It’s Publication Day for my new brand new travel memoir! Watch Out for Pirates: Tales From a Travel Writer’s Life is the third book in my ‘Born to Travel’ series and it’s the wildest ride yet. Read about my epic drive across Australia battling giant lizards, the time I was Santa in a Portuguese villageContinue reading “Watch Out for Pirates”
Let’s say you were going to write some new travel books, and design and launch a new travel publishing website to promote them. Would you A) take the current temperature of the world in turmoil and decide not to do any of that or B) . . .?
I’ve gone with B.
It’s easier than it’s ever been to write a book and get it published. First, you write a book. And then second, you publish it on Amazon or another platform of your choice, with a minimal amount of formatting work and couple of clicks. It’s that easy. Even I did it, with Takoradi to the stars (via Huddersfield).
51, 10 and 55. Remember those three numbers, because I’m about to tell you the truth about travel writing and book sales.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I got roped in by my publisher to help with launching Rough Guides as a travel guidebook series in America. I say ‘roped in’. I mean ‘flown to New York, put up in a swanky hotel and asked to drink white wine with beautiful people’.
The thing with the job of travel-writing is the number of people who want to do it. I am the expert, it seems – by virtue of being an actual travel writer – and therefore must be in possession of knowledge which can help others become actual travel writers.
Search on Amazon – All Departments for ‘Takoradi’ and I sit proudly at #1, there not being a lot of products in the world with Takoradi in the title (though, at 381, probably more than you think).
You have to jump through all sorts of hoops to publish a book with Kindle Direct Publishing, but in the end it’s fairly straightforward and there are lots of tools to help you promote your book and keep track of its progress. But with a brand new book, there’s not a whole lot they can tell you straight away.
For most of my travel-writing career, coming up with a book title wasn’t an issue. Here’s how it usually went.
Me: I’ve finished that book you sent me to write, on Sicily.
Rough Guide Editor: Great, thanks, we’ll call it The Rough Guide to Sicily.
There is a certain amount of snobbery attached to travel writing, especially applied to those of us at the bus-timetable-and-opening-hours end of the business. In fact, writing guidebooks is somehow regarded as Not Proper Travel Writing.