Guidelines for Authors

How to begin

1. Get acquainted with the tour constructor, go through the tutorials to understand the basics. You can find them under the question mark in the right bottom corner.

2. Download the demo-tour.
It will introduce you to the format of interactive tours, tell about the app and show several types of tasks that can be used in tours. You can skip the tasks on the tour.

If you couldn’t download the demo-tour using the link: 

  1. Download the free app Surprise Me on your phone;
  2. Register and enter the code: HPDEMO;
  3. The tour will start automatically.

How to choose the place and theme for the tour?

It can be a tour of the unusual attractions of the city, a bar tour, a bike or car tour, a quest-tour of a museum… What’s important is that the tour should be interesting to the author and could interest the others. 

Here are some of our recommendations: 

  • The tour is at the main tourist sites or large cities;
  • The theme is interesting for people of 12 to 35 years old;
  • The tour can be used by a group of 1 to 5 people.

Tour requirements

The itinerary should meet the following requirements:

  • The length of the route ~ 5km;
  • The length of time spent on the route ~ 2 hours;
  • All the locations should be approximately in the equal distance from each other, and the most notable ones better to allocate in the beginning and at the end of the tour (so that the participants would get the brightest impressions);
  • Answers to the questions should be found in the surroundings, by exploring the sites and locations or by solving riddles;
  • Check the route in the “Route map” section in the constructor:

Tasks in the tours

To move on to the next event the participant needs to take action — find the answer to the question, go to a certain location, find a particular object and scan it or just push a button.

There are four types of triggers — tasks for the participants, after completing them the next event will open:

  • Multiple-choice questions;
  • Open questions;
  • Location search;
  • Artifact scanning.
Multiple-choice questions

In such questions, you need to write several answer options, only one of which will be correct.

Also, there you can create a BUTTON that will open the next event by making just one answer option that will be the right one. For example, the button “Let’s start the tour!”

Open-ended questions

This type of task suggests that the participant should find the correct answer to the question and type it in the answer field. That’s why:

  • The questions have to be univocal;
  • The answers short;
  • ALL THE POSSIBLE ANSWERS should be mentioned. For example, if the answer is 7, then write “7”, “seven”;
  • The good news is — the letter case doesn’t matter 🙂
Location search

Here you send the person to a particular place and when he/she gets there the next event opens up. You can choose the radius of the geotag and how to show the way: a map or a compass.

Be careful while using maps as sometimes we want to lead the participants one way, but the map shows the other route. Always check what route the map will show! You can do it in the “Route map” section or in the app.

Also, the route that is shown on the map can change according to the location of the participants, so if they would turn off the way, the route may change! Keep in mind that in the offline version the compass is always shown.

Artifact scanning (with augmented reality)

Ask the participant to find a particular object and scan it in the app. If the correct object was scanned — the next event will open up. 

While choosing the object please keep in mind our recommendations:

  • Choose contrasted objects;
  • The objects should be longevous — a monument, an ancient door, a facade decoration, etc. But banners or advertisements on the walls cannot be used — they can be changed or ripped off;
  • The places should be well-lit so that the camera could recognize the object;
  • Better if the objects would be flat — it would be easier for the camera to recognize them;
  • Take a photo of the object, it should be a good quality “full face”, without any distortions and it should weigh less than 10MB.

Recommendations to keep in mind while making tours

We prepared several recommendations for you and advise you to follow them while creating the tour:

  • Make the first event introductory — say where the tour starts, how long will it be, what to wear and what to take on the tour, etc. Include a geotag to the first location.
  • Travelers don’t like to read too much while walking, that’s why — though we have a limit of 1000 symbols — better not to make the texts larger than 500–600 symbols. If you can’t shorten the amount of information that much, you’re very welcome to make an audio guide! 
  • We kindly ask you not to go in for text decoration. It is much easier to read when it doesn’t jump in front of your eyes. But the main aspects, names of places and streets better to make in bold, so that the participants could easily orientate in the text. 

Illustrations in tours

  • If you want, you can make the photos or videos yourself (the copyright belongs to you);
  • Find them on stocks (for example, pixabay.com or unsplash.com);
  • Look for pictures “labeled for reuse” on google:
  • Look for archived photos with expired copyright (pastvu.com);
  • Make sure that the picture doesn’t have any watermarks.

