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Publishing Tutorial

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Publishing Tutorial

Publish a new VoiceMap audio tour

Our team has played a role in thousands of audio tours used by millions of people. We’ve learnt what works along the way, and we've made it our job to help you surprise and delight listeners as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.

AUDIO TOUR CMS

Take the guess work out of producing an audio tour

  • Browser-based publishing tool with instant updates via our API
  • Automatically estimates talk times and word counts to save you testing and recording time
  • Integrates support from VoiceMap’s editors and sound engineers with comments, tracked changes and email notifications
  • Works for walking, driving, cycling, train and boat tours with GPS playback as well as self-guided tours that are easy to use indoors
  • Voice, music, photo, 360 video and 3D files can be attached to locations
  • Text directions can be included as a fallback to make sure listeners never get lost

What our publishers say

Six straightforward steps and support at every turn

Many of the publishers we work with are new to audio tours. Some don’t know where to start. We’ve made it simple to get from concept to compelling tour as easily as possible. But we know our process isn’t a perfect fit for every tour and we’re flexible too, especially if you’ve published audio tours before.

1 Map your route

The best routes have a few surprises, off the beaten track, and a climax at a particularly captivating location. When you’re done, you’ll have talk times and word counts that match travel times.

2 Write your script

When you turn your map into an immersive story, try to develop a narrative along the way. Make it personal too, if you can, with anecdotes and opinions that change the listener’s perspective.

3 Work through the edits

Your editor is especially helpful when you’re fitting the map and the script together with clear directions. Listeners should know where to go without looking at the screen.

4 Test your tour

Audio tours can’t be perfected at your desk. We’ll provide you with “scratch” audio you can use for a trial run or two, to refine your script before you record it.

5 Record the audio

Listeners respond to authentic voices not just polished professionals. You don’t need a fancy mic or soundproofed studio either, and we’ll edit the audio to remove mistakes and mouth noises.

6 Publish your finished tour

Complete the final touches, with a title, cover photo and description that sells your tour, then click on publish. Your tour goes on sale immediately, and the job of promoting it begins.

Royalty Calculator
You can use this calculator to decide on the best price for your tour. It’s also a helpful guide to payment processing fees. Just adjust the tour price and annual plan. Your earnings update automatically.
Tour Price
Annual Plan
Royalty Rate
50%
On the Basic Plan, you pay nothing to publish a paid tour and you earn 50% on every sale, after payment processing fees. On the Premium Plan royalties increase to 65%.
Royalty Rate
50%
On the Basic Plan, you pay nothing to publish a paid tour and you earn 50% on every sale, after payment processing fees. On the Premium Plan royalties increase to 65%.
Voucher Price
$0.89
Voucher codes let you distribute your tour through your own channels, either for a price or for free, and come with a dashboard to customise each code and track redemptions. On the Basic Plan, voucher codes cost $0.89 each. This fee goes down to $0.62 and $0.31 on the Pro and Premium Plans respectively.
Voucher Price
$0.89
Voucher codes let you distribute your tour through your own channels, either for a price or for free, and come with a dashboard to customise each code and track redemptions. On the Basic Plan, voucher codes cost $0.89 each. This fee goes down to $0.62 and $0.31 on the Pro and Premium Plans respectively.
Sample Earnings per Channel

Browse our top-rated tours

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35% of our publishers go on to produce a second tour — and some produce ten or more. They enjoy the process. We’re confident you will too.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I monitor use of my tours, my royalties and my voucher codes?

Every publisher has a dashboard with reports that use the latest available data. It shows you:

  • Tour downloads by month
  • Royalties by month
  • A breakdown of tour ratings
  • Royalty payments to date
  • A breakdown of sales by processor, showing you where purchases were made

There is also a vouchers dashboard where you can see how your vouchers are being used.

What is the difference between web, in-app and other sales made by VoiceMap and sales made by the publisher using voucher codes?

