Basics and then beyond


Yesterday I had a conversation with Ken Vollmer who I met on the BootsnAll boards.

He is self publishing his book The Wanderlust Survival Guide due out early next year.

I asked Ken to send me some questions before we had our chat on the phone and I was really impressed with what he was asking. So far he was on track for his book time wise — which is a great feat in and of itself. His questions were mostly about pre pub book marketing, general overall publishing stuff like what tradeshows to go to, where to start with foreign rights, and what forms of publicity I’ve found to be effective for travel books. All of which I answered happily.

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If you seek out the answers to those types of questions, that’s great. It will help you sell your book. But the best piece of advice I gave Ken was to start with the basics.

Know your market, especially right in your own town. If you’re selling a travel book, it is imperative that you know the biggest AND smallest travel bookstores in your town. I’d say, even your state. This is where the travel community will go. This is where travel authors pass through on their tours. This is where you will meet the names that you can learn from, build relationships with, and eventually befriend enough to give you endorsements. And what’s a book without the big name endorsements?

Start at home people. And then work your way into the rest of the world.