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Should you write a book? Travel space experts offer advice

Whether you have a story that burns inside you or just want to build your brand, a well-written and promoted book can be the gateway to career development, more gigs and presentations, and increased credibility in your domain. Writing a book is an opportunity to reach a specific audience, leverage a content marketing strategy, build a community of subscribers who resonate with your message, and create a platform for thought leadership. From travel podcast hosts and book publishing professionals to travel writers and editors, the following travel experts offer their most sound advice.

Getting into a saturated market

For potential writers working on a travel guide, memoir or otherwise, Marika Flatt, founder and chief advertising strategist of PR by the Book, says that to get started, writers need to create a social media strategy and deploy it on a consistent schedule. Additionally, authors should define their target reader. “Create an avatar of who this person is,” says Flatt. “What do they like to do? Where do they buy and read books? Specify who you are writing for before you start.

Founding editor of Unearth Women and co-author of the new book, wanderer, Nikki Vargas says that to get books into the hands of readers, new authors will spend time developing a book proposal, approaching literary agents — a voucher is key, and introducing publishers. “Because getting a book published can be tricky, I’ve seen a myriad of stellar women I admire self-publishing books and leveraging their individual platforms to raise awareness, which I think is a great option for newbie authors who may be wary of navigating the world of publishing, but want to see their work come to fruition,” says Vargas.

“We were approached by an editor at Clarkson Potter who had discovered the work we were doing with Unearth Women and thought it might lend itself well to a book,” says Vargas. “Although we were extremely fortunate to be approached by a major brand like Clarkson Potter and a publisher like Penguin Random House, I recognize that my experience with Wanderess is rare.”

Wanderess, as Vargas puts it, is a women’s travel resource that uses the diverse experiences of leading women in the industry, women like Oneika Raymond, Brooke Saward, Kelly Lewis, Dani Heinrich, Esme Benjamin and Annika Ziehen. “Co-authored by myself and Unearth Women co-founder Elise Fitzsimmons, Wanderess aims to show travelers the best way to support and connect with women around the world while delving into the nuances of life. travel experience. Wanderess’s pages cover everything from solo travel, travel planning, LGBTQ+ travel, travel as a woman of color, as a new mom, and more.

Choose a path and find resources

When it comes to the pros and cons of traditional, freelance, and self-published publishing modalities, Flatt says, “Most people need a delivery person to steer them in the right direction. In traditional publishing, they do most of the work for you once you’ve sold your book – they’ll take care of everything, including editing, layout, design, sales, marketing and distribution. When you self-publish, it all falls on your shoulders.

And, in a saturated market, writers, says Flatt, have to be unique or different to stand out. “Create a list (an article in list form) that covers your expertise and make sure it’s advice you don’t hear everywhere – start there and build on it with your message.”

Build a loyal community

Building a community of wanderers has long been Jason Moore’s modus operandi of the popular Zero to Travel Podcast. Initially, in 2013, the show started as a way to inspire others to journey through storytelling, strategic planning, and expert advice.

“It was the show I wish I had when I started out with $20,000 in debt and a dream to see the world,” Moore said. “When I started getting messages from listeners telling me how the show had helped them overcome adversity and get on the road, I knew I was on to something. What I didn’t know was that. That’s how much the show would impact my life as well. Outside of traveling, getting married, and having kids, starting a podcast is the best thing I’ve ever done, both personally and professional.

For authors, being a featured guest on a podcast has its perks. “Podcast listeners have a strong connection to their favorite shows,” Moore says. “An invitation means the host vouches for you – you’ll have the audience’s trust from the start, so don’t spoil it! Provide as much value as possible to the audience, do your best to entertain them along the way and be sure to leave plenty of reasons for listeners to buy your book – invite them to get in touch or give a freebie to jump on your mailing list. content, sales are sure to follow.

To promote a book, being on a podcast as a guest can help show readers your expertise in a field. You’ve done the research; you took time. “I’ve had a lot of guest writers on my podcasts,” says Shelby Stanger, host of Vitamin Joy, a new health and wellness podcast, and Wild Ideas Worth Living, a podcast from REI Co. -op Studios. “Many have told me that book sales have increased after my show or other shows and many listeners have written to me thanking me for recommending a book on the show.”

Learn to be a storyteller, on the page and on the air

Stanger, who has a background in journalism as well as outdoor and health and fitness marketing, says, “As a writer and storyteller, I’ve always loved the stories of people who have took the road less traveled and went the craziest. ideas into reality. This was the impetus for Wild Ideas. There were many times when I felt stuck and listening to other people who were able to “go there” always encouraged me to unblock myself and make a positive change to “go there” as well. »

Turns out podcasts have been a great way to tell the truth. “I love that in podcasting the interviews are live in a more comprehensive format, and it still feels like such an intimate conversation. As a listener, some podcast hosts start to feel like friends, and I hope I also feel like a friend to some people listening,” Stanger says.

“For REI Co-Op Studios’ Wild Ideas Worth Living Podcast, we’re interviewing anyone with a wild idea you’ve heard of like author Cheryl Strayed who wrote Savage and the mountaineer Alex Honnold whom many know from the film Free Solo to those you may not know as much, like Corina Newsome, a graduate birdwatching student who started a movement for birdwatchers and Chris Fagan who, with her husband Marty, became America’s fastest married couple to ski to the South Pole,” says Stanger. . “On the show, we talk about where people get their crazy ideas, how they deal with fear, failure, and obstacles along the way, and the beauty of the journey.”

“We’re sharing tips to hopefully encourage others to pursue their own crazy ideas,” Stanger says. “I truly believe that a little adventure is the antidote to life. Over the past five years, we’ve received dozens of letters from listeners saying that a show they listened to encouraged them to continue learning to surf, bike across the county, and even commute through the country.

Margarita W. Wilson

The author Margarita W. Wilson