Wednesday, September 23, 2009

DIY Beijing

An update of my very first Beijing guide was published today: DIY Beijing: A guide for the independent traveler.

My pride-and-joy guide was initially published as 17 really neat things to see and do in Beijing and other good stuff I learned the hard way in 1996. It grew out of an article I was writing for a newspaper travel section. The newspaper wanted 750 words on things to see and do in Beijing. 750 words! Impossible! I kept on writing when I hit 750 words. When I got done, I counted up my favorite things to do in Beijing, and there were 17. So that's what I named my guide.

Two years later, I expanded it by 20 pages and renamed it Do-it-yourself Beijing. It was only available for sale on my website, and I didn't accept credit cards, payment in advance only. It was self-published in the truest sense of the term: I did it all myself at Office Depot., and mailed it to my customers. I sold about 500 books over a two-year period.

DIY Beijing is positively upscale compared to those early efforts. It's available as both an ebook and print from (They accept credit cards, too!) GuideGecko is a relatively new travel book company; DIY Beijing is the third guide I've published with them. The others are Parents Guide to Beijing and Cuandixia: an ancient mountain village in China. Cuandixia is only available as an ebook, but Parents Guide is both an e- and print book.

All three guides are geared for the independent traveler, but it's also good for travelers on organized tours who want to break away for a few hours. Parents and DIY Beijing takes them to the off-the-beaten path places that I love so much. The major attractions aren't neglected, however, especially if they're sites I like to visit again and again. And like 17 really neat things, DIY Beijing is still filled with tips I learned the hard way during the years I lived in Beijing.

Just click on the links above to find the books on GuideGecko. GuideGecko will feature both Parents and DIY at the Frankfurt Book Fair next month. This is exciting news for me!

If you're planning a trip to China, check out my website. If you have questions about travel in China, please email me.

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