Q&A with travel tips author Jeanine Barone.
Pint-sized, fiercely independent and packing an intense curiosity about the world and its best kept secrets, I first met travel journalist, Jeanine Barone (kindred spirit but no relation), a few years ago in Baltimore where she expertly sniffed out the city’s insider favorites with a fervor and excitement that was contagious. Since then, we’ve explored together in Portugal and Mexico. Today, I’m pleased to share the following Q&A in which we discuss her newly released e-book, ‘The Travel Authority: Essential Tips for Hassle-Free Travel’. With a price tag of only $2.99, it may be one of the best travel deals out there.
1. Tell us a bit about your new e-book and your reasons for writing it?
I wrote the book as a practical guide for avoiding all manner of unpleasant experiences — illness, delayed flights, lost luggage, jet lag and hotel break-ins, to name a few — when traveling.
It’s organized into seven useful sections —with comical images to introduce each chapter — based on major travel topics: health and safety, savvy packing, airports and planes, other transportation (cars, trains and boats), accommodations, insurance and money issues, and recommended gear and products. These are insider tips cultivated from a lifetime of personal and professional travel that will help any and every traveler save money, time and their sanity.
2. Why an e-book?
This e-book is actually a completely rewritten second edition of the original soft cover book that I published ages ago. I switched to a digital format because I wanted to make it easy for travelers to take it with them on the road. That’s why I will have it available for sale on the Kindle, Nook, iPad and as a downloadable PDF on my blog, www.jthetravelauthority.com
3. What type of reader did you have in mind while writing this?
With more than 200 tips, this e-book is for everyone, from novice travelers to road warriors. Whether on business in Milan or on a hiking trail in Montana, you’ll find almost everything you would need to know to take the worries out of your trip. Even travelers who have logged thousands of frequent flyer miles will find tips that they never heard of before but will be able to put to good use on their next trip.
4. Is there anything in your e-book that the reader will find surprising?
Think of this book as the Bible of Travel Tips. You’ll learn about a garment that transforms into 20 different pieces of clothing and a pair of pants that can thwart pickpockets, how to sterilize water with a pen-sized device, what the American Express card can do to help travelers that other credit cards can’t, how to breeze through airport security, what cheap items you can carry that will repair just about anything, how to assure you never have to check luggage, and what makes the ultimate first-aid kit.
5. Any advice to aspiring e-book authors?
Hire an illustrator that can accent the tone you want to convey in your book. I hired an illustrator who had a sense of whimsy because, even though these are serious topics, I didn’t want to convey a staid approach. And, besides, I have a kooky sense of humor and I wanted my personality to come through in this e-book as well.
Probably the most frustrating thing about the e-book publishing process was (and still is) navigating the distribution process. Amazon was the easiest to work with. My book went on sale within 24 hours. I’m guessing that Barnes & Nobles may have it on sale for the Nook within a few more days — making it a total of a week of processing. With Apple, you have no way to check the status and they don’t respond to email. The iTunes approval process has felt like I’ve fallen into a black hole. My advice is to start the registration process with Apple way before you are ready to sell. That way, by the time the book is ready, you’ll already be approved. Also, remember that if you already published your book as a hard or soft cover and are now going digital, if you ever sold it through Amazon, they maintain the original book in their archives forever. That means that your old book may still come up on top of the search results. I distinguished my new ebook by adding “second edition” to the title.
6. Please share a memorable moment or proud experience you’ve had with your book and readers since it was published.
I had dinner with a very well traveled friend last night when I told him that I could guarantee that he’ll find surprising tips in my book. He was a skeptic, of course, until I mentioned the pen-sized device that he could’ve taken with him when he traveled to India to prevent traveler’s diarrhea. (He had gotten really sick at the time.) His mouth just hung open when I told him about this product. “No way,” was all he could manage to say. I loved it.
About Ellen Barone: Consumer travel expert Ellen Barone is the founder and publisher of EllenBarone.com and YourLifeIsATrip.com. Learn more here and connect on Twitter at,Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.