Marketing Your Travel Book in Five Simple Steps

If you’ve spent much time reading the literature of travel, you’ll already know that there are many handy quotes about the process. St. Augustine, for example, is credited with saying that “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” If you’ve recently self-published a book on travel, clearly you’ve seen more than one page of that book … but what about your readers? How do you ensure that they move from browsing to buying?

We have a few ideas to get you started. Take advantage of them all and before you know it, you’ll have put your travel book on the map… so to speak:

ONE: Consider the “Who?” Who are your readers, really? Are they travelers like you, in that they actually move through the physical world and are looking for templates to follow? Or are they what publishers used to call “armchair travelers,” those readers who much preferred to live vicariously through others than to conduct the trips (and endure potentional hardships) themselves? This being 2021, the conversation about ableism is now well-developed, and we now know that many readers pick up travel books to empower themselves, and to enable themselves to experience the world in a way that maybe they couldn’t have otherwise.

So, with your readers in mind, share content that gets them excited about travel, such as quality social media content and engaging lists and articles. Also provide content that helps your readers plan a trip themselves, including sample itineraries and how-to videos. And lastly, provide content and links that will help them take action, such as booking a trip, making a reservation, or contacting a travel agent.

TWO: Consider the “What?” As in, what’s your niche? Travel books happen to occupy a difficult niche, as do many other genres, in that they’re read heavily but only by very specific audiences, and sales numbers only occasionally make them blockbuster successes. (Cheryl Strayed’s Wild is a great example of an exception, for example.) What this means for self-published authors is that you need to find people who are already interested in travel narratives. Once you find these people, they are an easy sell. And in the age of information, finding them is easier than previous generations could even dream about. Look for those Facebook groups dedicated to travel and ask if anyone is interested in experiencing a new travelogue. Hop on Reddit and start a conversation about the destinations you visited. Use your niche to your advantage!

THREE: Consider the “When?” When it comes to travel, the time of year really matters. Take care to highlight seasons in your marketing, especially on visually-driven platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook: fall colors, winter activities, and seasonal foods go over really well in framing your marketing strategies! Also highlight local holidays, destinations to celebrate, and festivities to attend. Tackle other timely elements that can become the focal point for effective marketing content. Extra content to include on your blog, social media, or website might include local events guides or seasonal restaurant menus.

FOUR: Consider the “Where?” As with the time of year, your destination really and truly makes a difference in your marketing strategy! In your marketing materials, make sure to explore destination-specific highlights such as exclusive events and local sights. Take care to showcase the local food and beverage scene, including restaurant recommendations, wine tastings, and foodie-favorite festivals. And lastly, intentionally acquaint your readers with little-known travel tips, such as where to find off-the-beaten paths and little-known treasures which will enable them to truly appreciate your favorite experiences.

FIVE: Consider the “Why?” Why do your readers read? Why do you write? And most importantly, why do we travel? Remember, the art of a travel book is evoking the feeling of expansion, of exploration, for those who have not had the liberty or means or luck to travel the way that you have. In a sense, this puts a burden of responsibility on you. What can you say and do in your marketing to embrace those readers of limited mobility, who are perhaps constrained by money or by their own bodies and prevented from conducting a trip like yours? You have the ability–and the opportunity–to bring this grand world of ours to your readers. If there’s a more beautiful idea, we haven’t heard it yet.

As Henry Miller put it, “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” What better way of helping make the world a better place than by making it possible for your readers to see our beautiful planet through fresh eyes? We hope you’ll take the time to invest in your book’s marketing success now that it exists in this beautiful world of ours.

Do you need some fresh ideas to market your book?  FREE resources in the Outskirts Press Marketing COACH Dashboard are available for all our self-published authors.

