Sunday, May 22, 2011

Around the world with 40 Lonely Planet bloggers

40 Lonely Planet travel bloggers come together as a group to release their first free photo ebook. "Around the World with 40 Lonely Planet Bloggers" takes readers on a world tour featuring almost 70 countries, and introduces the world of professional travel blogging. Within it, each blogger, hand picked by Lonely Planet, shares a collection of stunning photos that capture the essence of travel for them. 

The gathering of this eclectic group of travel experts was born out of Lonely Planet’s effort to broaden content for their audience. “The concept was simple – get the best 10% of travel bloggers out there to share their thoughts and ideas…shining a light on the very best travel writing and photography on the planet,” tells Matthew Cashmore, former Innovation Ecosystem Manager at Lonely Planet on the creation of the BlogSherpa Program.
Uniting from across the globe, the BlogSherpas, as they are called, share their adventures and travel lifestyles through the photo ebook. “Managing 40 bloggers perpetually traveling in and out of jungles, cafes, monuments and ruins, and internet free zones (gasp!) was not an easy task” says Todd Wassel, the blogger who headed up the project. 

In addition to an eye-popping collection of photographs, the book is a rich resource for anyone with a passion for travel who wants to learn from the experts. “The 40 BlogSherpas showcased in the ebook specialize in travel modes ranging from solo to couples to family travel, road trips, budget travel, expat living, voluntourism and even perpetually traveling digital nomads,” explains Karen Catchpole, one of the featured bloggers.


The whole thing started more than a year ago. Somebody from Blogsherpa's blogger group suggested an idea of making a paper photography book featuring our collective travel photos. After few months of brainstorming, the group settled on publishing an e-book, sort of as a test run to see how it all comes together.  The road to that "coming together" has been rather long. It's pretty hard to effectively round up people most of whom are at any given moment on the road somewhere or often living in an area not yet blessed by the presence of reliable internet connection. Endless amount of discussions later 40 bloggers (out of hundreds of Blogsherpas) managed to get their act together enough to compile the material for the e-book. That was almost 10 months ago and in May we finally have an e-book to present. 

While a lot of people worked from their own free time to make this happen, i think the illusion of putting out a coffee table photography book in the future has slowly passed. It's much too time consuming and expensive to embark on that path lightly. But in my opinion, publishing an e-book is just the right outlet for a content like this. The photos used are not largely high enough quality to be printed on the paper, but a digital e-book doesn't have those restrictions. You also don't need to be a professional photographer to capture memorable travel shots nor do you have to have an impeccable eye for composition or use the latest camera equipment to produce high quality printable images. Lonely Planet financed the e-book's design and technical compiling, so there were very little expenses we paid from our own pocket. I think that the e-book's design is probably the weakest part of the whole project, considering the price of the designer's work, i think many of us expected more elegant outcome. But somewhat amateur design aside, it's a great way to showcase so many different people and their life on the road, hopefully inspiring many others to follow.

So this e-book we are offering you today, is solely about personal journeys that bloggers want to share with their readers, me included (page 64). It is a really great collective effort by enthusiastic travel addicts, a wonderful insight to how 40 very different bloggers see the world while traveling and/or living abroad. The photos are personal and full of emotions, conveying the excitement and joy of experiencing something new.

Download the e-book from here:
"Around the world with 40 Lonely Planet bloggers"

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