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How to Write a Guidebook: Announcing My Next Big Project

Text: Julie Schwietert Collazo
Photos: Francisco Collazo

Moon New York, 5th edition.

Moon New York, 5th edition.

The ink on the contract is barely dry, but since the contract is signed, I can now share news about my next big project: I’ve been chosen to author Moon Handbook’s travel guide to New York State. Picking up where previous author Sascha Zuger left off, I’ll carry the book forward into its sixth edition and beyond.

This is an exciting project for me for a few reasons.

First, while I have a couple guidebook credits to my name (Fodor’s Puerto Rico and Fodor’s Caribbean), I was not the sole author of those works; Moon New York State will be entirely my baby. Second, I’ll be collaborating with Francisco, who will be shooting all of the photos for the book. As you probably know, there’s no one with whom I enjoy working more than my husband. Third, the timing couldn’t be better: there’s no better time to do on-the-road research in New York than the summer.

It’ll be wheels to the road and hands to the keyboard for the next 12 weeks, and you’ll notice that most of the posts here will be related to guidebook work. These process-oriented posts will give you behind-the-scenes glimpses of what writing a guidebook entails.

View of Rochester.

View of Rochester.

Over on my other blog, CollazoProjects, you’ll find posts that are out-takes from our travels around the state: quirky attractions, delicious food, and overlooked places that may or may not make it into the guidebook but deserve coverage.

We’ll still be promoting the Pope book, which was just published in Spanish, Portuguese, and German. And I’ll still be writing about the processes related to that book, too: How do reviews of books affect authors? How do you make sure your book finds its legs once it’s published? Expect plenty of practical pointers… when I can find an Internet connection.

Have a question about any aspect of the guidebook writing process? Feel free to ask me here or on twitter.


4 responses »

  1. Excited for you. Congrats, Julie!

  2. Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.

    I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed
    the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab
    inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!
    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had
    to tell someone!

  3. akismetuser946118789

    Congrats on the new assignment and how neat you can work on it with Francisco! Have fantastic time working on it. I’m sure it will turn out great.

    happy travels, Karin-Marijke


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