You’ve traveled the world and experienced multiple cultures, met plenty of great people, and tasted lots of awesome food. You’ve also written about such experiences in your travel blog—but have you ever thought of publishing and selling a book on them?
After all, it’s not just anyone who can say that they’ve published a book, and doing so is bound to add to your street cred. It can help add to your bank account too, as people pay to read about your adventures!
What’s more, these days it’s entirely possible to self-publish a book without going through a publisher or book agent. But if this sounds daunting, don’t worry!
We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to self-publish a travelogue, especially if you’re new to this whole publishing business.
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Decide Which Platforms To Publish Your Travelogue On
While you can sell your travelogue on your own travel blog, it might be a good idea to also make your travelogue available on a publishing platform.
These platforms help authors self-publish their books, reach new readers, and get paid for their writing. By leveraging their existing base of readers, you’ll be able to get your book in front of a wider audience compared to just relying on your own.
When choosing platforms, think about:
- What features does the platform offer? Some platforms can help print your book on-demand, while some others will help distribute your book to retailers. Check that the platform offers the features that you’ll need to make your book a success.
- How wide is the platform’s readership? The more readers the platform has, the more exposure your book will get on it—which means a higher likelihood of getting more sales and more $$.
- How many royalties will you earn from each sale? Obviously, you’ll want to try and earn as much as possible from each sale, but it may be worth forgoing a higher royalty rate if the platform offers more value-added services.
Here Are Three Platforms To Check Out As You Plan Your Book Launch:
1. Kindle Direct Publishing
Kindle Direct Publishing by Amazon is where you’ll want to be publishing your book if you want to reach users of the Amazon Kindle. After all, the Kindle is the most popular e-reading device in the United States, according to a 2017 survey.
Publishing your book in paperback format is possible: Kindle Direct Publishing will print paperbacks on demand, which means you don’t have to pay any printing costs or keep any stock until you’ve received an order.
Kindle Direct Publishing offers different royalty options depending on factors such as:
- Whether you’re selling an ebook or paperback, and
- Your book’s list price.
This royalty rate can go as low as 35% in some situations, though the greater exposure you get to Kindle users may help make up for that.
2. Apple Books
Run by Apple, Apple Books is possibly the second most popular platform for publishing and marketing their books online.
Authors who publish on Apple Books can freely set their prices, and stand to receive 70% royalties from every sale. Neither do they have to pay any fees when ebooks are delivered to buyers.
If there is one drawback, it’s that the Apple Books app works only on iOS devices. This means that if you choose to publish only on Apple Books, then you’ll be missing out on potential exposure to readers who use Android devices.
3. ConvertKit Commerce
ConvertKit Commerce works a bit differently from the other two platforms mentioned above. With it, you can create product pages for showcasing your book, and build email lists of subscribers for promoting your book to.
You also have free rein over how much to charge for your books—while ConvertKit Commerce takes a low fee of 3.5% + $0.30 from every sale.
If you decide to sell your book via ConvertKit Commerce, keep in mind that this platform doesn’t offer an existing readership that you can tap on. Instead, you’ll have to promote and market your book to readers out there.
Using ConvertKit Commerce is, therefore, best if you have a network of people you can sell your travelogue to. As a travel blogger, you probably already have some kind of audience, so this shouldn’t be an issue.
Get Feedback On Your Draft From Beta Readers
Finishing the first draft of your travelogue is a huge achievement. After all, you must have written tens of thousands of words on your travels. But don’t publish it right away!
First, put your draft in a drawer and don’t touch it for a month. This helps create some emotional distance between you and your work—so that when you next look at it, you’ll be able to review it with a more critical eye.
You should also show your draft to beta readers to get their feedback on it. These beta readers could be your trusted family members and friends, or even your most loyal blog fans. Ask them:
- Do your stories make sense?
- Is there anything else that they think should be included in your book?
Use their feedback to improve on your writing before you launch your travelogue.
Have Your Draft Professionally Edited
Your beta readers will help you point out any content issues with your draft that you might have missed. Then, when you’re happy with your draft’s contents, take it to an editor to have it professionally edited.
There are different types of editors. Some editors will work with you on the structure and flow of your content, while others will check whether your sentences mean what you intend them to mean.
Then, there are the editors who will spot and fix any spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes found in your writing.
Don’t underestimate the wonders that a detailed editor can do in taking your book to the next level. Platforms such as Upwork and Reedsy are good starting points if you’re looking for the perfect editor or two for your travelogue.
Create An Eye-catching Book Cover
Forget that popular saying. People will judge your book by its cover, whether you like it or not.
What this means is that your book will need to have an attractive cover that piques interest, and that entices readers to buy your book. Otherwise, a potential buyer may just skip over your book in favor of another with a more interesting-looking cover—even if your book is the better-written one.
If you have the budget for it, you could hire a designer to create a book cover for you. Alternatively, you can use a graphic design platform like PosterMyWall to design a great book cover.
Customize one of PosterMyWall’s book cover templates with your own images, and your book cover can be ready in less than an hour.
Set The Right Price For Your Book
This is an all-important question: how much will you charge for your travelogue?
Depending on the publishing platform that you’re using, there may be limits on the minimum and maximum prices you can set for your book.
For example, if you want to get 70% in royalties for selling your ebook via Kindle Direct Publishing, then you’ll have to charge between $2.99 and $9.99 for it.
But if you don’t face such pricing constraints, you can peg your price to the amount of value that you think readers will get out of your travelogue.
Perhaps after reading your travelogue, readers will have learned strategies for saving themselves hundreds of dollars in airfare. In this case, you can easily price your travelogue at a fraction of such potential cost savings—possibly even up to $100—and your readers will still find it a no-brainer to buy it.
Promote your Travelogue
You’ve spent much time and effort writing, editing, and designing your travelogue. But no matter how good your book is after all this work, it definitely isn’t going to sell itself!
So you can’t rest just yet—you’ll need to promote your travelogue widely so that you can get as many buyers as possible.
Tell everyone you know about it, blog about it, post about it on social media, and blast the news out to your email subscribers. Try not to feel shy about promoting your travelogue. It is the product of your hard work after all.
One mistake that some new authors make is that they start promoting their books only after their book has been published. The smarter strategy is to keep everyone in your network informed of your progress on your book even while you are still writing it.
This helps build hype for your travelogue as you work on it. Such that by the time it is ready to launch, your fans are just eagerly waiting to hand over their credit card details.
Ready for Take-off: The Next Travel Bestseller
In the past, if you wanted to publish a book, then you’d need to submit your draft to multiple publishers, and possibly face repeated rejections until you finally find a publisher willing to print your book.
But times have changed—and the self-publishing industry has made it so much easier for anyone to call themselves an author. Yes, this means even you!
So what are you waiting for? If you’ve amassed a treasure trove of tales from your travels and just can’t wait to record them for posterity in a book, then use the above pointers to self-publish a travelogue that will become a bestseller.
An exciting new adventure into the self-publishing world awaits you!
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