I would like to publish my travel writing - what steps should I take to get noticed?
I'm a translator by profession, but writing - especially about the people I meet while I am travelling - is a hobby that I would really like to develop. A couple of websites have used my TravelBlog stories for their own pages, but I'd like to be a bit more ambitious.
I'm not interested in the financial side of it - it would just be a great accomplishment if I was published somewhere. I plan to travel through Central Asia next year and write a series of short stories about it; do you think it is a project that anyone would be interested in, and if so, who?
I have had a similar question on my mind the last year or so. Tons of people who read our blog said, "Man, you guys should make a book out of your blog!!" My big problem with this idea is that writing/selling a book is all about marketing. Who would read it? Why would they read it? How do you get the book to them? I haven't been able to answer these questions and therefore haven't written a book yet. As you're writing your short stories (and you should write them whether or not others read them!!) keep these questions in the back of your head. How would you market your stories? Could it be a story of the poverty of Asia? Could it be a collection of impressions of Asia from a foreigner's viewpoint? How would you lump the stories together into one book that made sense to someone other than you? Maybe think of it this way...if you only had five sentences to tell someone about your new book and make them want to read it, what would they be? Then write your stories around that concept.
Just some thoughts. Take them or leave them!! 😊 Either way, let us, your friends and fellow travelers read your stories. I look forward to seeing them!!!
I think it is a matter of extraordinary good luck if any of us get noticed by those who make the publishing decisions, let alone get payed to write. The internet is awash with travel stories and photos. So, we have to enjoy what we are doing or there is no point....
But, I think Mike has the idea which would be most likely to be successful. Have a particular story angle that makes yours special.
You're both right. I want to stick to the formula which I enjoy, which is short stories about life in the former Soviet Union, and I don't think it is an angle that has been tried by too many people. I have a couple of months free, so I'll make a few enquiries - writing is only a hobby so my ego can stand the dents in it!
Michael and Kelley, I love your photography and would certainly be one of the people who would buy a book if you were ever to make one.
Several years ago I was lucky enough to work my way into the Outdoor Retailer Trade SHow in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Every major outdoor publisher was present and selling their products to retailers in the outdoor recreation community. AT the time I was toying with the idea of publishing a book.
I had the pleasure of being able to discuss options with chief editors for many of the publishing companies. I even had one who wanted an exclusive on a proposal I had presented. Getting an audience with chief editors is almost next to impossible, but I managed to talk to all of them in one day.
I soon found I was far to consumed with daily life to be able to follow up on my proposal, but at least I know how to crack the code for future projects.
One thing I do know is that many publishers have teams of editors who "rework" anything being submitted. I have difficulty with anyone manipulating the message I am trying to get accross.
I write because I enjoy it. If I focus on getting published, then I will loose my focus and it will then become "work".
The only advise I could give would be to follow your heart.
I purchased a book about a year ago on this topic. It was the Lonely Planet version of how to professionally be a travel writer. The book was cheap, and I thought at bare minimum it might help my travel writing skills. There are scores of other versions of the same book, but this one I know definitely has some great ideas about how to pitch to different places that you might not think of. It's practical too, and does not deny the fact that it's a hard, hard business to crack into and "make it." So, it's great you're so open about being rejected/not in it for the money. I would recommend at least looking into something like this book because it would be a great foundation of knowledge about the process, what's out there to write for, and furthermore, how to write for different mediums.
Furthermore, one of my friends at my University is studying to be a travel writer. Her classes are, obviously, mainly about marketing and writing, but she told me the biggest problem she has had is the difference between writing about travel, and writing about an objective travel experience. Unfortunately, in most but not all situations you will find yourself writing for professionally (says she), people do not care about your experience, what you loved or hated, or your opinions to the extent that they can not translate to a broader audience. That's hard to translate from a blog where we write about personal experiences almost every entry. Perhaps something to keep in mind...
Best of luck to you! Like Mel said, it's all about luck sometimes!!
