Crafting the Travel Guidebook
How to Write, Publish and Sell Your Travel Book
by Barbara Hudgins
Woodmont Press (2007)
286 Pages, $17.95
Order this book
at a great price
from Amazon now.
Review by By Patricia Fry
Barbara Hudgins is the author of New Jersey Day Trips—a guidebook that sold over 110,000 copies before she sold the rights to Rutgers University Press. She also writes a travel column for several local newspapers. Who better than Barbara Hudgins to tell other authors how to craft a travel guidebook?
Whether you want to share stories of your own travels or you aspire to write local guidebooks, Hudgins’ book can help. The author breaks this book into four sections: In the first section, "Getting Started," she discusses the process of creating a concept for your book and teaches you to choose an appropriate format, categorize the book and identify and establish your credentials. The second part, "Constructing the Framework," is all about the details that make your book work and your chapters flow. Part three, "Words and Pictures," includes writing lessons, research techniques and the use of illustrations and maps. The last section, "The Paths to Publishing and Promotion," gives readers a heads-up with regard to the business of publishing.
I particularly like Hudgins’ way of helping hopeful authors create a realistic vision for their books. She doesn’t just tell you to find a narrow focus for your book—she shows you how to do it using examples and wit. As Hudgins points out, a travel guide is a different animal than most books. She reports on critical areas that the new writer might not consider, such as how to write clear directions, and making sure to include important details such as hotel rates.
Hudgins even covers legal aspects of producing a book. If you have questions about copyright, libel or the scope and breadth of public domain, you’ll discover all the answers in this book. And she even gives a valuable lesson in travel photography.
As if this isn’t reason enough to purchase the book, it also includes a list of over 75 publishers of travel books and guides. Yes, this book has it all—from A to Z and soup to nuts. There’s even a chapter on publicity and promotion. It’s a short chapter, but it covers the basics.
Hudgins’ bibliography and resource list make this an even more valuable resource. She lists SPAWN among writing/publishing organizations. Thank you, Barbara. And yes, this book has an index. If you want information on copyright, distribution, competition or alphabetization, for example, all you have to do is refer to the index.
I’m not usually one to offer stars when I review a book, but if I were to assign stars to this book, it would be a solid five out of five stars. Good job, Barbara. Travel writers, this is a must-have book.
–Patricia Fry is President of SPAWN. Her Web site is http://www.matilijapress.com/.