Tag Archives: great reads

Great Reads – The Lonely Planet Story

It is some time since I have written a post for Beyond Here recommending a book or blog. That is partly because I haven’t been reading as much as usual. That changed last week with a trip to the local library where I have borrowed a number of books including The Lonely Planet Story.

Are you familiar with The Lonely Planet Story? I love travelling, and had the good fortune to live in a range of different countries during the 1990’s. In my role working for an airline (in a non photography job) I used to travel extensively.

During that time I lived in New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Fiji, and back in New Zealand again. Throughout my travels I was a regular reader of Lonely Planet travel guides. There were others around – I remember the Let’s Go series plus Frommer’s Guides – but Lonely Planet was always the best.

Lonely Planet

(I have a much later photography connection to Lonely Planet which I will tell you about at the end of this post).

So what is The Lonely Planet Story about?

First, it’s not a photography book. Second, it’s not a business book either.

So why is it part of the great reads series on Beyond Here? The Lonely Planet Story literally tells the story of the husband and wife team who began and lead the Lonely Planet business. The book shares their love of travel and the origins of the business. It also covers the challenges they had along the way, insight into their personal lives, and the later sale of a majority stake in the business to BBC Worldwide.

Why do I recommend it?

I love to hear stories about well known businesses with tiny origins. I particularly love to hear about the passion of the founders. And I value the insight which comes from the hard work they have put in, and the ups and downs along the way.

Lonely Planet was started by husband and wife team, Tony and Maureen Wheeler. I had always assumed they were Australians but Tony was originally from England, and Maureen from Ireland. They tell a great story of arriving in Australia in the early 1970’s with 27 cents to their name. From those beginnings they built a worldwide business. What a great story!

Why might this book be enjoyed by people running photography businesses?

Many of us running small businesses have a great passion for photography and ride the daily ups and downs of a creative business. The Lonely Planet story is inspirational in that it tells a similar story of passionate people pouring themselves into their work and building a remarkable business.

The book is partly a travel story, partly a business story, and partly a life story of the founders. I found it to be a great read and think you might too. Check out The Lonely Planet Story next time you are at the library or the bookshop.

So what’s my photography link to Lonely Planet?

Lonely Planet has built a large collection of travel images for use in their guides. They also buy stock images at times, and I’m pleased to say they have bought at least one of mine. See one of my tree kangaroo images in Lonely Planet guide to Papua New Guinea.

Thanks for reading Great Reads – The Lonely Planet Story. Check out the book.

Great Reads – Backyard Silver

I started the Great Reads section of Beyond Here two years ago, with the intention of building a library of resources about the business of photography. The early posts featured books that I read and recommended, and which were available via Amazon. A good example is this post about a book titled Taking Stock by Rob Sylvan. With today’s post I’m expanding the Great Reads section of Beyond Here to include online resources as well. Here is Great Reads – Backyard Silver.


With this post – Great Reads expands to online resources

Backyard Silver is a blog written by US based stock photographer Steve Heap. Steve and I recently discovered each others blogs, and while we live on opposite sides of the world, we had many things in common.

We are both stock photographers. We both started in microstock at about the same time, and we both stuck at it. We both have thousands of images available via microstock libraries, and both count income from microstock as a key portion of our photography businesses.

It turns out the similarities didn’t stop there. We have both written an ebook encouraging photographers to make money from their images through stock photography. Please see:

The one significant area we differ is that I chose (in 2010) to become exclusive with iStock (and still am) while Steve chose to be an independent stock photographer. By independent, I mean that he submits his images to a wide range of microstock sites. And this key difference is why I encourage Beyond Here reader’s to check out Backyard Silver.

Specifically Steve covers two areas which I am often asked about – the first is feedback about different stock sites, and the second is exactly how much money it is possible to make. Steve outlines each of the sites he contributes to, how many images he has with each site, and the monthly income he generates. Here is an example of a post which gives this detail.

As an exclusive photographer with iStock I like the simplicity of uploading, tracking, and payments which come from dealing with just one agency. I recently asked Steve how he handles the workload of submitting to multiple sites, and he kindly wrote this post outlining how he does it and which tools he uses.

If you are interested in the world of stock photography, I recommend you check out Steve’s blog. Thanks for reading Great Reads – Backyard Silver.