I’m in the process of updating Lonely Planet’s Guide to Travel Writing. The second edition was published in 2009 and, as you well know, a few things have changed in the world of travel writing and publishing since then!
As I’m trying to shape my focus and hone in on the most essential evolutions and updates, I’ve realized that I should seek the advice of a vast team of informed and impassioned experts: all of you who care about travel writing and travel content!
So, if you’ve read my book – and if you have, thank you very much! – I would be very grateful to hear any suggestions you might have for the most essential material to include and areas to cover in the new edition. And if you haven’t (well, you don’t know what you’re missing!), I’d still value hearing from you too.
It’s clear to me that in addition to covering changes in the world of print publishing, I need to focus more broadly and in depth on the explosive evolution of online publishing – the limitless proliferation of websites and blogs as well as the advent of tablet magazines – and of social media as a platform for both editorial communication and entrepreneurial promotion.
As part of this, I need to address at least briefly the marketization of travel writing and the evolution of the traditional journalist-industry relationship, with sweeping new variations in sponsorships, partnerships and press trips. In this regard I also want to try to present a balanced perspective on new (and old, and everlasting) ethical issues and considerations – and of course, consistent with the framework of the entire book, to put all this in the context of creating quality travel writing and content.
I need to address changes in book publishing as well, and the rise (in number and in credibility) of self-publishing options.
And I need to cover changes in technology and tools, and how travel writers – content producers – are using and adapting technological innovations to create compelling content.
If you are engaged in the world of travel writing/content, do you agree or disagree with the above assessments? What subjects would you add? What areas should I be sure to focus on? What examples should I be sure to include?
Thank you for considering these questions. I very much welcome any input you may have.
[Photo Credit: S. Lee]