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Thinking of writing a book about your camino?

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
As much as I love reading camino stories, and am passionate about the camino, some of the books I've read are becoming exceedingly boring!
After reviewing 4 new camino books in 8 months, I'd like to appeal to potential writers to find a new approach or a different focus to their story to avoid the formulaic, almost write-by-numbers style of camino story.

You know the kind I mean - "I felt called to walk the camino; I climbed over a mountain and got blisters/shin splints/tendonitis; slept in a room with 100 snoring strangers; got up early; packed, walked, arrived, washed, ate, slept - ditto, ditto, ditto, blah,blah, blah - met amazing people; arrived in Santiago, cried in the mass and now I am a changed person - Amen. The End."

Remember, thousands upon thousands of pilgrims walk the same landscape, through the same towns, face similar challenges, learn similar lessons and experience the same highs and lows, and many, like you, now have an urge to hit the keyboard and turn their journal into a book.

Find an original theme. Not everyone can walk with a donkey, or lead a blind person, or walk in the dead of winter, but there has to be new, fresh slant to a camino story for the book to have any appeal.

And please, get your spelling right and be consistent (you can't have hosteleria, hospitaleria, hospitalero etc) And, check your geography. You can't meet up with old friends you first met in Triacastela when you arrive in el Acebo!

Last year we visited a book shop in Pamplona. The owner told us that over 400 new camino stories had been published between June 2008 and June 2009. The market is becoming saturated and unless you self-publish, you will need to have something original to say to persuade a publisher to add your book to the many hundreds out there.
 
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newfydog

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona-Santiago, Le Puy- Santiago, Prague- LePuy, Menton- Toulouse, Menton- Rome, Canterbury- Lausanne, Chemin Stevenson, Voie de Vezelay
Thanks sillydoll! I once read the same description of himalayan climbs (chapter 3 is always the porter strike)

I intend to be much more original. I want to do a coffee table book with pictures of St Roch's dogs.

Fortunately, self publishing is getting very easy
 
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PilgrimChris

Active Member
Hi.

Am slowly making my way through all the posts/threads here because not only are some informative but also very interesting it their own right.

This one caught my eye Sil because i am an avid reader and also because two dear friends of mine are writers. I put your request to them and they said it was, for them at least, the joy and "compulsion" (both my friends used this word) to write that they do so and not what a reader might or might not want them to write.
Truly they are both not successful in the commercial sense of the word and happily so. There are possibly 1000 or more 'unknown' writers to every one of those who manage to 'break through' to some financial and/or literary success yet they still write.
The advice seems to be if you want to read a book you really like then write it yourself if you cannot find it on the shelves lol.

And may i add as a personal observation from reading just some of your own output Sil that a book from you on the subject could be the answer?

Am sure many others would agree? Or have i missed such a book? I say this in all sincerity.

God bless you and thank you for all your hard work in sharing your experience here and on your blog. Truly valuable and inspiring.

I may even have a stab at it myself should i be inspired after my own camino lol. But if i do i insist you help with the editing Sil :)

Chris
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Anyone and everyone can - and should - write down their life experiences.
We should all write "My life as a story' to leave to our children and grandchildren but we don't all have to try to get them published. Writing your story can be therapeutic and it is creative, and perhaps that is why every man and his blog is clicking away on the keyboards deep into the night!
Blogs will make a wonderful resource for future generations of researchers to compile composite pictures of life as it was in our generation. There might even be a Jane Eyre out there who will be discovered via her blog. (You can use http://www.blurb.com to turn your blog into a book).
I have kept a diary since I was 10 years old and wrote my first book when I was 13 years old. It was never meant to be published and hopefully, never will be - too personal! I have written three others - none worth publishing, although the VF Five Pilgrims book has an ISBN number and could be published one day.
This month I have reviewed two books - one non-fiction on the Via Francigena and the other a fictionalised account of a camino pilgrimage.
I have proof read a few camino books - mainly for spelling, grammar and obvious factual mistakes - but I am not a qualified editor so please don't ask me to edit your book, you deserve better!
What I was trying to say about writing a camino book is that almost every book is about the writer's experience on the Camino Frances. Its is a bit like going to a well loved, very familar play, set in the same location, with the same scenery and the same dialogue, just with different actors.
 

PilgrimChris

Active Member
Hi Sil.

Thank you for your response. Your right of course. Someone who writes a book on the camino generally writes about their experiences and i guess they can do no other. If these experiences are similar to others who have walked then that too is informative in so much as it shows the walk to St James is a fairly distinct experience shared by many. If it becomes a little repetitive then maybe it is because there is only so much one can say about a common experience?

I agree it would be wonderful if someone could bring a new take on their camino to the literary world, though i suppose unless they are inspired to do so, have a different angle on their journey and are indeed able to write as well as wanting to share with the rest of the world then we shall wait in vain. As you pointed out many people like to keep their personal thoughts to themselves or only share them via blog to others they know will only read them if interested.

Having said that does anyone have any ideas on the kind of canino book they would like to read? These ideas could inspire a future pilgrim to write a different kind of book on the subject.

And Sil - if you have some experience in proof reading then this along with your passion and knowledge of the subject would, i humbly suggest, make you an ideal candidate to at the very least be an early point of call for advice to any budding writer. Or maybe some other veterans would be willing to offer whatever support they can should someone wish help writing. As you mentioned every man/woman and their dog can put their thoughts on a blog but where can they go for more specialised help in this genre should they wish to publish a book?

I am not suggesting anything more than friendly help and advice similar to that other writers might receive from family and friends they show their works in progress to. At least here in these forums there are people with experiences and knowledge on the subject.

Please accept i write this in good faith and humility and only do so without cause to give offense. Have noticed some of my posts made in genuine good will have inspired negative reactions in some. This is never my intent and i would rather sit quietly in the back ground than upset anyone albeit unintentionally.

God bless us all and inspire us in all ways.

