Break Into Travel Writing by Beth Blair

This review was first posted on my travel blog Wandering Mee.

break into travel writing

Break Into Travel Writing in the Teach Yourself series came to me at the right time as I was looking to learn more about travel writing. Written by Beth Blair from the, the book boasts to teach you how to “travel the world, and get paid for it!”, and who wouldn’t want such thing, right? :)

As I’m doing a full time day job that I love, the whole getting paid thing is not something I have immediate need to pursue. However I always have interest in writing, journalism, and what leans more to travel writing lately. And since this book is very recently published just in late 2012, it contains a lot of information on recent trends, online outlets, travel blogging — things you probably wouldn’t find in similar book a couple of years back. Timely for the raise of blogging as media platform.

Just to give you an idea of the content outline, there are chapters on the life of a travel writer, to be the expert, print and online travel writing outlets, press trips, pitching idea, writing style, article development, blogging, social media, photography/video, networking, self-branding, and other extras.

I admit I skipped the chapter on print outlet and 2 chapters on writing style and article development. A few months back I attended Bradt Travel Writing course which covered exactly those topics, and it’s a bit too soon for me to read about them again, coupled with the fact that I’ve got self-affirmation that I have little interest in print travel writing (except for books). It seems a bit silly for me to pursue something I myself don’t read.

The chapters I was most interested in were the parts on blogging and social media, and the rest of the chapters are relevant to them as well. Depending on how familiar you are with those topics, you’d find some information very useful, and some are a bit unnecessary. The first chapter for example contains a packing checklist, which I think is rather out of place. I assume someone who’s interested in travel writing is already an avid traveler to some degree.

But as the book covers quite a wide range of topics, it could work as a checklist in your repository of knowledge and skills — filling in the ones you’re not familiar with yet, and confirm the ones you are. For me one of the most useful was the list of websites scattered all over the book, whether it’s blogging or writing related. Almost all of them were new to me, including the myriad of travel bloggers mentioned in the book.

You get the industry insider tips of the trade and I think that’s what the book is all about. In just 230 pages it does a pretty good job in telling you the practical dos and don’ts of travel writing and blogging. If you’re thinking to start a travel blog, get the book and read it. It might save you several months of scrambling around to get to know how things work! :)

Thanks to Teach Yourself book series PR for sending me a proof copy!

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