How to Self Publish Your Travel Book

So you love to travel more than anything.  So much so, that you want…no need, to find a way to make it a permanent fixture in your life.  How do you make that dream a reality?  One way is to write a book.  Yes, easier said than done.  But if you’ve done that and you’re ready to look into publishing, you’re in the right place.

Having just published my first novel, The Watermelon King I’ve got a few pointers to share with you about how the publishing process works these days.  I’ll tell you about what’s good, what’s bad and how I ultimately made my decision on how to get my novel published.

In today’s market place there are three general ways to publish a book, Traditional Publishing, Vanity Publishing and Self Publishing.   Here we’ll discuss these three options in detail and go over the practicalities of each.


This is typically what most people envision when they dream of having their book published.  It comes with a certain level of prestige, a wider market and a greater level of resources at your disposal.  This is where the vast majority of your favorite authors live.  But there are some drawbacks.

Typically in order to get a publishing deal the traditional way you will need to first get an agent.  To get an agent you will need to send them a query letter and sometimes the first few chapters of your completed manuscript.  Make sure your manuscript is flawless before starting this step.  Once an agent accepts you they will work on selling you to a publishing house.

The downside however is that it is very difficult to get noticed by an agent or publisher and once you do, you are stuck giving up a large portion of your revenues to the publisher (Typically 85%).  Hopefully the advance and wider distribution make up for this.  Also, for new writers, promotion is typically your responsibility.


This used to be the only other option after being continuously rejected by the big publishers.  Vanity publishing is when you publish your book, BUT you pay for all the upfront costs.  The publisher takes no risk on your book and will usually publish just about anything you can spew out of your keyboard.  You pay, you publish and then you give them to your friends as Christmas gifts.


Yes, self publishing has forever changed the business of publishing.  Now, anyone who writes anything can publish a book (eBook or hard copy) and sell it on a number of online market places for free.  For the first time the power is in the hands of the artist.

As of now it exists in two main forms, eBooks and Print on Demand.  An eBook is a digital file that can be read by an eReader such as Kindle or Nook.  Print on Demand is exactly that.  It’s a book that is printed on demand when it’s ordered which prevents excess inventory.  The main point here is that these services can be utilized for free, and a commission is then sent to the author once a purchase is made.  Each marketplace will take a cut of your sale but it is usually much less than traditional publishers.

The benefit of self publishing is that anyone can publish a book for free and have it listed on a nation-wide market place like Amazon or Barnes and Noble.  The downside is that YOU are in charge of promoting your book and making it stand out from all the other crap online.

The most popular self publishing channels are listed below.  Each of them requires a separate and painstakingly unique uploading process that will probably drive you insane, but some are easier than others.

Amazon Kindle (eBook)
Amazon CreateSpace (Print on Demand)
Barnes & Noble Nook (eBook)
Apple iBook (eBook)

If you don’t like the idea of formatting your manuscript for each online distributer you can opt to use a multi-channel distributor such as Smashwords or BookBaby.  These services make the formatting, uploading and publishing across multiple sites easier and faster.  BUT they come at a cost, either up-front or a slice of your commission.

For more information on The Watermelon King or myself, feel free to check out the links below.
Amazon Kindle or Paperback
Barnes & Noble Nook


Daniel Royse Written by:

Daniel Royse is the founder and editor in chief of the online travel publication, This Boundless World. He has written numerous articles on travel, business and politics and has recently completed his first full-length novel titled The Watermelon King. Daniel is an obsessive writer and explorer who has backpacked to over 50 countries, spanning five continents. To the disbelief of many, he still enjoys long, hot bus rides through chaotic places. More information about The Watermelon King can be found at