Chris
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
Just a little note: semi or professional you decide.
I self-published Pilgrimage to Heresy in 2007 because the responses I was getting from agents and publishers were too slow compared to the world-wide reaction to Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. I had begun to research my book long before Dan Brown published, but if my ideas were not to get lost I had to act now.
Now please understand, I wasn't making the comparisons, but others were and I needed to see the book in print before it could be represented to others.
As it turned out, in Spain it took no time at all: as Peregrinos de la Herejia, the book was picked up within three weeks of exposure by a mainstream publisher and from that point of view I have been very lucky. We are currently on the second printing with the second book "Compostela" due for release by the middle of next year.
If you want to write about your Camino, don't write it in the first person, unless you are writing fiction, and even then, make sure that you can separate your character from yourself, and know him or her well. Think about the religious, historical, or perhaps most importantly sociological implications of "pilgrimage": then, now, or in the future. And don't make assumptions! Your guidebook will tell you St. James is buried there, but the facts are against it. Do look beyond the "pilgrim hype", spun for various reasons by a myriad of self-interested parties (then and NOW) before you declare for one or the other camp.
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com

PS: Oh...and if you make muchos typos - as I did when I posted this - make sure you catch 'em before too many people see 'em! TS Dec. 7th)
 

Sagalouts

RIP 2015
I have started to write a detective/ travel story about the camino.
what started out as a joke ( pilgrims who snore are getting bumped off) is now fast becoming what fills my waking hours.
i,m stuck for an ending either the killer meets his/her ending being killed by the swinging ball in Santiago or burns to death on the cliffs at finisterre.
Ian
 
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RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
sagalouts said:
I have started to write a detective/ travel story about the camino.
what started out as a joke ( pilgrims who snore are getting bumped off)
Ian
SHUCKS!!! , Now this champion snorer will have to indulge in an extra glass of vino each night to get over the fear of being 'Psychoed'
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
sillydoll said:
After reviewing 4 new camino books in 8 months, I'd like to appeal to potential writers to find a new approach or a different focus to their story to avoid the formulaic, almost write-by-numbers style of camino story.
Hey there Sil - thanx for the 'constructives'.

I am in the very slow process of writing a book - The book is for MY benefit and to fulfill MY dream and goal(even my ego).
As you have suggested , if one writes it as a plain diary I can well understand it being quite boring so I have spiced my little novel up a little even though a lot of the content will remain non fiction. - I may still be hammered by puritins and authodox souls who are narrow minded ....but they can go and get .... yes well.
In the begining I found ZILTCH was going down on paper , partly due to dyslexia and also a smidgen of ADHD.I was too worried about spelling and getting my English right. Eventually I started by putting anything I could down to make a start - It worked. I know that I am no Literary expert but I do make people laugh(those that want to)- someone else will have to edit it once I have finished . I will beg a good ghost writer to rewrite the book , hopefully without losing any of it's flavour.
I anticipate people who read my book will be those that have not walked the Camino and those who still wish to.Those that have walked the Camino may still find it boring and find technical fault - so what. - I myself remember reading Paulo Coelho's book AFTER walking the camino and being so dissapointed that his book ended at O'Cebeiro( some say he wrote the whole book there without walking the Camino).
Enough waffel - Gotta go now an write a half page or so of my book - cheers all...........
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
You better hurry up and finish it before Ian's character kills you off! Or. are you the murderer, killing other pilgrims with your snoring?
 
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vinotinto

Active Member
I've been working on mine for awhile, and I can dig your idea. I don't want to add to the "each chapter equals a day on the trail" pile of books (not that they're bad, but enough is enough) - I'd like to incorporate my Camino as a part of a wider search for knowledge on my part...hopefully someday I'll finish the thing... :arrow:

VT
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Anyone who has never read a book about the Camino will find a smorgasboard of Camino stories out there. To me, they fall into four main categories.

1) The rather mundane, day-to-day accounts, eating bocadillos, sleeping in crowded dorms etc etc, with little information of the sights or the history of the Camino. These become very boring if you happen to read more than one in the same vein.

2)The 'life-changing, inspirational, self help" type story usually filled with deep inner searching and personal revelations. The writer often has a special reason for walking the camino and we know that the pages will be filled with the writer's philosophies and religion (or lack thereof). Because we all share a commonality of emotions and experiences this kind of book seems more interesting and relevant if it is written by someone famous - or infamous! - than when it is written by Joe Soap. (Would be as interested in watching the Martin Sheen movie 'The Way' if it was made by an amateur film maker with unknown actors?)

3) The angst ridden, whinging and comlpaining saga that often includes a dash of anti-religion and xenophobia (pushy Americans, aggressive Germans, hauty French, loud Spanish). This is my least favourite book and I feel that it could be set on a walk through the writer's neighbourhood for all they learn about the Camino.

4) The new age, esoteric story - you know, the ones that are trying to emulate Shirely Maclaine and Paulo Coehlo. Boring!!!

There is one more but because there are so few of these, I don't give them their own category, and this is the 'Comedic Camino' such as Tim Moore and his donkey. Parts were very funny; he is a good writer, but the relentless humour and satire became a bit tedious. On a Travel Writer's blog one person suggested that 'Tim Moore merely used the Camino as a hitching post to hang his jokes onto." (Hape Kerkeling's book falls into this category but his changed towards the end and wasn't so funny anymore!)
 

Anna-Marie

Active Member
I really love Robert Ward's All the Good Pilgrims, which doesn't fit into any of those categories. The framework is his own latest trip on the Camino Frances, but within that he talks about history, culture, his own previous walks along the Camino, and lots of stories about people--pilgrims and otherwise--he meets.

It's a quiet book, with small realizations rather than huge life-changing events, but I prefer that. And the book is really well-written and structured, and the stories are so good they keep you (or at least, me) reading. I've read it at least five times.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Thanks for reminding me Anna-Marie - I've got Rob's book and you are right, it is a lovely book.
I've read it twice, mainly because on the first read it was a little confusing. He changes back-and-forth in time and meets and describes so many people. I've walked my caminos with friends so although we met lots of people on the Camino we never got to bond with them (and depend on their company) as much as he did. This book vindicates what many pilgrims say - its meeting other people that can make your Camino so special.
 
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muppet

Member
Hi Sillydoll,

Ive spent the last 3 months writing a book on the three caminos I walked last year. Its a fairly personal account and whether its good enough to publish who knows....A few friends of mine are reading it now to gauge their opinion. You're right when you say its easy to fall into the gray masses as far as the same old stories and feelings rehashed over and over again.

have you or anyone else got advice on how to turn my 96 A4 page word document with photos into an e-book and are there any publishers you can recommend for small scale publishing? If its not good enough then it would still be nice to have a hardback copy for myself :)

Any tips would be much appreciated from you or others..
 

anniethenurse

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances.Vasco del Interior.Camino Finisterre& Muxia. Camino Portugues. Ruta del Ebro.
muppet said:
have you or anyone else got advice on how to turn my 96 A4 page word document with photos into an e-book and are there any publishers you can recommend for small scale publishing? If its not good enough then it would still be nice to have a hardback copy for myself :)

Any tips would be much appreciated from you or others..

Have alook at this:
http://www.blurb.com/landing_pages/book ... rce=widget

If you have a mac you can have a look at the Iphoto learn more about this subject.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
I wonder if we'll ever see a Camino-themed vampire or zombie book? Given the popularity of these two horror staples, it would be interesting to read some Camino tales starring the undead...talk about a "Pilgrim Menu" (hehe) :mrgreen:
 

ksam

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Careful Vinotinto...they're very close to where you live...and they're up at all hours...roaming the internet! :shock:
 

Audax

New Member
vinotinto said:
some Camino tales starring the undead...