Go Wild, Then Write About It; Then Publish That Travel Book

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Not every traveler is a storyteller, but every storyteller takes readers on a trip, whether it’s down memory lane or far afield, in far-flung places which may or may not be on their respective bucket lists. Writer J.E. Leigh observes that we all of us crave the feeling of being special, of reaching beyond our boundaries to seize on something grand and greater than ourselves, whether for a fleeting moment or the length of a book. Says Leigh, “This simple yearning is in us all, hardly recognizable, often only the merest hint that there is something more to us. This is why we seek out new places … we want to remember a somewhere that gave us the space to expand ourselves, to become a little more of who we truly are.”

Rather than reveling in our day-to-day lives, experiencing a travel book is often where we are most ourselves, our boundaries most vulnerable to being smashed. We remake our lives in reliving the travels of others, and we do so without breaking the bank.

But how does one write a good travel book? And how does one write a good travel book in the digital age, when one not only has other writers as competition but also bloggers, Instagrammers, and vloggers? We propose that there are three simple keys to writing and publishing a successful travel book that will set you apart.

ONE: Figure out what holds your experiences together. When you are traveling, often it’s enough simply to be on the move; everything feels like it holds together and makes sense together simply because it’s happening in sequence and to you. But when you sit down to write your book, whether you’re drawing on memory or your travel journals or your Instagram account, you’ll quickly realize that the story doesn’t fit perfectly together so easily afterward. So how do you keep all the various fiddly bits from flying to pieces? You figure out a narrative architecture, just as you would with fiction! Who are your characters, and what are readers meant to learn about them? Will you keep your book linear in time and place or will you let themes and life lessons be your chapter anchors? Diagram your various ideas and pick the one that feels right to you … and the most cohesive.

TWO: Craft the perfect name. Consider all the great titles to all of the equally great travel-related books you’ve read recently. Cheryl Strayed’s Wild comes to mind (short and sweet) but so does Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country (direct and evocative). There’s Stephan Braxton’s An American Nomad, which tells you everything you need to know; and Kay Peterson’s Chasing Rainbows, which raises images of light-drenched asphalt and lush hillsides rushing by. A good title is more than just a search term; it’s the anchor for your book, and central to how you conceive of your experience. Don’t wait to come up with a title. The moment you find your title is the moment you find the heart of your travel narrative.

THREE: Be authentic. You’ve heard it before, elsewhere, and often. But it can never be said too often that the most reliable key to success as a travel writer is to be true to yourself, and to your experience, and to your own voice. What do you have that an Instagram picture doesn’t? You have nuance. And what about the blogger? You have time and many, many more blank pages to unfold the nuances of your experience without the forced completion of the short post. Vloggers, too, rely on brief and to-the-point videos to highlight the visual impact of a place, but you get all of the beautiful intricacies of narrative, and characterization, and atmosphere, not to mention the opportunity to indulge in all the other senses that vlogging can’t capture — taste, smell, and the sense of touch.

Once you’re published, highlighting the manner in which your prose captures ALL the senses of a location makes for fantastic marketing opportunities since whoever said “a picture is worth a thousand words” was clearly a photographer instead of a writer. The weight of proof has become a burden, and no picture can make you feel what a powerfully atmospheric sentence can. Be authentic and bring your readers into your experience with all the power that words can muster!

Travel often brings out the best of us. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to further hone your craft and bring your unique world travels to your readers in new and fresh ways!

So, are you ready to publish your masterpiece with the A+ rated and #1-rated self-publishing company according to the Better Business Bureau and Top Consumer Reviews, respectively? If so, connect with Outskirts Press right now in whatever manner is easiest for you:

• Call 1-888-672-6657.
• Live chat at OutskirtsPress.com.
Schedule a no obligation consultation with a Publishing Consultant.

Your Book Can Be a Worldwide Traveler Too!

If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? What if you could simply travel anywhere you wanted? Imagine the sights and sounds, the incredible locations and cuisine!

Now imagine you could send your book all over the world. All those amazing places you’ve just imagined—and now your book is there! With Outskirts Press, worldwide distribution of your book is no longer a dream, but a reality!

