Book Reviews

Book review: Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing.

Since the Internet became popular in the 1990’s it exploded with articles about destination by amateur writers. Up to that time travel writers contributed to newspapers, and magazines, and some wrote books about their experiences in “exotic” countries.

Jet-age travel has shrunk the world, now you can fly from North America in seven hours, in a few more hours of flying you can reach Yerevan, Armenia, or Tirana, Albania, or Cairo, Egypt, or Kiev, Ukraine.

Along with all these changes travel writing has also changed. Editors are now more concerned about the human aspect of travelling, rather than details of access, accommodation, food and sights. The author of this valuable book in three parts has been able to clearly lay out what “ingredients` make a good article and/or writing.

The first pat defines what appealing travel writing means, its goals and details how to go about capturing the `human` experience.

All along this part, which is full of valuable advise is provided in paragraphs highlighted on several pages throughout.

The best section in part one is the interviews with 14 writers. Here successful writers tell how they started travel-writing and how they advanced.

One thing becomes clear. You do not get rich travel writing, except for a few very well established writers. But you must first be a good writer, than a good traveller with extraordinary talents to observe the human aspect around you in each location, much like Jan Morris whose books are classics.

Part two explores hot to approach potential sources for your articles or writing.

Here again the author interviews 12 editors and agents who provide invaluable advice to budding writers.

Part three deals with resources in the Untied Kingdom, the U S A and Australia. Oddly Canada and New Zealand do not figure in resources and yet there are several publications that deal with travel and travelling.

Of course, as a writer, or traveller who likes to write, you can start your own web site, and thousands have chosen this venue, but it pays very little or nothing.

Regardless, this type of travel writing has the biggest potential to get published and hope that some editor notices your writing and asks you to submit an article.

One thing is for sure; people want to read about “exotic” destinations.

For North Americans the Caribbean has become their “backyard, but Sounds America sounds still exotic, and Africa even more so.

This book explores many avenues a writer can explore, and for beginners it is an invaluable tool to get started.

Highly recommended to all planning to enter the field, and those who are already in it!