There really exists a story of an undead pilgrim in the Liber Sancti Jacobi. It is a miracle about a young pilgrim, who kastrated and killed himself, because the devil betrayed him. The virgin Mary gave him back his life, but not the other thing he lost. :wink:

Many greetings

Christoph
 
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Vigdis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
I am so happy... then again not quite... :|

After trying several publishers, a small publishing house is willing to publish my prose from the camino :D

Only; I have to sell 100 x myself (to a too expencive price in my opinion....), and if I don't get to sell them I have to take the cost and buy them from the publishing house.
Don't know...

There are pilgrims forums in my country too, which is a small country, many would buy, I know, but 100 x is... well, a hundred people... :)

I am trying to make a good deal, don't want to lose money, that's all.
Comments are welcome, but I know someone will :)
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Vigdis,

Ever consider self publishing? I have not tried it but Lulu sounds promising. There are probably other similar self-publishing sites out there too.

http://www.lulu.com/

It seems that you can upload and design your book (with images), and set a price for your book. If someone buys your book, they take a cut. No upfront cost for you.

Con: You book will not be appearing at any bookstore. Marketing for your book will probably be mostly online.
Pro: Anyone all over the world will be able to buy your book with just a credit card.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:

evanlow

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Sil,

Thanks for the info. I thought I could use them I ever write a book on the camino.

To your knowledge, are there any alternatives besides Lulu?
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
Hi Sil,

The reason I asked is that my other alternative is Blurb, athough the market for Blurb seems to be gravitating towards picture books rather than text.
 
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Sue Kenney

New Member
There are many options for getting your book published and distributed.

Amazon has Createspace who will print on demand and offer your book in ebook format, Kindle. They work with many big e-distributors and also manufacture and distribute DVD's, offer video streaming and rental. There was no charge to set it up. My Camino doc is available through them and prior to that it was outrageously expensive for me to manufacture DVD's/packaging, distribute etc.

There's BookBaby but they only do ebooks. I think they have a special on now for $99 to get on board - includes Itunes. I have my storytelling CD with CDBaby (since 2005)because they love independant artists and work for their success.

Lulu is a fabulous company I'm told by many successful authors. They offer all services, editing, cover design, etc. for a fee of course. Iuniverse has been in business a long time and offer all the services, books on demand and ebook distribution. I've been with them for 4 years too. Check out Smashwords too.

There are lots of options but the thing to remember is that you will still have to do the work marketing, book events, signings and more regardless of whether you have a publisher or self publish. The future of the industry is in ebooks, though many people still want to hold a book in their hand it's costly for an independent author.

If I can help in any other way, let me know. I have a ton of experience in this area.

Keep writing.
Sue
 

daesdaemar

Camino-holic
Past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles - twice
I would like to reinforce what Sue said. Self-publishing via the ebook format might be the way to go initially. That's a fairly large market these days. If you achieve any profits, it might make the foray into paper books more attractive.
 

Vigdis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
I have considered publishing myself, and still am. I phoned some printing offices today, and am expecting what they will come up with. I would edit the pages myself, and send it to them by pdf. My daughter who is a graphic designer will do the cover of the book. It is kind of hard to make a decission on this one (will cost some money). But most pilgrims in my country publish themselves.

Would'nt think that the e-book companies that is mentioned here let me in, as all my writing is in Norwegian. I will look up what excist of that kind of thing in my own country after writing this message :)

Thank you all!
 
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vinotinto

Active Member
ivar said:
Have you thought of "Self Publishing" directly in the Amazon Electronic bookstore?

Si, Senor! Indeed, I buy most of my books in Kindle format nowadays, so that avenue looks like the future to me. It would still be nice to run one's book thru an editor & get some secondary opinions before publication, though...always good to get outside critique... :arrow:
 

Vigdis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
Takk skal du ha, Ivar, I'm gonna check it out.

And vinotinto, I've already got second opinions, but know what you mean :)
 

Beverley

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2009, Camino Portuguese 2010, Del Norte 2011, Pamplona to Burgos and Santiago to Finnesterra 2012
Hi, I just published through Author House. They have been very good. My book is available in e-format and "soft cover". I like their easy access for purchase through their web site and the e-book is already available on U.K. sites. Feb 14 was the date it was finished and posted. The pricing is fair to both the author and the reader. Author House ships at next to nothing cost from the U.S., Canada and the U.K. as they have printers in the three locations that print and ship on request.
The cost was good for the initial stage so I purchased a marketing package with them too. I have to sell about 500 to break even but then there is lots of time and lots of future pilgrims.

Good luck, and like Sue said, if I can help let me know.
 

Priscillian

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 1999, Aragones 2000, Desde Le Puy 2002, Portuguese 2009, hoping RDLP 2014
I initially self-published Pilgrimage to Heresy with IUniverse. If I went with them again I would choose the cheapest package that offers distribution via Amazon though I may have a UK publisher now so am keeping my fingers crossed. I agree with Sue: Kindle is a great way to get your book out there and costs nothing. In the end the royalties may even be more than with a POD publisher (pitiful!), but don't price too high.
The best part for me was that my agent in Madrid used Pilgrimage to Heresy to get me a good deal with a major Spanish publisher (Anaya is one of the biggest and I am with an imprint of theirs). At last count we were well up in the 12 - 15 thousand mark and I will be going with the same publisher for St. James' Rooster (El Gallo de San Tiago) which will probably be translated and out by the fall.
So it is worth it.
Good luck and keep writing!
Tracy Saunders
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.com
http://www.pilgrimagetoheresy.blogspot.com
 

Beverley

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2009, Camino Portuguese 2010, Del Norte 2011, Pamplona to Burgos and Santiago to Finnesterra 2012
I was doing some research today on how to market my book. I came across this site http://www.smashwords.com who publish your book in e-format only but the returns are pretty good, they take 15% of your cost. If you don;t want to go soft cover you might want to check them out.
 
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Vigdis

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008/2009, Roncesvalles-Burgos Oct. 2012
Then my book concisting of short texts from the camino is out :)
But only in Norwegian.
(Ivar and Scandinavians: Have a look at The Albergue/Scandinavians on the camino forum, there's a link to the book's website. Well, here it is anyway: http://denvarmeveien.net/).
I have an idea of maybe get it translated into English so it can reach more pilgrims, and then publish it as a e-book. I'll see, but would be nice!

I have puplished myself, or more correctly; through a Norwegian self-publisher on the internet. Not too expencive.
So far I have only had good feedback from people who have read it, SO reliefing ... :)
The pilgrim association will publish a positive review,as they like it a lot.

Just wanted to share ... :)
 

RandyStG

New Member
I am almost finished with the editing of my first book which happens to be the account of my journey on the French Camino. Yes, I know what you're saying, "Not another Camino book." Mine is not a guidebook, though and will be different.
I live in Vancouver, Canada and need advice for printing in the European market. Of course, I would like to be listed on Amazon in Europe but would like to find any other options besides their Createspace. My cover is designed already and I will hire someone with the layout so I will have the files ready. I would prefer not to use one of the expensive publishing packages unless they are truly viable.
I appreciate all your help and your postings.
 