Outskirts Press boasts the most extensive distribution in the industry! You’ll enjoy the luxury of a worldwide market AND circulation of your book with celebrated names, such as: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Bertram and more!

Once you choose to self-publish with Outskirts Press, you can count on us to handle all the thorny details of book distribution, like setting up with each distributor, foreign taxes and more. And the best part is that no matter where in the world customers buy your book, you’ll receive 100% of your net royalties – no small print, and no strings attached!

Need help getting started? Your personal Publishing Consultant is ready to help you today. There are three convenient ways to connect:

  1. Call us at 1-888-672-6657 (OP-BOOKS)
  2. Live-chat with us via our website
  3. Go online to schedule an appointment

Publish Now in Time for Holiday Book Sales

Believe it or not, if you’re a self-publishing author (or want to be) now is the time to start publishing your book if you want to be ready to reap the rewards of holiday book sales (when the majority of book sales take place).

You’ll be happy to know Outskirts Press makes the road to publication a simple one. In fact, we’ve boiled it down to 7 simple steps:

  1. Connect with your personal Publishing Consultant to answer all your questions about starting the self-publishing process.
  2. Submit your manuscript to Outskirts Press.
  3. Connect with your author representative for one-on-one assistance throughout the publishing process.
  4. Relax while Outskirts Press creates your digital files for you to review
  5. After making sure your files are perfect, approve your book for publication
  6. Before you know it, you’re a published author, holding your paperback or hardback in your hands!
  7. While you wait for your masterpiece to become available worldwide on sites including Amazon, BarnesAndNoble.com, and elsewhere, start working on your marketing efforts.

When you start publishing today, you will receive a $300 credit with the purchase of either the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package. You can use your  credit toward additional pre-publication services or upgrades to your package, like:

• Professional Copyediting
• Professional Custom Cover Design
• eBook Publishing
• A Book Video Trailer, and more!

As if that weren’t enough, we will also format, publish, and distribute a FREE Amazon Kindle eBook Edition (a $299 value) when you order either the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color package.

For more information and help choosing the best self-publishing service, contact your Outskirts Press Publishing Consultant today. There are three easy ways to connect:

“Over the years, I have been encouraged to share my life story with others to inspire them to believe in their ability to follow their dreams. However, I needed a book to do this and finding Outskirts Press proved to be the best publishing choice I could make. Outskirts Press provided me with the professional, beautiful book that I envisioned. All their employees are outstanding and know what it takes to make my dream come true. I sincerely thank them all.” —Inez A. Lasso, author of A Singing Journey

Six Tips for Socializing on Social Media to Help Sell Your Book

Many authors are turning to social media as a form of advertising to promote their books, build a fan base, and connect with readers in a way not possible in the past. Whether you’re new to social media or already have several active accounts, using sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to market your book makes good sense. But what makes a successful social media platform? Being social!

The more authors post and share content, engage with their readers, and reach out to form new connections, the more buzz they are able to generate about their books. If you want people to sit up and take notice of you — and your book — commit to posting, tweeting, and/or blogging frequently and regularly.

Before you get started, ask yourself, Who is my audience? And where do they hang out? A young adult audience, for example, is more likely to use Twitter and Instagram; cozy mystery fans tend to hang out on Facebook; and LinkedIn is a good place to market a non-fiction business book. Once you’ve targeted the most effective social media sites to promote your book, it’s time to socialize!

Here are the tips, which are applicable across all social media platforms:

1. Check out what other people are doing.
Familiarize yourself with what kinds of things other authors and book lovers post, what gets the most feedback, and what doesn’t work. Then, once you’ve chosen your social media platforms, follow or “friend” lots of people in order to grow your network of potential fans. With any luck, they’ll follow you back and/or share or retweet your posts. Leave friendly, insightful comments wherever possible to up your chances of connection with others.

