I mentioned in yesterday’s Pet Blogger Challenge teaser that I was introducing a new weekly feature.

I’ve tried these out before — Friday Focus and Training Tuesday being prime examples — but they’ve always felt a bit artificial. They were more about trying to structure my blog than about trying to focus my work.

This time I’ve got a goal: Writing and publishing a pet travel book.

There, I’ve said it on the record.

It’s the self publishing part of the process that inspired this new feature. I’ve always been in traditional publishing. I was a book editor at three major travel publishers, Frommer’s, Fodor’s and Rough Guides, and wrote four books (three of them travel guides) for major publishers. You get used to working in a certain way.

  • You get paid an advance to work on a book. This gives you time to write because you’re not constantly scrambling for filthy lucre.
  • You have deadlines that you have to meet, unless you don’t want the rest of your money or to work for the aforementioned major publisher again.

When you publish your own book you don’t get an advance and the only deadlines are the ones you impose on yourself.

Voila: Pet Travel (Book) Tuesday.

I know this feature will evolve, as others have. The basic plan: to cover topics I’m writing about in the book, which is an overview of pet travel (rather than being destination oriented). Sometimes I’ll have guest posts from other pet travel bloggers; other times I’ll be guest posting on other pet travel blogs.

I have a secondary mission that’s part of the first. Getting Amtrak to reconsider its policy of banning pets.

I also plan to track the progress of the book’s publication, detailing the decisions I’m making about different publication options and inviting input about those decisions.

Bottom line: Doing this will hold me accountable to do something on the book every week, lest I prove myself a slacker. A big fat liar. A bad Frankie guardian. Etc.

I depend on all of you to hold my feet to the fire. Of course, encouragement is encouraged too.

34 thoughts on “Introducing: Pet Travel (Book) Tuesday”

  1. It think it’s marvelous you’re venturing down this road. You’ve done it all – so naturally it’s time for a new challenge. I looking forward to following your progress. You can do it!!

  2. Hi, thanks for visiting! Well, i did the challenge in spanish because most of the people visiting me are spanish but if you think it would be better to do it in English just let me know and Iwill translate it πŸ™‚ You asked about my location, well,I live in Barcleona.
    It was nice meeting you and I’ll be reading you these days because you seem to have a very complete blog!

    1. Well, you seem to have inspired two more participants in Spanish, so you’re clearly influential!

      Welcome all the way from Barcelona! It’s very nice to have you. As for the translation… we have one blogger friend from Denmark who blogs in English — but of course, Spanish is a far more popular language than Danish. That said, I would love to know what you had to say about pet blogging, and my Spanish is not as good as I would like it to be.

  3. Combining both of your areas expertise in one book is a great idea. That will be a great book for sure. But I can also see the advantages of combining your writing schedule for the book with your blog. Very clever.

    This is also a form of co-creation. Where comments and convos on the blog could help you tune the story you like to write. It is not only clever, it’s innovation too.

  4. YAY! I can’t wait to read your book, Edie – and all the posts that proceed it. May you be encouraged in your journey by all of your friends here, not by guilt! (This is a guilt-free zone, ya know :))

  5. This sounds wonderful! I know you’ll succeed with your pet travel book, it is an awesome idea. I am publishing my book traditionally now, but several of my friends have had much success self-publishing also. I look forward to hearing all about it. I especially LOVE your ideas for Amtrak. Please let me know, I’d be happy to help spread the word if I can help in any way.

  6. Congratulations! What an exciting announcement! Since this is supposed to be a guilt-free zone, I will not make you feel bad if you slack off but instead help encourage you in the things you want to accomplish.

  7. Congratulations on your new project!!!! And I love the social activism component re: Amtrack. Yes! I think of Diane Silver who’s been enjoying Rome with Cosmo and Mary Alice who traveled with Cleo in Paris….so is your travel book about the USA or traveling with you dog in other destinations? Compared to Europe, and maybe most other places in the world, the go ol’ USA has got to be near the bottom of the list in dog-friendly travel.

    BTW-I self-published a book in 1998 before it was all the rage. I have to tell you, I’m sure I made much more money (not that it was a huge sum) than I would have if a traditional publisher had published it. My lucky, and unanticipated, break was that academics picked the book up and assigned for their classes.

