Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Travel Writer Reviews His Contract
Tough Travel-Writing Medicine
October 26, 2004
Many of the articles posted on Travel Writers: The Travails of Travel Writing, a blog created by travel writer Carl Parkes, seem almost relentlessly cynical about travel writing (see in particular “The Truth About Travel Guidebooks,” “The Travel Writer as Freeloader,” and “Thomas Swick on the State of Travel Writing”). As a guidebook editor, my gut reaction is to be defensive when I read claims that guidebooks are boring and outdated, and that they “fudge things.” (Those are MY BOOKS you’re talking about, buddy.)
Then again, I have bookmarked Parkes’s blog and I check it nearly every day. And if you twist my arm just a little, I’ll admit that there’s some truth in it.
So read it, enjoy it, and by all means, demand more of your guidebooks. Write us letters, send us e-mail, tell us what sucks, and we’ll look into it. You, the traveler, the reader, and -- let’s not forget -- the consumer, have the power to help us improve books. Demand more. If harsh criticism results in better guidebooks, I’m all for it.
Posted by Shannon Kelly at 10/26/2004, 01:29 PM