Self-Publish Your Cruise Travel Journals

July 26, 2007
So, you think your Cruise Critic member reviews are good enough to be published ... in a book? It's actually easier than you might imagine. One of our own members, ChesterH, used iUniverse to self-publish his at-sea accounts -- What Time is the Midnight Buffet? -- and you can too.

iUniverse is an online self-publishing firm that will put your manuscript into print for as little as $399 and in as a little as 90 days. They also have a partnership with Barnes & Noble, which helped the company establish four specific production packages, as well as editing, design and marketing services.

Here's how their five-step program works:

First, define your goals. What subject will your book be on (cruising, of course!)? How many books do you want to sell? Who is your audience?

Choose a "production package" based on the goals you set for yourself and your book. iUniverse has four (Fast Track, Select, Premier and Premier Pro), depending upon how many books you want to sell -- and the price of each package ranges from $399 to $1,399.

Submit your manuscript to iUniverse. If you'd like to polish the book with an editing service, like copy editing or line editing, each service will cost extra. For example, copy editing costs 18 cents a word and can be completed within two to three weeks.

Work with an iUniverse publishing services associate (PSA) -- which is much like working with an editor from a publishing firm. They'll be your liaison with the production departments while your book is being created from conception through publication.

Promote it! iUniverse offers marketing services to get your name -- and your book -- to your audience. Some examples include your own Web site; a marketing tool kit for creating your own press releases, event signs, bookmarks, business cards, etc.; and Google book search (the search engine will direct users to online bookstores where they may purchase a book in the genre of their choice).

Editor's note: Marketing services are an additional cost to the aforementioned production packages. An author's Web site, for example, is $299 plus a $29 monthly fee.

Keep in mind that just because ChesterH used iUniverse doesn't mean it is the only self-publishing firm out there. Under the Captain's Table columnist Joyce Gleeson-Adamidis used a private company in Greece to self-publish her book, If I Were Not Upon the Sea. Lulu, which is partnered with Getty Images, is another company to consider, as well as Tate Publishing and Dog Ear Publishing.

Happy writing!

--by Erica Sapio, Assistant Editor