Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Travel Means Freedom
Author: Various Authors (It's a crowdsourced book)
Genre: Non-fiction, Travel
How long it's been on sale: March 15, 2012
Current price: $4.99
Marketing: Email marketing, social media marketing
Total sold so far: 50 print, 20 digital
Link to book on Amazon: Travel Means Freedom
The first travel book written by a community, travel means freedom, is a collection of 111 stories from authors around the world. In over 100,000 words these selected writers tell tales, spin yarns, share memories and above all, inspire the readers to get out of their comfort zone and start charting a course towards their adventure and freedom.
A concept started by a start-up, golib.re, the book is part of a funding project to raise money for charity:water, a non-profit organization bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations.
First 300 Words:
THE WANNA-BE SPICY FOOD MASTER
by Philippe Drolet
In 2009, I arrived in the picturesque island of Koh Tao, Thailand. It had been quite the ride from Vancouver, Canada: a 48-hour journey that had taken me on a cab, a bus, a plane, a tuk-tuk, a train, and finally a boat. But here I was at last, a smile beaming across my face, a cold beer in hand, and a mind free of any worry.
Life was oh-so-good. And I had 30 more days of this goodness ahead of me. Aaahhh.
Over the following hours, the beers went down smoothly, the music and conversations got louder… and the mosquitoes started taking a liking to me. Fortunately, the mild inebriation and enchanting surroundings helped me forget all about it until the next day. I woke up with a cloudy head and ankles that had been bitten so many times that they had swollen to twice their size. Uh-oh. It got worse. The onslaught from mosquitoes continued over the ensuing days. I was in paradise, yet it felt like hell.
One day, having exhausted my options, I approached one of the locals and tried to explain my problem by showcasing my poor ankles. The local laughed, and explained in a thick accent, "You eat spicy. Spicy spicy." I thought it sounded a bit crazy, but I was desperate. Only problem: my tolerance for spicy food was low. Very low. But I didn't care. I started ordering spicy dish after spicy dish, braving a mouth of fire and profuse sweating.
Soon, something magical happened. I started "sweating spicy", and the mosquitoes left me alone. Aaahhh, paradise was finally paradise. I had also discovered something. I actually loved spicy food, even though I'd been afraid of it all my life. I became a spice-aholic, and trying progressively spicier dishes, and savouring each of them with more gusto.
Comments: As a graphic artist, I like the cover. I'm not sure what's in the book by looking at it, but I think it's designed well and the title is easy to read. But just because the cover looks nice doesn't mean it's doing it's job. I'm not sure what to expect with this book. Most travel books talk about a specific place. This one has a hot air balloon on the cover and seems to suggest if I would like to travel, I should hop in a balloon and just float somewhere. Anywhere. The cover seems to lack direction, for this very reason. If I'm planning a trip and would like to read about different places, I would rather have specific places pictured on the cover. Ooh, look, this book talks about France and Africa...two places I want to know more about. I'm going to buy it. My suggestion would be to picture some specific places mentioned in the book. Either that, or change the title to let us know more what is in the book.
The description lacks clarity. I know the authors are from all over the world, but I don't know what places they are writing about. And I get the impression some of these stories are not true, by the words "tell tales, spin yarns." This blows the Non-Fiction out of the water. Not only do I not know what places are featured in the book, I don't even know if this book would help me at all if I want to travel and see the world. I don't want to read about fake travel experiences.
The first 300 words were good. Really good. This reads like a true story. A real experience and it was funny. I'm not getting this at all from the cover or the description. The stories, if they are all like this, are fine. It's the presentation that needs to be tweaked. At the very least I would mention where some of the experiences take place in the description. Tell us that some of these stories are humorous. Let us know these are true stories. And possibly changing the title/cover too, but see what others say about that.
What do you guys think?