It all began two years ago over a cup of coffee between two Lonely Planet employees and a growing concern: a lack of travel guides for Indian travellers. Indians are travelling the world like never before. It has been estimated that by 2020 Indian travellers will make up to 50 million overseas trips. Many lattes were consumed and by the end of it the two slightly excited individuals had a tentative plan to come to the rescue of the Indian traveller.
Once that decision was made, all it needed was the right people to drive it forward – enter the Publisher. Her role is rounding up a bunch of talented, travel crazy individuals and leading them to create the perfect travel guide. Detailed studies, both qualitative and quantitative, revealed exactly what Indians wanted when they were travelling, both overseas and within the country. Armed with these findings, the Publisher passes the baton to the Commissioning Editors – also known as the CEs.
The CEs put their thinking caps on, up the caffeine intake and put together an author brief, which is no mean feat. This detailed document is the blueprint on which the book is based. The next step is identifying the right author(s) for the job. Authors do a lot of pre-trip research. They’ve got to be aware of recent trends, feedback and opinions before they pack their bags. Armed with author briefs, an empty notebook and a laptop, the author goes on the road, personally visiting each and every place mentioned in the travel guide. Throughout the trip the author is constantly in touch with the CE, who gives direction and lots and lots of advice (much to the author’s consternation) every step of the way.
Once the authors have dragged their weary bodies home, the deadline looms. The author gets busy writing the manuscript, deciphering all the notes they have scribbled on their battered notebook or on the back of a museum entry ticket. When they’re sure it’s all perfect, they send it to the CE.
Back in the office, CEs and editors go through the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb, not only to ensure top quality but also to ascertain that all the needs of the Indian traveller will be met. Queries are sent back to the authors because we don’t want you lost and wandering around in an unfamiliar city. Then the layout designers work with the editors to blend the text, maps and images into one work of art. A proofreader with a keen eye for detail gives the text a final once-over to make sure that it really is perfect.
At Lonely Planet India, we have the best ideas and the right people to create something this country has never seen before – travel guides especially for the Indian traveller. We know you will enjoy travelling with our books. Why are we so confident? We love travel, we love travellers and we’re good at what we do.
You are in good hands. Happy travelling!