We highly recommend NOT to use copyrighted materials.

Audio guides in tours

Any tour will become richer if it will contain audio. Although, again, don’t forget about copyright! We prepared a list of services where you can get the desired soundtrack either for a small fee or completely free of charge. And more importantly — absolutely legal!

  • Epidemic Sound — there you can find 30 thousand soundtracks and 60 thousand sound effects. The first month is completely free, then — $15 per month;
  • AudioJungle — there you have to pay for every soundtrack, so choose carefully 🙂
  • Soundcloud — a very popular service with lots of soundtracks for independent musicians. There you can easily contact the authors and agree on using their music;
  • YouTube — yes, you can find free music there as well, just type “Free music for commercial use” in search. Although it’s rather difficult to find something good there.

If you have lots of information that you wish to share with others, don’t be shy to record an audio guide! It would be more interesting to listen to it while walking around the city rather than read a long text standing at one spot. 

We support the authors who record audio guides, but remember that these audios should meet the following requirements:

  • The narration shouldn’t be monotonous. Add emotional context to the audio guide. Thus, the participants would be more involved in the tour. 
  • The recording should be high quality — without any noise in the back;
  • Audio files should be converted into mp3.

Check your grammar and spelling

  • Get rid of all massive sentences and difficult to read constructions. Leave the formal tone for the audience with the Queen and write in a friendly way 🙂
  • Check the text for mistakes and typos, don’t forget about grammar and punctuation;
  • Sentences start with capital letters and end with dots. Don’t use lots of exclamation and question marks!!!??!?! Dashes and hyphens are not messed up (you can find more information on them here). No extra spaces.

Tour testing

Authors can test their tours themselves — there is the button “Test the tour” for that. The code will work only for the author’s account. If you want your friends to test the tour too, there are 30 codes that you can share. The number of players means the number of times the tour can be downloaded by different people. If you want two of your friends to test the tour — you need to create 1 code for 2 players. It’s easy!

Name and description of the tour

After you create the tour in the constructor and check if it meets all the requirements, press the “Publish the tour” button in the upper right corner. Then:

  1. Find the appropriate cover for the tour (1920×1280), it should be good quality and with an open license  (not copyrighted);
  2. Think of such a name for the tour that could not only interest the customer but also give an idea of what it will be about and where it would take place;
  3. Create the description and thoroughly fill in all the fields. This information will be shown in the market on the page with the tour description;
  4. When you finish filling out the description form send the tour on moderation by pushing the button “Send on moderation”.

How to choose the name and describe the tour

The most important thing with the name is not to overdo it! For instance, do the names “Medieval Diary” or “Maestro” give you an understanding of what will be on the tour? Despite the fact that they are really catchy and unusual, nobody would actually be interested in them.
And the names “Quest of the Peter and Paul’s fortress” and “Journey around the royal places in London” are already creating a picture of a route in the traveler’s mind.

An exciting description is a very important part of the tour (everybody knows the power of the first impression). So, the correctly made teaser would play a major role.

A really great description should include answers to the following questions: 

  • Who will be interested in the theme or itinerary of the tour? What is so special about it? 
  • What attractions will the participants see and visit? Which places will be explored?
  • Is there anything that they should take on the tour? How to prepare? 
  • When is it better to go on the tour? 

We prepared some examples of descriptions for you to understand us better:

Tour description

In the description, you say what awaits the traveler on the tour. You should give brief information about the itinerary and of the sites that participants are going to see.

“A walk around the center of Saint Petersburg includes visiting the most popular attractions. You will get to know many interesting stories and see some unusual places in the city.” — Please, don’t write like that 🙂

Try to look at the description through the eyes of a traveler. Would you like to go on a walk after reading this text?

We don’t think so. But what if we try to add some details and make the text more lively:

“A picturesque walk from the Cathedral of the Savior on Blood to the Field of Mars will introduce to you the major attractions of Saint Petersburg and will tell the history of their creation.

Each castle and monument is not just dry dates and facts, but stories of royal machinations, fights for power and aspiration to leave a footprint in history, encrypted messages and symbols on the facades and bas-reliefs. You’ll find out who predicted the death of Paul I, why the Bronze Horseman is not the first monument to Peter the Great as it is believed, how the Field of Mars turned into a garden, why there were wild animals in the Summer Garden, what ‘Saint Peterburg’s Sahara’ is and many other curious stories. 

