Finishing up my Africa travel memoir

I am finishing up another round of edits on my travel memoir “Africa,” which is a collection of stories and photos from a trip to Africa I took with my family in December 2017.  I have learned a few things along the way:

  • It actually takes longer than a few weeks to put together a travel memoir. That seems like a no-brainer, but I started out with a journal I had written for family, so I thought I was set with a working draft. I had to gut that draft and rewrite it mercilessly. I’ve also struggled with the tone for the book. At first it was “family docu-drama.” Then it segued into “America’s funniest travel bits.” Finally, I settled for something in between: essentially a collection of essays from that trip, somewhat chronological, but more thematic.
  • A photo is worth a thousand words. I love taking photos on my trips and Africa was a great place for that. However, I took forever trying to figure out the best way to get photos into a document that I could upload into a small-compressed e-book file. Scrivener is my usual go-to program to format an e-book but I hardly had any control over photos. Thanks to the Internet, I was able to come up with this solution: convert my Word doc into html, then convert that file into a mobi with calibre. This brought it from 27 MB down to 4 MB. I did a test book on my Kindle, and it worked!

I will work some more on this book today, then send it out to my next set of betas. I cannot wait to get this book out there! My goal is to have this published so I can launch it at a presentation to our local arts and literary society on May 22.

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