: Cooper

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/05/08 04:35 AM

Oh sometimes I get carried away..we also dont take the bus if we can help it..leaving here at 9 am and getting to Placencia at 10 am is better than the bus any day...driving your own car through the Hummingbird highway cant compare to the bus..by the way I am a she.. by the way ..what is odd about cultural art..??? by the way it may have been by accident that you agreed with me that peace Corp folks are pretty dedicated to their post and dont really do alot of traveling..I have read guide books that are trash and would like to see some better info in them.I am no expert..I would think it irresponsible to take only my word for anything...Its great Pedro ! you have alot of money..good for you...I am here because I do like rice and beans.but like stew beans and rice better,,.I do like the culture..I do like the art..I do like to help..volunteer.in many programs...will be teaching for free at our new High School..just to give back to the country that is my home..So Good for you and your money..
Posted By: Cooper

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 05/05/08 04:41 AM

Ryan and Alley..peace corp volunteers on C.C and S.P have been informed these two locations will not be considered for volunteers anymore,,guess The Island life is just too much fun..sad really..they do alot of help, Glad to hear the villages on the mainland will still get some help...
Posted By: Tranquilo Traveler

Re: So you want to be a guidebook writer? - 06/30/08 07:30 PM

THE POSITION IS FILLED -- THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO APPLIED AND SEE YOU OUT THERE ...
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