Searching the Internet in trying to find out about travel writing, I came across several bulletin boards where one of the main questions posed was how does one become a travel writer?
After all, there seems to be a certain amount of glamour attached to travel writing. Imagine earning money and having a great time traveling!
Well folks, it is not as simple as it may appear, and when you read Gordon Burgett’s 3rd edition of Travel Writers Guide; Earn Three Times Your Travel Costs By
Becoming a Published Travel Writer, you will appreciate that it requires a great deal of hard work and planning in order to write and sell travel articles.
Nonetheless, travel writing may be the impetus in helping you travel to places you always dreamed and thought about, but were lacking in that one important commodity-money.
Although, as the author states, “the writing and selling process described in this book is primarily directed at newer writers eager to learn the steps to follow so they can travel, write about it, and sell that writing often and profitable,” veteran travel writers will also pick up a few pointers that they may have overlooked.
Burgett is the author of over 1700 published articles and 23 books. He knows the ins and outs of travel writing, and as he mentions in the introduction, “the book is a show-and-tell. The basic text, the how-to element, is the “tell,” and the “show” comes from his many examples.”
The book divides itself into five sections: overview of travel writing, before the trip, during the trip, after the trip, and related information.
The key theme throughout the book is to recognize that travel writing is a profession and as such you must think and act at all times like a professional. Consequently, you must be completely organized before, during and after the trip if you want to be taken seriously.
Burgett provides tips on how to get organized, writing plans and sales schedules, query letters, photos, taxes and legal matters.
You are also provided with excellent advice on interviewing, destinations to check out, analyzing articles written by other writers, and improving writing and editing skills.
However, writing an excellent article is not sufficient if you wish to succeed. You must also know how to sell your articles before and after you decide to travel to a particular destination.
Burgett makes the point that you are also a businessperson, and as such you must learn marketing and selling skills. Ample suggestions are provided as to how you can master these skills, and as the author affirms, once they are mastered, you will find that the more you sell the easier it becomes.
An added and unique feature of the book is the 365 travel article ideas that are listed at the end. Some of these ideas you probably would never had thought about, however, they do provide fodder for some interesting articles. As an example, how about the topic of exit fees, is there a way to avoid them? Another, how does one find English-speaking doctors and dentists when traveling outside of the USA?
No doubt, the book is an excellent investment for all aspiring travel writers, and a reference text that should find a prominent place on a travel writer’s bookshelf.