2. Post good content.
Statistics show that people respond favorably to pictures, funny memes, quotes that resonate, and humor. But you’ll quickly lose followers if you’re constantly flooding your social media with hard-sell tactics to buy your book. A good mixture of fun, entertaining, or informative posts mixed with occasional news about your book will keep your followers engaged. Many authors post pictures of their book’s cover, information that relates to the theme of their book, or teasers about what they can look forward to next.

3. Post regularly.
People will lose interest if they only see posts from you once in a while. For the best results, commit a certain amount of time each week to social media. Some authors use a calendar and plan their posts weeks in advance; others post frequently and spontaneously. Whatever your style, the more you post, the more likely it is that people will retweet or share your posts with others. Feeling uninspired? If you don’t have anything to say, retweet or share other people’s content. Or share links to other authors you admire. They’ll be thankful for the acknowledgment and may even return the favor!

4. Be authentic.
Your readers want to get to know YOU, so don’t try to copy other authors or celebrities — or your readers will sense your inauthenticity. By posting content that reflects who you are, what’s important to you, and what’s relevant to your book’s genre, followers will feel a connection to you — and your book.

5. Match the tone of your tweets to your book.
Is your novel lighthearted and humorous? If so, refrain from posting dark, serious content. If your book is non-fiction and aimed toward professionals, your posts should be professional and credible as well. Is your book historical fiction or a fitness guide? Draw from other sources (historical photographs and events, or tips from your own journey toward fitness) to provide content that is informative and/or entertaining, and — most important — linked to your own book.

6. Engage with your followers.
Show your friends and followers that you’re engaged and grateful for them by responding to their comments. You can also continue the dialogue with questions: What should you name your next Western hero? What weight loss tips have worked for them? What’s the scariest setting for a horror novel? Always be personable, polite, and calm in your responses. And don’t engage with trolls or react to negative comments to avoid coming across as immature or unprofessional.

Remember: Building a strong social media platform takes time. If you’re just starting out, be patient — and be social, even if it goes against your introverted nature. If your book is still in the works, now is the perfect time to start building this platform and generate a little hype. Then, when the big day arrives, you can post across multiple social media sites that your book is published and available to the public!

If you’re unsure how to get started with social media and make connections with your target readers, Outskirts Press can help! Tap into the power of social media with our Social Media Set-Up and Strategy Toolkit. This valuable service is 10% off during the month of June.” Enter promo code soclmedten at checkout to receive the discount.

Author Poll: Writer Carolyn Bryant wants your help with her cover

Carolyn Bryant is self-publishing a book with Outskirts Press. And she wants your help deciding her book cover.

Book Summary

“I love you Holli!” “I love you Brooklyn!” The author shows how precious a sisters bond can be when developed by spending time together. This sweet story of two sisters who learned that a walk together was creating a bond that will last a lifetime.

About the Author

CAROLYN BRYANT – Author of her first book “No Shoes”, wife, mother and Granny to her amazing grandchildren. Sister to the siblings she disagreed with from time to time!

Please take a look at two possible covers below and then vote on the choice you recommend for Carolyn.

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Cover Option A (opens in new window)

Cover A

Click on the thumbnail below to enlarge Cover Option B (opens in new window)

Cover B

If you don’t see the survey below, click here to visit the webpage version.

Time for a Spring Reset? Here’s How.

While spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry (a rebirth, if you will), it’s often difficult to translate those slow and sudden changes which signify spring in the natural world into internal transformation, especially transformation of our work as writers. Here at Outskirts Press, we believe the charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day-to-day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts! Here are ten tips to get you started on resetting your writing during this season of rebirth:

