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Welcome to Travel Saturday. This month I have finally achieved a long-held dream with the publication of my first travel e-book.
My desire to publish an e-book is part of my dream of inspiring others to travel the world without fear.
Why publish an ebook?
One reason to publish an ebook is to change reader perception of me. I hope having an ebook available will make me look more ‘serious’ as a travel journalist and push me up the ranks in the travel blogging world – make me stand out. Some people publish free ebooks to entice newsletter sign-ups or to drive traffic through sharing and linking in social media. I have chosen to put a value on my hard work, although I have set a low price point.
I decided to make the topic of my first ebook my travels in Kyrgyzstan. This is partly because travelling in Kyrgyzstan was an immensely rewarding experience and I have a lot of written material and photographs. It is also because there is limited information out there on travelling in this remote Central Asian republic so I thought there would be some value in providing that information. I also hope this book will lead to further travel ebooks in a series.
Steps to writing an ebook
1. Write an outline: brain-storming, mind-mapping and ordering content (this took about half an hour).
2. Write a first draft, without editing as you go. Follow the outline and think of it as a series of linked blog posts with subheadings (around a day-and-a half).
3. Start pulling together photographs for the ebook (a couple of hours), which led to more ideas for content.
4. Redrafting and editing, inserting links and creating a table of contents (another day’s work).
5. Brief designer to create a cover and layout. I was lucky enough to have a talented designer friend volunteer to make my ebook look professional as I wanted a travel magazine look and feel but you can do it yourself (an hour).
6. Final decisions on photographs, captions and placement (a few more hours).
7. Final eagle-eyed proofread and link-checking (there were several rounds of this, each taking around an hour).
8. Publishing to my travel blog via the free plugin Easy Digital Downloads so that people can purchase the ebook directly from my site (it took me awhile to figure out how to do this).
9. Launching and spreading the word via social media, other travel blogs and travel publications (ongoing).
This process was a huge learning curve and I found plenty of pitfalls along the way, particularly in the final stages of publication. Although the time added up above is quite reasonable there were long periods of delay in amongst this process that led to it taking over six months to get to where I am now.
My next step, after spending some time promoting the book is to get it published through outlets such as Amazon and Newsstand.
If you’d like to read more about the finished product, head over to my website World Wandering Kiwi and read more about Travels in Kyrgyzstan. It is a 25-page, full colour ebook featuring loads of my photos from this fascinating country. You may even like to buy a copy – it’s only $2.99…