RENSHAW

Official Camino Vino taster
Past OR future Camino
2003 CF Roncesvalles to Santiago
2/4 weeks on the CF frequently.
Hospitalero San Anton June 2016.
falcon269 said:
Another guy who thought about it, then did it

Yes , its the 'Then did it' .... thats important. :wink:
 
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Wiebke
Past OR future Camino
2011: Trier (Germany) to Santiago (Spain); all through France on Via Lemovicensis and Camino Frances
I thank everyone for all the input here. Hope it is eyeopening for some people.

Walking from Trier, Germany to Santiago this year, of course like most I wrote down some notes. And I - like others - wanted to share my experience. Mainly for family and friends I started a blog and found that it is nice to walk the Way again in my mind and 'on the paper'. Sure, they asked me if I would make a book out of it, but they are all not very objective. I think writing a book is a lot more than just sharing experience. Because even though we all think we are so unique ... sorry to disapoint, we are not.

Wiebke
 

mmm042

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
VDLP 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014
Just realized I should share a story I wrote on my first Camino. I'm a travel writer, and this ran in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and actually won an award this year in a contest sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writers. Because of that first trip, when I couldn't find any guidebooks in English, I've now written a guide to the VDLP in app form. It's currently available and covers Sevilla to Salamanca, with the last half about to be published (added to the existing app) any day.

Melanie

http://melaniemcmanus.com/pdf/MST_Camino.pdf
 

k1ypp

Member
Books about the Camino are like photographs of the Camino, if you take a hundred pictures, maybe three will be outstanding. It think this is true of most books in most genres. I'm a big fan of the Appalachian Trail and there have to be several thousand books on that topic. There are a bunch of really boring, bad ones, but there are also some gems. The good news is, there is always room for one more. I'm always looking for new ones. Why? Because I love the trail and the stories that it evokes.

My favorite was Bill Bryson's A WALK IN THE WOODS. He doesn't even finish the trail, he only completes about 600 miles (1000 km), but he is a great writer and turns his failure into a very successful story. Hikers either love it, or hate it, there doesn't seem to be much middle ground. His book was the first A.T. book to go mainstream and there are millions of copies out there.

Previously Sue Kenney had some really good comments about writing YOUR book and I'd like to follow-up on them. I also published with Createspace.com

http://www.Createspace.com/

and am thrilled with the results. They made it extremely easy to do the print version of the book and it costs nothing other than the print cost of the book. I even used their cover creation tool for the book cover. Seriously, I had my first copy of my book in my hands for $4.95 plus shipping. There is no overhead charge and you don't have to buy any minimum number. You could actually write your memoirs for your family, print up thirty copies or so and never print another one.

In my case they have published many thousands of copies and since they're an Amazon company, Amazon has sold the majority of copies. Additionally, to go from the print copy to Kindle was rather easy.

The basic rule to put your book onto any of the E-readers is strip out all of the formatting, fancy fonts, etc. and use the online tools to submit it. As Sue mentioned, Smashwords is a great way to go. Their tool will put your book onto Nook, Sony, Ipad, Iphone and other readers. They don't generate a Kindle version, so you should use the Amazon tool for that. Mark Coker, who created Smashwords, has a great free book there that explains just how to publish with Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/52

If you're really interested in writing your story, I maintain an authors/writers blog at:

http://k1ypp.wordpress.com/

and I invite you stop by if you're interested in writing your book. Leave a comment, we writers love that.

Another great spot for aspiring writers is Joanna Penn's writers blog:

http://www.thecreativepenn.com/

I'm currently working on a book about my pilgrimage on the Camino last autumn. It will follow the same format as my first book and I'll publish it with Createspace.com again. Same goes for Kindle and Smashwords.

This really is a forum about our beloved Camino and I hate to take up space here with this topic, but did feel the information was pertinent. Why? Because I would actually like to read another book about the Camino, there is always room for one more.
 

poetdownhere

New Member
Interesting posts here! My 'modern codex' was published by small uk publishers. It consists of sections of basic but hopefully fun info on the history of the region, the folklore, cuisine, the route and poetry inspired by the route... I am like the medieval codex (has it actually been found yet) it is a travel companion that observes and gives a portrait of some of the route. I hadn't come across this format.
My problem with the e publishing is the formating... I can't take away the formatting for the poetry or even recipes... Any suggestions?
 
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almis

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Le Puy to Conques, Via Francigena
Hi Silvia,

what a great heads up for all aspiring Camino writers. Your formula for a "Camino Blockbuster" fits the bill, and describes our first book "Santiago - walking the pilgrim's path" (from an Australian pilgrim's point of view) quite well. This was in 1997.

We had the opportunity to journey along the Leon - Santiago section as part of a small group in 2010. This time the challenge was to appreciate the differences and similarities of the Camino that 12 years had brought.

Again, there was that urge to record and share the journey. And it blossomed into an e-book "Camino Journeys" which also includes the Le Puy to Conques section in France.

Team, please have a look at it on our site at http://www.goodwalkingbooks.com

The urge to journey and to share seems to be inherent in most of us, and it's good to maintain some standards in the writing of our journeys. Regards... Almis
 

kellyz

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Astorga to Santiago, 2010
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, 2011
Camino del Salvador, 2012
Camino Primitivo 2012
Camino Portuguese, Coastal, 2013

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Prior to starting the Camino, I had thought of writing a book about female pilgrims though the ages or about feminism across northern Spain. I thought about stopping at women's organization in various towns and talking with them about issues facing women. I believe that women matter and that women matters are interesting. Prior to leaving, I researched the history of women and the Camino and tried to compile a (very short) list of feminist organizations that I could visit.

Once on the Camino, I found that I did not want to stop in towns to talk about feminism—the walk became all-important. As I walked, I talked with other female pilgrims from around the world. Their compelling stories became the basis for Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino. The book is about my journey (Sorry, Sillydoll, it does describe my pilgrim's day, with the pains and aches I experienced.) commingled with the conversations I had with these amazing women. It is my first book.

After returning home and realizing how the Camino had transformed me, I contacted all these fantastic women to ask them if they had indeed completed the Camino, if the Camino had changed them, what they liked best about the Camino, and if they would do the Camino again. Their answers are varied, but the theme of camaraderie prevails. I have included their post-Camino comments in the book.

I wrote the book, not merely to relate my adventure, but as a tribute to the women who walk the Camino, and hopefully as an inspiration to others to do the same. I found that the writing became an extension of my Camino, rekindling the memories and the spirit. Each day for nine months, I was again on the Camino.

The Camino means many things to many people. I encourage those inclined to write about this experience to do so, but to first determine if the book is a memoir for personal use (friends and family) or for a broader audience. If the latter, I recommend using a copy editor to confirm the quality of the narrative and to ensure that you are not embarrassed by the writing. Additionally, fact check and verify that the Spanish words are correct. There are many poorly-writen books, make sure yours is not one of them.

