Do you think you could become the next Bradt author? At Bradt Guides we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of publishing guides to unusual destinations – or colourful guides to rather more mainstream places.
We also publish wildlife guides, slow travel guides, travel literature and several ‘one-off’ titles that don’t fit neatly into any category. Anything travel-related will find a home on our list if it’s high-quality and you can demonstrate a market for it. We normally publish around 40 titles a year – a combination of new titles and new editions.
Covid-19 update: We’re currently running with a skeleton crew so it will take longer than usual to get back to you. Also, we’re having to be extremely selective – even more so than usual! – with new projects. Much of our 2021 list will inevitably be taken up with the books we weren’t able to publish in 2020, with a smaller knock-on into subsequent years.
Please don’t be put off by this. If you have an unputdownable manuscript or a cracking idea for a travel guide, we do still want to hear from you. But please bear with us until life returns to something like normal.
You might also like to consider Journey Books, our contract publishing imprint. This offers both new and experienced writers a route into print by sharing the risks and rewards.
Am I a travel writer?
There are no specific qualifications required for writing a travel guide. An adventurous spirit, enthusiasm, determination, focus, expertise, the ability to conduct thorough research and a willingness to go the extra mile all help. You’ll also need the ability to write engagingly and to adhere to Bradt’s house style.
You should demonstrate to us a genuine interest in a destination – certainly through personal experience of travel in that country and ideally also through related travel elsewhere. For example, if you were pitching a guide to Lebanon then we would ideally be looking for personal knowledge of the country itself and a practical knowledge and cultural understanding of the Arab world in general.
You’ll need to combine perseverance with perfectionism to ensure that you obtain full contact details and prices, and then add in a basic understanding of maps, which need to be compiled as you go along.
And forget the glamour: it’s time consuming, very hard work and certainly won’t make you rich – but of course it gets you out from behind a desk!
Updating a Bradt guide
Most of our authors work on a royalty basis, and as such maintain their involvement with their guide, often for many years.
On occasion, however, an author is unable to update the new edition of his or her book, and in those cases we commission someone else to do the work.
What are we looking for in an updater? We require someone with a prior knowledge of the country and ideally a proven ability to write. That said, the criteria for this, as for any form of travel writing, remain the same: they start with enthusiasm and commitment.
Submitting a proposal and applying to be an updater
If you’d like to write for Bradt, please email your CV, mentioning any writing and travel experience and a brief summary of your proposal(s) to Sue Cooper
Should we be interested, we will ask you to supply an unedited sample of writing of around 500 words on a destination of your choice.
From there, we would work with you to compile a formal proposal, an outline of contents and a list of maps, before committing to any new projects.
Writing for our travel literature series
If you would like to be considered as an author within our travel literature series and think you have an exceptional story to tell, we will need to see a short synopsis (outlining the overall ‘plot’ of your book), at least two sample chapters (including the opening chapter) and ideally a chapter breakdown (giving very brief details of what will be contained within each chapter). We are looking for new and beautiful writing and stories with a strong topical interest. If you wish to make a submission then please email Sue Cooper (see above).
We’re a friendly and dedicated team, and there are always openings for the right people, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How do I get started?
Want to break into travel writing but not sure where to begin? Why not try one of our travel writing seminars or enter our annual travel-writing competition? Happily, we also publish the best guide available to becoming a travel writer, Jonathan Lorie’s The Travel Writer’s Way. Get hold of a copy and give yourself a head start!