Writing about your experiences and destinations can be one of the most exciting and fulfilling parts of documenting your travels. People love to hear about the things other people did and the places they went to just to get ideas for their own travel plans.
Once you’ve written your travelogue and are happy with everything you’ve included in it, it’s time to publish it. Self-publishing is the way to go in this case because it allows you to have complete creative control over your content. You get to decide what experiences are worth sharing, and what places and images are worth displaying.
You can also expect to cut through a lot of the pesky red tape by publishing your travelogue yourself. You can decide when your book goes out, where it’s sold, and how long it stays on the shelf.
To make your travelogue self-publishing process easier, we’ve put together a nifty guide to help you through the steps you’ll need to take to make it happen.
1. Design A Book Cover
This is one of the first things you’ll have to do when going through the self-publishing process. As the writer, you know better than anyone what kind of travelogue you’ve written. To that end, you should be the person who designs the main cover of the book. Your cover design should reflect the vibe and genre of your travelogue.
Here are some questions you should answer to determine the kind of cover you should create:
- What kind of tone are you using in your book?
- Describe the focus of your book: are you talking about a lot of travel destinations or are you focusing on one and going in-depth with your singular experience?
- Is your travelogue focused on summer trips, winter trips, or both?
- Have you included a lot of images?
- Is the book structured like a listicle, a narrative, or a journal entry?
Questions like these will help you determine the vibe you’re going for. Once you answer them, you’ll see the book cover coming together in your head.
Even if you have a good idea of the book cover you want, it’s possible that you have no idea how to begin the designing process. Luckily, sites like PosterMyWall have a wide range of book cover templates that you can customize to create the book cover of your dreams.
2. Have A Proper Editing Process
Just because you have total creative freedom to publish whatever you want, that doesn’t mean that you should discount the editing process. Editing your manuscript is crucial to writing a successful travelogue.
Once you’re done with the writing part, put your book aside for a week or two. Let it sit in your laptop as you go out and celebrate the completion of your book. Then, come back to it and go through the whole thing. Is there anything you forgot to include? Are there any sentences that could be phrased better? Should you take some stuff out?
Think about these questions and trim your travelogue to make it a lot more readable. Do this a couple of times over the course of a week until you’re happy with the finished product.
However, the editing process doesn’t end here. You will need a trusted second and third opinion before you move on to publishing. First, find an editor that you can work with. You can look for one online or in your circle. Once the editor has had a chance to review your work, then you will have to find some beta readers to get more generalized opinions.
There are a couple of ways you can get beta readers:
- Choose people from your friends and family
- Join an online writing community and ask for feedback on your work
- Trade content with writer friends
3. Find A Reliable Self-Publishing Platform
Once you’re happy with your cover and your content, it’s time to find an online self-publishing platform that you can launch your travelogue from. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a platform you can work with:
- They should have a monetizing plan that suits your needs
- Their readership should include your target audience (determine your target audience beforehand)
- They should be open to your preferences and willing to make adjustments where necessary
Here are a few self-publishing platforms that you can consider:
(a) Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)
With Amazon, you can self-publish your book on Kindle for over 310 million active users worldwide to read. That’s a huge audience. You also get the option to translate your book into other languages, thereby increasing your readership. Kindle also offers some marketing options, which may allow you to get more eyes on your travelogue.
However, the downside is that if you choose to market with Kindle, you can’t market your book privately or anywhere else. Despite that, given the reach that Amazon and Kindle has, choosing KDP as your self-publishing platform is a pretty safe bet.
Kobo is another great self-publishing platform that gives you promotion options as well. The great thing about Kobo is that you can upload your manuscript on the site, and have it ready for the world in just about 72 hours. The process is also incredibly smooth, which is why this site is famous for its user friendliness.
Kobo also has a print on demand service, in case you want to sell your book as a physical copy. With a massive reach in over 150 countries, this is definitely a platform that you should consider.
4. Consider Social Media Marketing
If your self-publishing platform doesn’t have marketing options, you will have to make an effort to promote your book amongst your target audience. Social media is the easiest and most cost effective way to do this.
The social media marketing strategies you use will have a lot to do with who your target audience is. For instance, if you’re writing for an audience in their 20s, your best bet would be to focus your marketing on Instagram.
Post your book cover and announce the date of your travelogue release. Let people know exactly how they can read the book. And don’t just post once. Start your social media marketing at least a month before your book release. Release snippets and excerpts to create hype.
A good way to get more attention for your book is to use a lot of hashtags – particularly hashtags related to travel, wanderlust, travelogues, and anything else that’s relevant. More importantly, don’t forget to build engagement by asking a lot of questions, replying to people’s DMs, and interacting with your audience in the comments.
Finally, you can incentivise your audience to share your posts among their followers by launching a social media giveaway – offer to give away a free copy of your book or some exciting merch if people share a particular post on their timelines or tag their friends.
Self-publishing your travelogue can be a really fun and exciting journey for an independent writer like yourself. And with the right kind of help and online tools, you can ensure the process is smooth and pain-free.