Lastly, enjoy they journey into your writing career.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Now that is a new angle, a different focus, and one close to my heart! Where can we buy your book?
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I've just ordered your book and will click on the Facebook Link to share my news!
 
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k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Thank you SillyDoll for purchasing the book. I hope you like the story.

The book is available on Amazon and Smashwords.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I put a link on Facebook and a friend replied that she has just downloaded it and can't wait to read it!!
Have you started a Facebook page for the book?
 

k-fun

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (2011), Camino Portugués (2013), Camino St. Jaume (2013)
Sillydoll, Yes the book has a facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/womenoftheway

Ivar: Thank you for posting the book on the Camino Book Store and forum. As an indie author, I can use all the help I can get.

P.S. It is also available (in English at the moment) on Amazon in UK, DE, FR, ES, and Italy. Since it is so new, you might have search on both the title and the name: Women of the Way: Embracing the Camino by Jane V. Blanchard.
 

jeffnd

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March/April 2014
I certainly hope this thread hasn't dissuaded anyone from writing who feels the urge to do. Writing is an art, the same as composing music or drawing a painting. No art should ever be quashed just because it lacks commercial appeal or because it's already been "done" before. Telling someone not to write about their experiences on the Camino because so many people have done it is like telling someone not to write a love song because there are already so many love songs.
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I hope that this thread has encouraged would be authors to think more deeply about their story - past the first impulsive urge to write about their daily walk on the Camino.
I hope it encourages them to read up and include a bit of historical background; to check their geography; check the spelling of the names of the villages and towns; to remember the smells and the colours of the spring flowers or autumn wheat; to describe the sunsets; to make our mouths water with their descriptions of the food, even if it is a common old bocadillo with jamon y queso! Tell us more about yourself - what you enjoyed most about the Camino. . Was it the walking or was it the fauna and flora; was it the fabulous art or the architecture; was it the history and traditions or was it the folk-lore?
Did you meet any angels? or Demons? Were there special little nuggets of conversation that you can share with your readers? Without proselytizing, did you have a religious ephiphany or a spiritual awakening?
Most pilgrims write their book in hindsight - usually a year or so after returning home - and nobody (as far as I know) has shared how the Camino affected them or changed their way of life when they got got back to their normal lives. Now that would be interesting!
There are love songs, and then there are love sonnets! Lets have more sonnets.
 
A recent book by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, "A Sense of Direction," talks about where the Camino led him -- to the Japanese 88-temple circuit pilgrimage, and to a Jewish pilgrimage to Uman in the Ukraine. Entertaining and thoughtful, and very well-written.
 

Willie Scanlan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010) Via de la Plata (2011)
Just had a strange Camino writing experience. Had done little bits of the Portuguese and Frances routes before, but in April 2010 headed for St Jean to do the whole Frances. Fell in with a dozen or so younger characters and really enjoyed Camino and company.
Being the sole Scot, my Glasgow accent attracted a good deal of attention, especially from the Irish contingent who insisted, on a daily basis, that I entertain them by pronouncing the oft parodied line from “Taggart”,
“There’s been a murrderrr!”
Eventually, national pride asserted: I warned them that on my return home I would write a book in which there would indeed be murders and they would all get their just desserts! This notion was sustained throughout the Camino, many suggesting which companions they felt would make a good serial killer, all pleading not to be the first victim, etc, etc. It became a harmless joke, the idea of the peaceful camino being a setting for some Poirot adventure taken as absurd.
Back home, I found myself, inexplicably, pursuing this absurdity. Things came together, completely randomly and “Death on the Camino” was written. Not remotely as planned as brief synopsis will show.
Three main threads:
1) A murder in Scotland of a quiet, respectable old man. Young detective on case finds victim is grandfather of once best friend. Friendship renewed despite no progress in murder hunt. Only unusual aspect of case is victim’s lifelong interest in Knights Templar history, Green Men carvings etc. The two embark on the Camino Frances to delve further into Templar history. Unknown to them, grandfather had been murdered by modern cult, keen to protect old secrets and they are now in peril.
2) Satire excesses of modern media. A TV channel, to atone for sudden death of reality ‘celeb’, plans to film remaining ‘celebs’ walking section of Camino, live on TV, as tribute. Rival channel has hacked into this info and has sent thuggish minion to sabotage this and destabilise rival.
Soon, two threads interminge with comic and tragic consequences.
However, at every turn, all characters experience something inexplicable as the history and mythology of the Camino come alive to exert a huge natural force on all who walk the road to Santiago.
I came to the forum seeking help in publishing my book, so I have a lot of reading to do. Please feel free to comment on the above.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Willie, I think its great that your creative juices have been set free on the Camino. Sounds a bit like a 'Whodunnit' Canterbury Tales!

Getting fiction published today is really, really difficult and if you can afford it, i would suggest you rather self publish through Amazon (Create Space), Lightning Source or one of the other self-publishing companies.

Let us know who it goes!
 

fraluchi

RIP 2019
Past OR future Camino
One every year since 2007
sillydoll said:
...Last year we visited a book shop in Pamplona. The owner told us that over 400 new camino stories had been published between June 2008 and June 2009.
A good enough reason for me not to add to the confusion :mrgreen: On top of that, I'm an awful writer, need hours to fill one A4 page, mix Dutch with German, English, French, Italian and even Spanish expressions, and on top of that translations via internet contort ideas into the incomprehensible. :roll: I'll settle for sampling "pinchos" in Pamplona :)
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Fraluchi - you are the perfect person to write your life as a story! So many places, so many countries, languages, adventures to share. Give it a go!
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Camino stories from a different angle?
- I think I might like 'Murder on the Camino' or so (I mean using the Camino as the background where a story takes place).
- And what about humor? I read a funny book (in Dutch though) about the Via de la Plata by Tosca Niterink ('Klimmen naar Kruishoogte').
- I would also be interested in a story that takes place in one specific village along the Camino. How did that village change from the 70s till now? The Camino must have had a huge impact on village life in Northern Spain.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
I think I might like 'Murder on the Camino' or so
A friend, who is a retired reporter from Time magazine with a couple of books under his belt, wrote a novel about a terrorist plot evolving along the Camino. No publisher yet, years later...

It isn't easy. :)
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I would also be interested in a story that takes place in one specific village along the Camino. How did that village change from the 70s till now? The Camino must have had a huge impact on village life in Northern Spain.

Excellent idea!! If you start this story even earlier, you might find a very different pilgrim passing through the village to the pilgrims that have emerged today!

The writers who gave us the 'modern' Camino classics - Georgiana Goddard King's trilogy, Walter Starkie's 'The Road to Santiago' (based on his pre-war and post war travels along the Camino in France and Spain) and even Catherine Gasquoine's book on 'The Story of Santiagio de Compostela" travelled on a very different Camino to the one created in the last 30 years.

