Offbeat Guides: Create your own travel guide in five minutes!

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I really envy David Sifry for his new break-through: Offbeat Guides, an on-demand and personalized travel book. A killer idea with a strong business model. Yeah, the user-generated-content idea still rocks!

Are you a traveler? This is a really good news for you. When you planning a trip, you don’t need to confuse of finding the suitable travel books in the bookstores. Now you can CREATE your own!

This service is totally different with the self-publishing Lulu.com where you should write your entire book and use the service to lay-outing, printing and binding it, the Sifry’s way is an instant and personalized book. It means that beside to “ensuring that no two guides are ever the same”, you don’t also need to be an author just have your own. Thanks to the Offbeat Guides, “the raw materials” for your travel book are provided by a great combination of search technology, and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts!

All you need is telling your trip details, composing the chapters, choosing the related items, then customizing it if you want, and DONE! You can have a PDF version instantly and then print it or if you preferred the standard-printed version, it’s up to you! (Pricing: full color printed guide: $24.95; downloadable PDF guide: $9.95; full color printed guide and downloadable PDF together: $24.9)

The site tells us:

Offbeat Guides creates personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations, using a combination of search technology, and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts. With five simple steps and in under five minutes, we can create a guide for you based on your personal travel preferences, ensuring that no two guides are ever the same.

You can create your own personalized Offbeat Guide in five minutes!

  • Step 1: Tell us your destination. This enables us to gather travel content that is relevant to your travel plans.
  • Step 2: Tell us your current location. By telling us where you live, we can further customize your guide with time zone information, weather forecasts, exchange rates, and more!
  • Step 3: Tell us your name. For a truly personalized guide, we will print your name on the front cover, ensuring that the guide is unique and special to you.
  • Step 4: Tell us your travel dates. By knowing your travel dates, we are able to find the most up-to-date information about events that will be occurring in your chosen destination, provide you with a weather forecast for your stay, and more.
  • Step 5: Tell us where are you staying (optional). Tell us where you are staying and we will center your walking maps around your accommodations.

This service is still in beta version. “Follow us on Twitter! We’re @offbeatguides. We love hearing from you,” asked Sifry.

P.S. By the way, just for sharing, I once met him in Amsterdam last year. [read my post: A brief encounter with David Sifry]. Good luck, Dave!

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