Boiling in Berlin

Berlin, I am led to believe by numerous books and websites, has a temperate climate “characterised by moderately warm summers”. Hell, Hades, blazes, a monkey’s bum, an oven, a Carolina Reaper chilli and a dingo’s sphincter, on the other hand, are all generally considered to be extremely hot, and it has honestly never occurred toContinue reading “Boiling in Berlin”

In Finn’s footsteps on the Giant’s Causeway

Stick a geologist in front of the Giant’s Causeway and this is what they’ll say. Sixty million years ago, give or take a week or two, molten lava erupted through the chalk beds of the Irish Channel and formed a huge, bubbling lava field, hundreds of thousands of square kilometres in size.

InterRail – a journey into the past

What were you doing forty years ago this summer? (I will accept the answer ‘not being born yet grandad’). As it happens, I know exactly what I was doing on 11 August 1980 – waiting at Mürren station in the Swiss Alps for the mountain railway and funicular ride down to Interlaken. Memories of thatContinue reading “InterRail – a journey into the past”

How to get your new book noticed and reviewed

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).

Travel writers – scourge of the planet?

On Friday 24 May, a record number of flights took to the skies over the UK – more than 9,000 planes in the air in 24 hours (the same day, incidentally, that schoolchildren around the world staged their latest climate strike). That won’t be the last record broken. But it might be the one that forces you to have a serious conversation with yourself as a traveller or, like me, a travel writer.

How to launch an e-book – we’re going to need a lot more white wine

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’.

More puppies, less explicit content – or how to take your book straight to #1

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).

How to sell more books than Bill Bryson

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.