These writers didn't feel complelled to walk every inch of the way and we read that they explored on foot, horse, donkey, in cars or buses and even took trains when they needed to. And the word 'backpack' and 'albergue' doesn't appear even once in 'The Road to Santiago'!! (There were no pilgrim albergues and no yellow arrows to follow.)

Besides a few academics and historians, most people didn't know about the Camino or about its history. Don Elias Valina Sampedro (who is responsible for the reanimation of the Camino as we know it today) wrote in his book ‘Caminos a Compostela’ in 1971. “In the 1970’s there survived only a remote memory of the Jacobean pilgrimage”.

In 1974 Edwin Mullins published a book “The Pilgrimage to Santiago”. In it he recounts how it was for a pilgrim on foot in the early 1970’s: “It was more often a question of dropping into village bars and enquiring politely where the old road might be.”

In 1972 only 6 pilgrims were awarded the Compostela.

I think a book written around a pre-1970s village would make really interesting reading!!
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Now we just have to find someone who wants to write the story ;-)
 
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Willie Scanlan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010) Via de la Plata (2011)
Looks like "Death on the Camino" (see previous post for synopsis) is about to roll off the ether!
I thought that writing the book would be the difficult bit - believe me, it wasn't. Trying to get it published? Like walking up to O Cebreiro in diving boots! However, thanks to good advice from good people in this forum, I'm going down the self-publishing route.

I'm using Create Space which is pretty painless ... so far! I've just posted my preview for the world to see, so feel free to check it out. Feel even freer to comment on any aspect of it. I am safely surrounded by a shield of Guinness which is guaranteed to repel all bad vibrations!

I would like to stress that murderers stalking pilgrims on the Camino is not the norm. Also, no pilgrims were hurt in the writing of this book, although one had his failing intellect stretched to the limit!

Just doing a final check of basics - much needed, says Sillydoll! - and should publish within the week. Then back to the important stuff - a wee Spanish stroll to welcome in the Spring!

Thanks all, for your time and help.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Blimey! That didn't take long! Its a gret feeling when its done, init!
 

Willie Scanlan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010) Via de la Plata (2011)
sillydoll said:
Blimey! That didn't take long! Its a gret feeling when its done, init!

Hi!

I wish it was like that but the writing has been going on for a few months now. I only contacted the forum when the first draft was finished, probably in a state of panic about what to do next! Again, I found your advice so down to earth and sensible it calmed me down a lot. Saved a few bob on Guinness, I can tell you. If you can think of anything I should do to publicise the thing, please let me know.

Best wishes,

Willie ... from cold but bright Glasgow
 

Willie Scanlan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010) Via de la Plata (2011)
Hi,

Last three months spent working on web page and book cover and getting basic education in realities of modern publishing. Surprisingly, managed to survive and book now ready!

The reason I wrote the book was not to make money (as if!) or to share Road to Damascus conversion experience. I just felt that having walked two major routes - Frances and Plata - without meeting a single fellow Scot that some publicity would not go amiss.

That is how the book started out, a fictional account of two young Scots attempting the Camino Frances with all their trials and triumphs. However, strange things happened after that. Feel free to check out the web page for a fuller explanation.

http://fwscanlan.wix.com/caminobambino
 

Venado

New Member
Hi,

Congratulations to Willie and everyone else who has written a book on the camino. What an achievement. And much more difficult than walking it. (Your website looks very good Willie).

Thank you sil for starting this thread, I've really enjoyed it. Like many others I too started to write down my camino memories. Now I feel compelled to shape them into a narrative which if I can do it will become a book.

Yes I did the Frances and got tendonitis and stayed in albergues etc, etc . My motive I believe is to write about my experience for myself firstly but with 'proper' writing, I mean not self indulgent stuff, you have to write with an audience in mind I think.

Any tips on how to keep going ? I've told myself if I don't write a complete first draft by the end of this year then forget about it.

Paul
 
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sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Paul, don't give up - just keep going. I wrote my 300 page historical novel 'Pilgrim Footprints on the sands of Time" over 10 years!
Started it in 2003 and realised that I needed to do more research so I walked from Paris to Spain in 2004. Finished the first draft in 2005.
My creative writing teacher (who was one of the few South African literary agents registered in the Writers and Artists Yearbook) read a few pages and told me to change it from first person to third person. That took a year because I was then busy with other things including working for Fishers as a guide book producer/editor for Africa.
I had just finished changing the manuscript in 2010 when Francis died. Thereafter, no other literary agent or publisher was interested.
Last year I published it on Kindle and will, hopefully, self publish using Create Space later this year.
Be true to your self when you write, and to 'Your' Camino, but also take cognisance of the other 500 Camino Frances books that have already been published that now read like a formulaic template (book by numbers!)
 

Willie Scanlan

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2010) Via de la Plata (2011)
Hi,

Just a last few words about writing books about the Camino.
When I started writing my novel, my overriding emotion was one of disbelief: what was I trying to do here? Write a comic thriller set on the Camino? Nonsense. Totally inappropriate. I felt like a traitor, devaluing a wonderful experience for a laugh.

But I persevered and somehow, beyond my understanding, it took shape and made sense. I ordered four copies and lent them to close friends. Not a unanimous verdict but enough to try to publish it on Kindle as an ebook. As the months went by a few tiny payments made their way into my bank. Calculating my hourly rate of pay for my endeavours kept my feet on the ground, 20 pence per hour, max! Not that I cared.

At New Year I decided to draw a line under the ebook. I had already tried to give it away without charge but Amazon barred that; their lowest price was 77 pence so that is what it became. My last gesture was to use a last promotional offer - free book for a maximum five days. This runs out on Tuesday, 14th Jan. If you care to scroll up a couple of posts you'll find the link to "Death on the Camino."

So, thanks for all the encouragement, especially to Sillydoll for her expertise and humour. Some people have asked for a hard copy as a souvenir. I may check that out. Meantime, keep the Caminos going - I walked a little of the Via Augusta, from Cadiz towards Seville. Good in places but the usual Spanish penchant for building giant motorways at the drop of a sombrero got a little in the way!

Cheers from sunny Scotland ... trousers appear to have burst info flames so I'd better go! (Very) Silly Willie!
 