During the tour you’ll have to answer some simple questions and perform different tasks: so be careful and try not to miss a single detail.”

Make the description in such a way, so that you would like to go on the tour yourself and find out where these secret symbols are and how to decipher them! However, don’t overdo it — write only about what will really be on the tour.

Short caption

This field is intended for the brief description which will be shown on the page with all the other tours. Your task is to “catch” users, interest them so that they would like to take a look at the full description.

“Sightseeing walk of the Nevsky Prospect” — do you want to see the page of the tour? Most probably, you wouldn’t even glance at this tour.

It’s better to write it the other way:

“Perform tasks, explore the main attractions and enjoy the beautiful views of the historical part of Saint Petersburg” — that’s much better!

What sights will be seen?

Here you need to write what the participants will do on the tour and what attractions and unusual places they are going to visit:

“— The tour starts at the Cathedral of the Savior on Blood — the spectacular monument to Alexander II

— Then you’ll learn about the tragic fate of Paul I and the fatal role of the Emperor’s residence — Mikhailovsky Castle

— Visit the locals’ favorite place for walks — the Summer Garden and the Summer Palace of Peter the Great

— Go to Peter and Paul’s fortress where the history of Saint Petersburg began

— Visit the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul which had been the tallest building of the city for a long time

— Stroll by the Trinity Bridge where you can admire the beautiful views of the embankments

— The final stop of the tour will be the Field of Mars”

That’s much better than:

“Cathedral of the Savior on Blood, Mikhailovsky Castle, Summer Garden, Peter and Paul’s Fortress”, isn’t it?

Tour publishing

There are two types of publication of the tour — on your personal page and in the market. 

When the tour is published on a personal page it can be reached only using the link. You create a partner’s link (see paragraph “Promote your tour”) and distribute it in any platforms (social networks, blogs, etc.).

When the tour is published in our market it is shown on our website, so travelers would be able to find it themselves. However, in this case, before publishing the tour we check if it meets our requirements and give you our feedback. If needed, we would ask you to edit the tour.

Tour moderation

After sending the tour on moderation: 

  • Wait till we review the tour;
  • The manager will contact you via email, tell you his/her comments and give recommendations on how to improve the tour, if there would be any; 
  • To get the tour published it is necessary to take into account all the comments and edit the tour;
  • Please note that we have the right to change the description of the tour without getting permission from the author, but the content can be changed only by the author of the tour or the manager if it was agreed with the author.

Promote your tour

What is it and for whom?

For those authors who want to promote the tours published on srprsm.com together with us and get an additional 20% from sales, there is the referral links generator.    

A referral link includes a unique mark that allows to identify the person who created the link.

How to get the referral link?

You create it yourself. Find the section “Partner program” in your profile. There you will see the generator of referral links and the instruction on how to use it, the widget constructor and the amount of your commission. 

It’s easy: 

  1. Choose a tour on our website (it can be either your tour or a tour of another author); 
  2. Copy the link in the address bar and paste it into the generator; 
  3. Publish the link on any accessible platforms;
  4. Did we get new customers due to your link? Great! An additional 20% of the sales are yours.

*Please note that the commission is calculated after the payment system commission deduction (3.5% — payment with a bank card, 30% — if the purchase was made through the app). 

For example, the tour costs 20 euros, after its purchase, your commission will be: 

  • (20 – 20*3,5%)*30% = 5.79 euros — if the purchase was made at the website;
  • (20 – 20*30%)*30% = 4.2 — if the purchase was in the app.

If the tour was purchased after following the referral link, the amount of commission will be the following: 

  • (20 – 20*3,5%)*20% = 3.86 euros — partner’s commission;
  • (20 – 3.86)*30% = 4.84 euros — author’s commission;
  • 3.86 + 4.84 = 8.7 — the amount of your commission if the referral link was yours.

Feedback

We would be glad if you decide to share your ideas about our service. You can do it via  Intercom (the chat in the right bottom corner of the website).

We love getting constructive criticism, as it helps us improve our service and make it better and more interesting. 

 

Surprise Me Team