Voucher codes sold through what we call your “channels” are simple. You pay us for the voucher codes included in your annual plan – or for voucher codes purchased out of plan at $0.89 per code – and then you sell these at whatever price you choose. (It’s better for everybody, especially the customer, if you don’t charge more for the tour than you’re charging on VoiceMap, and the price we list here is up to you.)

When your tour is sold through what we call our “channels”, VoiceMap pays a royalty. We’re always looking for new ways to distribute tours, but for now, these include:

  • Our iOS and Android apps, with payments processed by Apple and Google respectively
  • Our website, with payments processed by Stripe
  • OTA listings managed by VoiceMap, with payments processed by the OTA. (OTAs are online travel agencies like Expedia and Viator, which is owned by Tripadvisor.)
  • Local media companies like Time Out London where we sell specific tours as well as voucher codes with multiple credits that can be used to redeem a range of tours at a later stage.

Our standard royalty is 50%. This is calculated after the payment processing fees charged by Apple, Google, Stripe or the OTA, which range from 3.4% plus a set fee of $0.35 for Stripe to 30% for Apple and Google. (If you think the latter is high, you aren’t alone. So do Spotify, Epic Games, and Telegram.)

Take a look at the sample royalty calculator above if you’d like to see how this breaks down for different tour prices and different publishing plans.

How and when do I receive royalty payments?

We pay royalties in three ways:

  1. Paypal, when a publisher has earned $50 or more since their last payment
  2. Bank transfer, when a publisher in the US, UK, EU or Canada has earned $150 or more since their last payment
  3. Bank transfer, when a publisher has earned $1,000 or more since their last payment

You can select your payment preference using your publisher dashboard. You’ll find more information about download credits in our documentation.

How do I list my tour on Tripadvisor, Viator, GetYourGuide and other OTAs and do I have to pay to have it listed?

For publishers on our Pro and Premium plans, we include resellers listings with OTAs like Viator and GetYourGuide at no extra cost. These are set up and submitted for review with each OTA as soon as your tours are published.

We do sometimes go ahead and list tours by publishers on our basic plan, but because it’s a time consuming process, we do this selectively – and since Viator introduced a $29 fee for listing new tours at the start of August 2020, we’re especially selective. But you can pay the $29 cost to get your tour listed immediately. Talk to your editor if you’d like to find out more about this option.

We don’t list private tours on OTAs for obvious reasons.

What languages do you support?

The interface of VoiceMap’s mobile apps is available in the following eleven languages: English, Mandarin, German, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Arabic and Xhosa. We regularly add new languages, mostly on request.

Do I need to publish my tour in English?

You can keep any tour private and only distribute it using voucher codes, so you don’t actually need to publish your tour in English – but before we’ll allow you to publish your tour in a language other than English, we normally ask you to at least submit a script in English, then test it with automatic playback and have it approved by our editors. This is the same thing we require for every tour, and we insist on it for the same reasons:

  1. We want to make sure our listeners enjoy a reliable experience from one city to the next
  2. Audio tours with GPS autoplay are still new to most people and our experience helps publishers avoid the most common and time-consuming mistakes

You’ll probably save time by working with an editor, even if it’s in English – but if that isn’t enough for you, we might make an exception. You’ll need to convince us that quality is as important to you as it is to us and then prove it by testing your tours thoroughly. Rafa of Guri in London did exactly that.

How do I publish translations of my tour?

We can translate your tour for you affordably, from start to finish. Our relationships with translators and voice artists help us do that. Send us an email at [email protected] if you’d like to find out more.

Translated tours are easier to publish than new tours. We duplicate your tour’s geodata first, then we make sure that the duration of each location’s audio isn’t longer in translation than its corresponding travel time, just like we did for the English version of your tour.

If you get that right on your own, and we’re happy with the audio quality of your translation, you can publish translations yourself at no extra cost. If you need the help of an editor along the way, we might charge you for their time. But our goal is to offer as many tours as possible, in as many languages as possible, so it probably won’t cost you much.