Last edited:

AntAthOBuaidhe

New Member
I have started to write a detective/ travel story about the camino.
what started out as a joke ( pilgrims who snore are getting bumped off) is now fast becoming what fills my waking hours.
i,m stuck for an ending either the killer meets his/her ending being killed by the swinging ball in Santiago or burns to death on the cliffs at finisterre.
Ian

What about the killer being bumped off on his last day's walking by a mad German woman (par exemple...) who is on a mission to "cleanse" the Camino of the inconsiderate folk who pack their falderol into their backpacks in crinkly, supermarket plastic bags? :)
 

Silverton

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2003- CF ( various), Portugués (various), Aragonés, Inglés, Sanabrés
But let the killer get to Santiago first and gain his compostela--he may need every possible indulgence when he reaches St Peter! Come on, An tAthair, forgiveness should be possible, if he's done his penance along the Camino--well, maybe. And I do agree about the early-morning plastic bags whose annoyance may give me an exta inspection at those pearly gates!
 

reg2450

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March 2013
can you privately message me those books? Yes, I fell for the cliche, but due to exactly your thought processes I haven't even started..... though I have a billion notes. I walked with my daughter - which is my original slant (she was 10), but there is so much going on.... it's not the destination, it's not the journey, it's the world that opens up in your head, in your heart, in your spirit AND STAYS .... it's the people, it's the food.... anyway. I promised myself I wouldn't begin the book until I finish the art journal, from the journal...
But yes.... I will be writing a book. Publish it? Well, that's a whole different scenario.... maybe for my mama, but I would need to be convinced it's a good idea, but never why I wrote it :)
 
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AntAthOBuaidhe

New Member
But let the killer get to Santiago first and gain his compostela--he may need every possible indulgence when he reaches St Peter! Come on, An tAthair, forgiveness should be possible, if he's done his penance along the Camino--well, maybe. And I do agree about the early-morning plastic bags whose annoyance may give me an exta inspection at those pearly gates!

Forgiveness? Whatever! ;) I'd still bump him off with the mad crinkly-bag lady just before he reaches his destination. It could be seen as a reflection of all the life pilgrimages that he purposefully ended before they had run their course. In his mental agony he realises he is being murdered by a madwoman - who murders someone over rustly bags? - the irony being that he himself is clearly bonkers to murder for the motive of snoring! :) I like the idea of this book. Whatever the author does with it, I look forward to reading it some day.
 

Caminojane

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from SJPdP to Santiago 1May-10June 2013
Hi everyone who has contributed to this thread over several years! I walked the Camino Frances with my sister in May 2013. We wrote a book about it, "The Way of The Piney Sisters ". Despite writing the book for our grandchildren and families and not for financial gain, inevitably we have become protective of our book. This thread dispirited me a bit - beauty is very much in the eye of the beholder. A book that appeals to one person may not to another. Many amateur artist exhibit their work - no one has to buy it. My sister and I read around five books ahead of our journey; enjoyed them all irrespective of the literary skill of the author - we were greedy for the vicarious experiences reading these books gave us. Yes, diary/journal type books about the Camino Way may have more cathartic value to the author than literary value to the reader. However, I would say to anyone thinking of writing a Camino book, go for it. My sister and I feel that if just one woman over the age of 60 reads our book and feels inspired to do all or part of the Camino Way, then that justifies our efforts.
 

DLJ

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
As much as I love reading camino stories, and am passionate about the camino, some of the books I've read are becoming exceedingly boring!
After reviewing 4 new camino books in 8 months, I'd like to appeal to potential writers to find a new approach or a different focus to their story to avoid the formulaic, almost write-by-numbers style of camino story.

You know the kind I mean - "I felt called to walk the camino; I climbed over a mountain and got blisters/shin splints/tendonitis; slept in a room with 100 snoring strangers; got up early; packed, walked, arrived, washed, ate, slept - ditto, ditto, ditto, blah,blah, blah - met amazing people; arrived in Santiago, cried in the mass and now I am a changed person - Amen. The End."

Remember, thousands upon thousands of pilgrims walk the same landscape, through the same towns, face similar challenges, learn similar lessons and experience the same highs and lows, and many, like you, now have an urge to hit the keyboard and turn their journal into a book.

Find an original theme. Not everyone can walk with a donkey, or lead a blind person, or walk in the dead of winter, but there has to be new, fresh slant to a camino story for the book to have any appeal.

And please, get your spelling right and be consistent (you can't have hosteleria, hospitaleria, hospitalero etc) And, check your geography. You can't meet up with old friends you first met in Triacastela when you arrive in el Acebo!

Last year we visited a book shop in Pamplona. The owner told us that over 400 new camino stories had been published between June 2008 and June 2009. The market is becoming saturated and unless you self-publish, you will need to have something original to say to persuade a publisher to add your book to the many hundreds out there.
 
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2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I have just written an eBook about the Via Francigena using Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). It is surprisingly easy for novice publishers using Word, once you find a good "how to guide" for formatting, inserting photos, working with HTML etc.

But I have just run into problems because KDP have blocked publication temporarily because I have used work they say is "freely available on the web". That work is mine, published in this forum in various topics. I have used much of the same text in my book and that is apparently what KDP object to. Amazon must have pretty good search engines to track that down.

Presumably if I can satisfy them that the work is mine, all will be OK . . . sort of. KDP have a policy that books published by them must (?) match the price of any other version of the work - ie ZERO if it is a blog/forum.

Has anyone else struck the problem?

Another thing has occurred to me, I guess I just assumed I owned the copyright to all my posts in this forum? Is that really right, or do the posts become the property of this forum? Maybe it is buried away in the Terms & Conditions.

Regards

Bob M
 

petro

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2008 April/May) (2011 May/June) (2014 May/June), Camino Primitivo (May 2016)
Hi Bob, I hope you can sort out the problem - I am looking forward to read it!
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Hi Bob, I hope you can sort out the problem - I am looking forward to read it!
Thanks, Petro. I am in the hands of Amazon, alas. They may not approve publication while the "offending" material remains here, unless I can prove copyright ownership. Even so, they may price my book at ZERO. Great for buyers, but I am not sure I would want to offer it free. I may have to ask Ivar to remove all of my relevant posts from this forum. He may not want to do that, even if it were possible. What a total pain! All that work, potentially done in vain.

Regards

Bob M
 

Penner

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Hi, new here. Are there any free books on the Camino? I'm not even sure I'd ever be able to afford going (& I am sadly not young either, but poor), but its really, something I want to do, even if I could only do it vicariously.

Thank you for reading. :)
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Hi and welcome to the forum, Penner!
Depending on where you live your local library might have some Camino related material.
There are frequently free Camino Kindle books on Amazon. Just search for Camino Santiago in their Kindle department and sort by price to find them.
Hope that helps, SY
 
2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little, most of them by the end of 2021. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

allykat

Camino Hopeful
Past OR future Camino
(2013) 6/19-7/31 CF/Fisterra
(2021) 6/16-7/31 CF/Fisterra
I'm so glad to hear there are many a writer on the Camino!

My first Camino got me writing again. And while mine is a niche market I feel has not yet been filled (sorry, books not done yet, so I can't tell you the niche lest it be swept up from under me!) I do hope that my writing one just be another voice in the void. I will probably self publish to get my text out there, and hope for a travel writing company to become interested, or a "how to" publisher. Either way, I plan to have the book done and published this summer. Lookout world!