    Anyway—good luck and I’m looking forward to going along for the ride, so to speak πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for the congrats!

      I’m going to have a hard time getting the concept across, but the book is not destination oriented, though it will be based on people traveling around and from the U.S. My pet blogging pals like Rod and Amy and Mary Alice have got the specifics covered. I’m going to discuss the different options out there, such issues as car safety and carsickness, trends in hotel pet policies… And, as with Am I Boring My Dog, I’m going to refer people to other sites where they can get better info.

  8. I am completely behind you in your efforts to get Amtrak to reconsider their policy. If they could reserve one car for pet owners (dogs on the bottom, cats on top) and require pets to be in carriers, think of how much revenue they could generate — and how many people could take advantage of the train. Good luck, and I look forward to reading your travel posts.

  9. Thanks for putting together the Pet Blogger Challenge and I’m very excited about your new section – I’ll be visiting every Tuesday! Best of luck with the new book!

    I loved traveling with my dog, Daley. We had so much fun taking road trips together, though his senior years did introduce a whole new set of travel considerations and it often took a lot of effort on my part to plan senior-dog-friendly trips. I think traveling by train would be an amazing option for senior dogs, so I am totally on board with getting Amtrak to reconsider their policy!

    -Chandra at Daley’s Dog Years

    1. Thanks for participating!

      And Chandra, you know the part in today’s post where I mentioned guest bloggers…? I’d love to have you blog about the issues you had in traveling with a senior dog. That’s the type of topic I’m planning to cover in the book.

      Interested? I’ll hound you, as it were…

  10. cool, get amtrak, Edie, would love that we would have a real train system in this country where pets could travel with us, esp. with the b.s. TSA stuff going on at airports now. Pet Airways is nice alternative, but I hate to fly and would never put cici in baggage compartment. looking forward to the evolvement of your book.

  11. Great idea, Edie, and that Change.org petition suggestion from Roxanne could be the push that Amtrak needs to take the request seriously, and between now and when you publish you should have gathered significant numbers of names on the petition. A petition widget that you could share with the rest of us can speed this process, and get the word out to everyone’s readers. This will be fun to follow!

  12. Since I have never written a book & an interested in following the process. I never even knew that pets were allowed with the passengers on Amtrack. When I was a kid and the family had no car, we would travel by train (VIA Rail) to see my Grandmother. Princess always had to ride in the baggage compartment.

  13. that IS exciting news, ms jarolim! CONGRATULATIONS!

    it’s fantastic that there are bloggers like you in the states, putting together useful firsthand pet travel info. working on the rail network to change their attitude about pets travelling on board sounds like a wonderful idea, and i wish you lots of luck!

    i recently learnt that dogs can travel quite freely in europe. in the uk, they’re even allowed on the ferry and tube! how far behind we are here in oz. and it sounds like, in the states too.

  14. Wow, sounds wonderful Edie and I look forward to reading the posts. I didn’t know that about Amtrak πŸ™ I’m sure you’ve heard of PetAirways, right?

  15. Yay! A dog travel book by someone with a DOG– yippee. My mom will buy that for sure. She loves it when people write the exact policy of the establishment in there (e.g., accepts up to 2 dogs, no bigger than XX lbs., cannot be left alone– so here’s a dog daycare), etc.– but so few do.

  16. Exciting stuff, Edie. This one got “Lurking Tom” to subscribe (can’t believe I haven’t before), so I won’t miss a single episode!

    I suggest you follow the lead of folks like Robert Scoble, Cory Doctorow, and Lawrence Lessig, and write at least parts of the book here on your blog. And then you could incorporate the best ideas from your readers into the book, with credits. How better to get us all to buy a copy — and “five copies for my mother” as the song goes!

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s post,

    Tom

    1. Wow, Tom — I’m glad I brought you out of lurking mode! The idea of writing parts of the book on my blog is terrific. This self-challenge is still a work in progress, but getting useful feedback like this makes it a success before I even get started in earnest.

  17. Woot!! I’m excited to follow the progress of your book. And, if we can lend our support in any way to getting Amtrak to reconsider their pet policy, please let us know. The fact that they are barely getting by financially, and yet turn away customers because of their no-pets policy drives me crazy!

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