What’s a visual travel tour? See www.visualtraveltours.com for 100+ examples about great places to visit throughout the world.
Not only am I the editor for VTT, I just finished a submission about two of the best bike tours (on converted railroad beds) in Virginia. Which means that I just finished the same stuff that all of the other accepted writers must also do!
Did I gather up any tips, beyond submitting a dandy query letter to get the initial go-ahead and not researching or writing until the query is approved (since it’s sometimes modified to better fit our hands-on tour orientation)?
Tip 1: Closely study maps of the target area and lay out a walking (or driving) plan that includes the most interesting sites in a logical, replicable order. Assign a rough number of photos for each of the five or so sections of the tour, plus 10-12 photos (of the 90 max) for the introduction. The intro pix can be used once again, if necessary.
Tip 2: Read what others think are the most exciting or interesting places to see or things to do. Rather than seeking some revolutionary new approach, focus on giving the reader inside information or a better grasp of why they want to visit the locale, plus photos that beckon and illustrate.
Tip 3: Buy a background book or get a current one from the library, gather all the handouts possible, take full and legible notes, snap at least twice as many photos as you need (top magazine professionals often take a 20:1 ratio!), and review your photos on your digital camera. If they aren’t clear, colorful, and sharp, they probably won’t work for us either.
Tip 4: Lay out your copy first, a sentence or three max, per unit, then match your photos to that prose by number so together they speak to the reader. That will make your later submission a breeze.
Tip 5: At VTT (or wherever else you are submitting), read the how-to instructions fully, then follow them. We have a Provider Island format that is almost a fail-safe for successful submission. No reason to wonder about photo size, semicolons, how we handle dashes and hyphens, and more…
Why do I like visual travel tours? Because each is a great chance to research and write, earn $150 plus royalties upon acceptance, then requery other editors and use the material and visuals, restructured, again and again.
If this new travel outlet/angle interests you, send me a query.
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