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to stop waiting for life to begin and just go ahead and get started.
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, and so forth.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun. You might even make it a potluck and really break out the spring spirit!
  4. Start being more active on social media. Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or from your recent read and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than … well, you? And when has there ever been a better moment to give your digital image a refresh? Write up a fresh author bio that includes your recent accomplishments, publications, life developments, and so forth. Your latest hiking adventure counts, as does your recent reading list. Your readers want to get to know you, and your website is the best possible avenue for that!
  6. Join some forums, and join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they will help you connect more intimately with your audience. Goodreads, especially, offers some unique marketing opportunities.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages. What better way to drive traffic to your refreshed and revamped website than by seizing on the friendly competitive atmosphere of those recently freed from their winter doldrums?
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website. Monetization takes a small amount of effort, but a built-in shop or cross-linking to your Outskirts Press sales pages can do wonders for boosting access.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. Decluttering your physical space is just as important as decluttering your emotional and digital spaces! Don’t forget to do the normal spring-cleaning to go along with your writing-specific spring-cleaning … after all, an uncluttered house is an uncluttered mind, and an uncluttered mind is able to focus on those details which really make a work come to life.
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a long way. There’s science to prove this, but what more proof do you need than that rush of good feeling which comes from bringing your body back into the light and into balance with a world full of life?

Sometimes, all it takes is a quick reset for you to get your feet back beneath you and to push your manuscript from the “incomplete” stack to a polished work ready to send off to publish. Not sure what else you need to get started publishing your own book? Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com to chat with a Publishing Consultant or call us at 1-888-672-6657 to find out how to finish your manuscript and get it ready for publication.

Amazon Featured Book of the Week

Now available on Amazon.com!


Clamdigger

by Richard Collins

(5 Stars – 2 Customer Reviews)

Price: $23.95

Richard Collins’s “Clamdigger” is the memoir of Richard Collins growing up during some of the most world-changing times–the 1960s–and attended Kent State University when it made international headlines. Collins had plans for his future that were ripped away from him just like a clam that has its shell ripped off and is eaten. He had life on the half shell while still trying to make a positive difference. Feel life’s joy, hardship, rewards, and destruction. Perfect for young adults interested in making our world better in this brave new world.

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Please note that product prices and availability are subject to change. Prices and availability were accurate at the time of this posting; however, they may differ from those you see when you visit Amazon.com.© Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Amazon, Amazon.com, the Amazon.com logo, and 1-Click are registered trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Amazon.com, 410 Terry Avenue N., Seattle, WA 98109-5210.

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Editing Tips for Busy Writers

When readers are browsing for a new book, they’re going to be drawn to a great book cover and a catchy title. They’ll read the blurb on the back cover, but before actually taking the plunge and hitting the BUY button, most readers will skim the first few pages of a book that interests them… And if these pages are riddled with errors, the consumer is off to the next title.

In order to be taken seriously, self-published books must be professionally edited.

Often authors are so anxious to get their books in print that they skip this crucial step. Others feel their book is fine because their mother or their next-door neighbor checked it over… But take a look at Amazon reviews, and you’ll find that the biggest turnoff to a reader is a poorly edited book filled with silly mistakes and serious flaws — problems that an editor would never let slip through the cracks. If the reader is preoccupied with incorrect punctuation, word choice, and grammar, they won’t be able to focus on what your book is trying to say.

Most importantly, no matter how thrilling your thriller or educational your how-to, if your book is unedited (or edited by your former first-grade teacher), you will very likely be perceived as an amateur.

Many authors feel confident in their own editing abilities and believe their book is fine without a fresh pair of eyes to review it. They might run a spellcheck, check for typos, and call it good. But a professional editor does so much more than check for spelling.

What can an editor do for you?

A good editor keeps the rules of the English language in mind but also preserves the writer’s unique voice. Each writer is different, and sometimes their style overrides mandates handed down by the grammar police. A good editor will recognize and nurture individual style.

Copyeditors focus on a book line by line, looking for spelling and grammatical problems, consistency, clarity, word choice, sentence structure, verb tense, dialogue, and other issues of style. They also look at the big picture and flag general problem areas in plot, character, point of view, and overall flow.