Thanks, John, Lynne and Liz, I really appreciate your thoughts. I'm reading Lonely Planet's "The Kindness Of Strangers" at the moment, which is just the type of stories that I write myself - only much better, of course.
What you all mentioned is the fact that some editors change or don't respect the writer's final copies, and I like for my experiences to be written all in my own words. I don't think my ego could handle a heavyhanded editor!
The money really doesn't interest me, so I will probably write up my next trip and publish it on Drop The World, TravelBlog's sister site. I may only make 6 or so percent of the profits, but I'll be able to organise the articles and photos personally, and market it the way I choose.
And if the journey mellows me enough to cope with an editor getting his grubby mits on it, then I could pitch it to publishers as an example of my work.
Keep on networking, being part of communities like this, join and use Twitter, and start your own blog. Luck will have nothing to do with it..but hard work that you have a passion for will get you there..don't give up.
This thread is pretty old..what progress have you had Jon? I checked out your Wordpress.com blog and noticed it was almost a year since it was last updated. Hopefully it is because you are too busy traveling and writing for major publications.
I haven't made much progress with my writing because my job takes up so much of my time, but as I'm on holiday for 3 weeks I am working on updating my Wordpress blog at the moment, using mostly material from my TravelBlog pages but also photos and stories that won't appear here. I added an article about a month ago, but it appears below the first story.
I think it's luck...I've been approached in the past by publishing types who've stumbled onto my travelblog by word of mouth...
However, I have no interest in publishing due to the explosive nature of my blog (many, many people would undoubtedly be angry if I published my work), so I don't really know what happens after you talk to publisher.
If you REALLY want to get published, hire an agent.
However, I have no interest in publishing due to the explosive nature of my blog.....
But, your blogs are already visible to the world on the internet. Would it really be so different if they were in a book or doccumentary instead?
my blog is visible, but nowhere do I put my real name...it is impossible to search for me unless you already know about the blog (I've tried).
However, with a book, I would put my real name (as the author).
In addition, most of my "explosive" material is private as my loyal readers can follow my exploits (and so I can control who gets to see what). Public viewers see a very disjointed blog that has many gaping holes in the storyline...if I were to publish, I would definitely have to show the private entries as well.
I have found that starting a blog is a really good way to hone your skills and create material to use for a future book. Seth Godin does this a lot with his blog. He compiles his blog into a book and then has a built in market from his followers. Also using adsense and affiliate programs helps gain some money while doing so. This is what I did on my blog <snip>
Something that I would recommend is to check out the publishers of popular travel writers. See how many publishing houses are open to publishing travel writers. Bill Byrson's publishers might be a bit more open to travel writers because they have a huge travel writer.
Send out some scripts and see what comes of it. Keep writing in the mean time and keep trying!
you guys posting is sound very interesting to me, what can be better than travel and write about such great real life experience, and maybe able to make a living, but seem most of topics you not mention on make aliving, may you guys come from whealth countries. anyway i really love to do as you guys do too. But most time of my life think of rice, cloths, money and kids at home, mate it kill my writing desire too. i don't remember when and where i did hear about make money by writing article, it is not only related to travel site, it is large field, could you please let me know about who is publish house where i can send my travel stories to , maybe i am lucky to change my life too.
good luck everyone
We have some good friends in Seattle who joined a local writing group. The gal that runs the group is a professional writer. She gives them writing assignments that will help them hone their skills and has provided them some solid information on how to become published. One of our friends will have their book published in March.
You may want to look around your area for a similar type group. They have a great deal of fun.
Thank you so much for your sharing good opinion and good imformation. to be able to make aliving by writing article must be profestional and have to experience on that site, my jobs now every days have to writing article posting, it is just apart of internet marketing, just works don't really sure how good effective it is
I really want to do some thing related to writing what i has experience through travel life, i think for short article is may be not worthwhile for publishing house. so post it on reliable site which everyone can read is good enough, are there anyone can recommended good community site which can post article related to tourism.
I think it is enough to publish your articles online. There are more usrrs in internet then in libraries or book shops