And I’m off – it’s the big summer train trip around Europe and I’m asking you to join me. Could be a lot of fun,
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’.
Travel guidebooks are useful, insightful, helpful and informative – but they can also be infuriating, misleading, out of date and sometimes just plain wrong. I should know, I write them. So here’s an insider’s view on how to get the most out of your travel guide.
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.
What would you never leave home without? Here’s my list – and best of all, they don’t cost a penny.
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.
Here are the 6 things I’ve discovered about travel-blogging so far – excluding the fact that no one – seriously, no one? – calls it trogging.
There is a land, far, far away, where travel writers spend more time than they should. Its siren call lures travelling hacks to an oasis where mere everyday words are not enough to describe the awesome wonders that confront them.
Feel free to play ‘Travel Writer Bingo’ next time you read a travel feature, and see how many of the following crimes against clear, inspiring writing you can spot.