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Calling all readers: seeking your input for the Oceania Odyssey book

 

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Calling all readers: seeking your input for the Oceania Odyssey book

Dear friends,

After 6 months on the road, we are looking to turn our blog into a book, and would so appreciate if you could spend a few minutes answering the questions below to help us out.

But first, THANK YOU for following our exploits over the past six months. Knowing that our stories are being read has kept us motivated to sit up all cramped in our tent at night tapping them into our iPad. And knowing that our barf clean-ups, exploding campstoves and roadside breakdowns are making at least someone laugh has helped us surmount these bumps on the bike path (we would say, “with minimal swearing,” but that would be a lie).

Since we first stepped onto Europe’s Camino de Santiago with baby Heron in a backpack on our first “life-after-kids” adventure eight years ago, people have been telling us we should write a book. Finally, after our most epic family excursion yet – cycling 6,000 km across New Zealand, Australia and French Polynesia – we’re going to do it.

We’ve done a ton of research (again, cramped in our tent at night) on travel writing, e-book publishing and our “travel with kids” niche. But we reckon the best insight will come from you: what would you want to see in a book about our Oceania Odyssey?
(We’re hoping this will be the first of several books detailing our various trips with the boys, including parental leave hiking trips in Europe and South America, bike trips across the Pacific Northwest, and canoeing down the Yukon River.)

In the comments below, or by email at ewgillis@yahoo.com, please share your feedback and advice on how to turn this series of haphazard blog posts into an inspiring, informative, or whatever-it-should-be book. If you can have your feedback in by August 1st that would be awesome.

Specifically, we want to know, from your experience following the blog over these last six months:

1. What should be our target audience? To whom would you recommend the book?

2. What exactly do you like about the blog? What parts did you enjoy the most?

3. Most importantly, what would you add, change or remove from the blog to turn it into a book: more narrative, more funny stories, more logistical details about how we did it and how others could too (finances, gear, route planning, etc), more about our challenges, more descriptions of where we were and/or the people we met, or anything else that would make our story more vivid, helpful, and entertaining.

We truly look forward to your frank and honest feedback. Hope to hear from you soon and thank you!

Ed, Jocelyn, Heron and Sitka

9 Comments

  1. Lindsey Munson says:

    I think you could do 2 books
    One through the eyes of the children, their experiences and tales.
    One through adult eyes. What inspired you to do the trip, and then the experiences through the blogs
    I feel the experience for the family was incredibly amazing, wouldn’t want to leave anything out.

    I loved reading Kon tikki as a teen, and the book really stuck with me. Partly because I was sailing a lot in my teens

  2. John Land says:

    I just utilized a good guide book for Hawaii- “Oahu Revealed’ – maybe have a look for ideas – ie set up/chapters/map stuff/humour.

    This could be a lot of work! I suppose an on line guide that can be updated by other travelers might be interesting.

  3. Johanna Brouwer says:

    So glad you want to make a book – I really think young families need to see that it’s possible to travel with kids, especially adventurous travels like yours 🙂 My recommendations would be the logistics – really hash out the finances, the planning, the resources you used and make it accessible without being overwhelming (maybe like “10 steps… 5 points to remember… those kind of bullet-point take home messages at the end of a chapter always help me, or pictures and diagrams – like a picture of the bike torn apart with arrows pointing out the different peices and how its set up , I’m very curious how that worked).
    I love the personal discoveries/stories/frustrations that make the travel feel more ‘real’, and I LOVED Heron and Sitka’s blog posts!
    Hm what else… I guess my feeling is that if its going to be a book, the personal stories should also connect to information that you want to get across — like the importance of nutrition and how to pack food along, or the reason you chose tandem bikes and how you kept maintenance up, or why it was so important to have ‘this’ item… does that make sense? I’m sure you guys will make it amazing! Can’t wait to hear updates. Much love!

  4. Lucy Klein Horsman says:

    I think your target audience should be couples with children who take vacations, love to travel and enjoy going on exciting adventures. Rather than focusing on factual info, you should write from the heart including all the ups, downs and humourous parts of your trip.

  5. Hey there, I think a book would be great. I think everything you had and more of ups and downs would be great. As a visual person I would include many photographs. And I think that the input of the children is great, there vision of it all was nice to read. Cause as a parent it is good to realize what matters to them what inspires them ect.. and this could inspire other families. Maybe visuals on there part would be fun too. This would make it different. I also think that talking about how you guys plan something of this size, how to prepare for it financially. You are an inspiring family maybe sharing a few of your secrets for the confidence side would be good too.

  6. Me again. I have been thinking about your book. Have you thought of having a chapter on coming home, readjusting after being away. Also, I hope you have success with the book production and that you will have some paper copies as well not just e-books!

  7. Jazz says:

    Hi guys, I think a combination of personal stories and the logistics of touring with two kids. I think your target audience are people like me…totally inspired to do a bike tour, but unsure about where to start with planning…and how to convince the other members of my family that such an adventure would be a great idea. I think some of the kids stories included would make the book appealing to the whole family.

  8. Sara Viale says:

    We travel a lot overseas with our now 14 year old. we plan our own cycling trips, taking of course, our Bike Fridays. We have often looked at Blogs when planning our trips, good to see what other people do. I also love books about cycling adventures, even if i am not going to do that sort of journey, the arm chair traveller in me loves to read about any cycling adventure.nothing better than to read , over a cup of coffee about someones cyling adventures. We as a family, loved your blogs, reading all the people you met, humour and difficulites you encountered.What ever you write i know we would enjoy reading it.Sorry to get back to you so late.

  9. Nancy Hill says:

    Early teen is a nice target audience as it could appeal to kids and adults alike. I liked hearing the funny stories and where things went wrong. Nobody wants to read about a perfect family to enhance their feeling of inadequacy. In general the blog was excellent.

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