Did your main character’s name change halfway through your book? An editor will catch it. They’ll also catch embarrassing errors like anachronisms (a smartphone in 1932?) or plot problems (how can your heroine be in two places at one time?). Does the book switch back and forth from past to present tense? Is it filled with long, confusing sentences and page-long paragraphs? An editor will fix these problems.

It’s difficult to edit your own work, as just about any author will tell you. Whether you’re a bestselling author or a brand-new writer with your first book, an objective professional review/edit of your work is a crucial step. And the readers you’re hoping to attract will be more willing to hit that BUY button if they’re not distracted by poor presentation and awkward sentence structure!

***

Outskirts Press offers high-quality copyediting services for manuscripts of all lengths and types. This May, we will edit the first 15,000 words of your manuscript for free when you purchase the Ultimate Black & White or Full-Color publishing package.  Yep! That means most full-color children’s books will receive free editing of the entire manuscript all month long! Just enter promo code coverkdedi in your shopping cart during checkout.

Have You Published a Children’s Book? Here’s How to Market It.

Children’s books may just be the purest distillation of self-publishing perfection: they’re beautiful, they have universal appeal to readers of all ages, and they pack an emotional punch which leaves readers hungry for more. But if you’ve recently self-published a children’s book, you already know that marketing your book successfully can still pose some unique challenges, regardless of these qualities. It’s time to put your creative gifts back to work, and to take advantage of your book’s unique place in the self-publishing marketplace. But how? Here are three simple suggestions to get you started.

ONE: Think of your book as an event, not an object.

Children’s books are best enjoyed collectively, aren’t they? Whether we’re talking about a grandparent reading aloud to a pack of children on the couch; or a librarian holding forth to a cluster of kids during Story Hour; or an educator teaching sight words to a roomful of young, eager minds, children’s books are events, not just physical objects that one can hold in the hand. When it comes to marketing, spend some time early on brainstorming all of the various contexts in which you see your book being enjoyed … and then start planning how you can make those events happen. And don’t just think analog … digital context matters, too! Think of all those book reviews on YouTube and TikTok; and look at all those readers on Goodreads who might love discovering your book with their children or grandchildren.

Nowadays, holding a book-reading event may not be enough to motivate parents to open their pocketbooks; they want to be convinced that there is more to your book than what can be experienced in a single reading. Many children’s are easy to pick up once and never again. So when you think about hosting an event, think about how to ensure it’s an engaging one that inspires children to enjoy it over and over again. Find ways to make clear connections to ancillary materials like related activities, website material, and educator-friendly resources. The point is to demonstrate that your book is worth coming back to, time and time again.

TWO: Schools are key, and schools are hard.

If you haven’t already developed educational supplements around your children’s book, that is a good place to start. For instance, collect activities and further readings, media, and so forth that relates to your children’s book. Package it as an educational unit. That way, when you arrange to visit a classroom or run a workshop for local teachers, you have already made it easy for them to meet state and federal core requirements.

Yes, schools are a difficult nut to crack, but if you really want your children’s book to move, you need to access them. Since teachers typically rely on resources that have been approved by, or perhaps even provided by, large traditional publishing houses and their marketing teams, gaining credibility is of utmost importance.  Level the playing field by winning a few awards, such as garnering recognition from the Mom’s Choice Awards, for example.  The opportunity schools offer makes the effort worthwhile.

THREE: Make hay while the sun shines … and the sun shines around the world!

Some of the most underutilized opportunities for children’s book authors are book fairs, and there are so many wonderful ones around the world to choose from! These days, it’s easy to take part, too, as self-publishing companies like Outskirts Press offer Global Book Tour packages designed to get your book in front of and into the hands of educational administrators, librarians, retailers, parents, and readers in an efficient and effective way.

If you are looking to market your children’s book, there’s never been a better time than now to inquire. Visit us online at www.outskirtspress.com and check out our Marketing Solutions menu. And to see our staff picks of amazing children’s books from many of our authors, visit our Pinterest page by clicking here.

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