On July 9th, there was a New York Times article about the perils of choosing "travel guidebook writer" as a vocation. I know where the writers are coming from. They spent a lot of time talking about how much effort goes into researching and writing their guidebooks.
Here's an excerpt:
It's difficult to generalize about the pay scale for guide writing because it varies so widely, though most guide writers seem to agree that the wages are not enough. A writer working from scratch on a comprehensive guide to a country may get an advance of $100,000, from which a year or more of travel expenses must be deducted.
Wha--? $100k?? Who gets $100k? I am so totally in the wrong end of this business. We're talking more like thirteen cents an hour here.