My recommendation is ALWAYS find a niche market, if you can be "EXACTLY" the book someone is looking for, you can create a following.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Looking at my Camino book shelf, I have categorised the books as follows:

Non-fiction

Academic
Historical
Contemporary/Classics
Coffee table/Photo books
Food/Gastronomy
Planning Guides
Pilgrim stories (only one is not on the Camino Frances)

Fiction

Novels
Historical novels

There is always room for more books on the Camino. Only the Camino Frances has been saturated with 100's - if not 1000's - of CF stories!
 
M

Maya2

Guest
I liked Shirley MacLaine's "The Camino: Journey of the Spirit." I wouldn't have known about the Camino if I hadn't read it. That prompted me go on and read several others--and to walk the Camino. It seems to me sillydoll, that she did exactly what you said you'd like to see, instead of a day-by-day account. Maybe, you've just read too many and should stop for awhile. Get a fresh perspective. Anything can get old with saturation. I've recommended day-to-day Camino books based on a man's view, woman's view, nun's view, etc. There are many different takes so readers can find something that really speaks to them.

For the people who are writing and need editing and e-book formatting. Check out Smashwords. They have a list of these angels at reasonable prices. Check out: https://www.smashwords.com/list Mark Coker (Smashwords founder) has written a how-to book that is FREE http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/145431 I publish on Amazon, so I have no monetary connection to Smashwords, but Coker is the leader in helping indie-publishers.

For those of you wanting to publish on Amazon, they are now setting up to do books with photos. And if you want a paperback book, you can do that too on CreateSpace at a low cost.

The first thing new writers are taught is "Write what you know." It seems the writers you're talking about are following that advice. I've been a writer for many years. (journalism, fiction, blogging, reviews--but no Camino books). Writers should write about things they are interested in. Readers have the option of reading or passing.

Attn: BobM, Many Amazon writers have used their own blog posts to create new books--some very successful. I don't know about copyright ownership as related to another's Web site. I've had good luck with Amazon's KDP program. I hope it works out for you.
 
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susanawee

susanawee
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2013/14/18
Camino Salvado Perth -(2015)
West Highland Way (2016)
Lyon France 2017
I have started to write a detective/ travel story about the camino.
what started out as a joke ( pilgrims who snore are getting bumped off) is now fast becoming what fills my waking hours.
i,m stuck for an ending either the killer meets his/her ending being killed by the swinging ball in Santiago or burns to death on the cliffs at finisterre.
Ian
sounds as though it will be a good read when you get it finished.....I look forward to seeing it in print.....cheers..
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
What about the killer being killed off by a copy cat killer, because he, the original killer snores himself? SY *who would love to read that book also!*
 
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
There is always room for more books on the Camino. Only the Camino Frances has been saturated with 100's - if not 1000's - of CF stories!

There is always room for good books, no matter what the subject. Look at the untold millions of books about World War 2 in Europe, for example. The key thing is to discover if you have a talent for writing that will engage readers.

But apart from having some ability, new writers have to really work hard at promoting their work to establish a following. Most of the better "how to" books on KDP self-publishing devote a lot of space to the "post writing" phase of a book. You have to try to get your books high enough up in Amazon rankings so that browsers have some chance of finding them without trawling through 30 webpages of search results. No one will do that. There is also a very useful KDP Community for asking questions about promoting your work.

I have published two books on KDP, and help with all this has been really helpful to me. Anyway, the books sell well enough to encourage me to keep writing.
 

ThisIsSpain

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2015)
What a fascinating thread! I am NOT, in my opinion, a "writer" but rather a blogger and even more accurately a content curator. That said, I write a huge amount of words every day and read even more to support dozens of info sites I own/work on.

I have a 2000 page site about Spain in English and one of my targets for this year is to develop a Camino section. I anticipate doing my first camino this summer or possibly 2016 straddling my 60th birthday. Next month I do a 7 day "virtual" camino ..... a digital tour.


5 years ago I did a 4 month/5000 km cycle ride. I always "meant" to (self)publish but never did. I still read my "diary" every few months. This was essentially a travelogue which I published daily as a website. Guys, as I go on, I realise that it is of minimal interest to anybody but me ....... but that's 100% OK. When I read it, it makes me smile and I re-live many happy moments. It was also something of a pilgrimage. I lost every single possession in a fire here in Spain whilst I was cycling in the UK. Two months later I was then left for dead by a hit and run driver. I was left unconscious in a ditch for four hours but after a few days in hospital I was back again! I can assure you that I had a very changed outlook on many things after that personal journey! I am sooooooo happy that all was written down every night!

Why am I telling you this? Simple, to encourage YOU to write your story. No, you will probably not get a publisher, no, self-publishing may not be the answer but PLEASE do consider putting pen to paper, dictating in your mobile phone or tapping a keyboard. In x year's time we will only remember fractions of our journeys. Having something committed to paper or digitally will allow you to re-walk the caminos without the snoring/blisters etc. You will struggle to remember anything other than the "big moments" in x years' time. Even if it's only you and your grandkids ...... just DO it.

Buen camino a todos ...... both now and for many years to come!

PS If any of you want a few more eyeballs and perhaps even a few sales you are welcome to add them to my site. No cost. Over the next few months I will also be looking for a 20 page (?) Camino section to a 400 page book about Spain. If any of you with verifiable experience/desire/time would like to be considered then please PM me .
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
One of the things that amazed me when I submitted my first book to KDP was the quality of their plagiarism checking algorithm. It digs down into blogs and online discussion forums and will flag "common text" even in your own blogs (which may have a different username to your author name). KDP will then ask you to verify that you own the copyright to the material before it will publish your book. That's reassuring for writers who fear their work might be ripped off and reused by others. Amazon will probably spot it.

Another related point for writers is respect for copyright. Just because text, maps, photos are on the web does not mean it can be freely used without seeking permission of the copyright owner as well as attribution. Even Google has an extensive Terms and Conditions section for use of Google Maps. It's not that hard to do using targeted searches.

eBooks often include hyperlinks to other relevant websites. Simple courtesy suggests that permission be sought and acknowledged, even though the owner of the site is getting exposure by being linked to your text. It's not such a big deal for only a few links, but a travel book (for example) with many such links that provide a substantial part of the value of the book should really acknowledge those sources. I would recommend minimising hyperlinks anyway because they are a pain to keep up to date, and a plethora of broken links will probably antagonise buyers.
 

carol ann

New Member
Past OR future Camino
walked frances 2011 = 220miles
walked frances 2012 = 500miles
walked norte 2013 = 200 miles
walked Portuguese 2013 = 200miles
this year may plan to walk section of frances again
Got mine published 2014
Doing well in 34 shops in Ireland & amazon
Hope it reads a bit different from the norm..... But whatever Way ...... It's My Way x

A Short stretch of the legs My Penny Mile Camino by carol ann creagh

Would love your opinion if you ever read

 

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