About Judy Bloomberg:
I have been an intrepid traveler for 50+ years, and have visited about 115 countries, on all seven continents. I have always had a passion for adventure…not the kind where you climb Mt. Everest to prove to yourself and the world that you have amazing endurance and ability to withstand cold, but the "Around the World in 80 Days" kind of adventure, the kind where you set off for countries whose names you can't even pronounce, to explore other cultures and other peoples, to learn how we are different and (perhaps even more importantly) how we are the same.
Whenever possible, I immerse myself in the culture and daily life of the places I visit through home stays, volunteer work, and participation in the celebrations and life cycle events of the inhabitants.
When not traveling, I live in Massachusetts (USA) with my husband, Mark, and plan my next adventure.
What inspires you to write?
I have always loved to travel, and over the last 50+ years I have visited about 115 countries, on all seven continents. People have always enjoyed viewing my photos from little-known parts of the world and hearing stories of my adventures. As a former teacher, I get a sense of satisfaction when I can help people learn about places and peoples that they are unlikely to ever encounter in person. During COVID, when the world was stuck at home and unable to travel, many people encouraged me to use the time to distill my tens of thousands of photos down to the 300 or so most interesting ones, and to compile a book which gives people a picture of the remarkable but vanishing lifestyles of people in the least-visited parts of the world.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
Tell us about your writing process.
Always a Traveler, Never a Tourist: In Search of People and Places on the Road Less Traveled is not a typical sort of book, because 85-90% of it is photos, so my process was, naturally, somewhat atypical. First, I sorted through tens of thousands of photos, to find the ones that I felt were the most interesting, colorful, and unique. Then, I spent months editing them to produce the best photographic quality I could. At that point, I sorted them by region of the world and by country, arranging them in a way that would best tell a story. For each country, I added a written section that highlighted interesting information about the country, and, where appropriate, entertaining anecdotes about my experiences there. Next, I spent a considerable amount of time designing the cover. Subsequently, I added a preface which talks about my 50+ year journey as a traveler, and ways in which I (and others) can be a "traveler", rather than a "tourist". Finally, I added a table of contents and acknowledgements and, "voila", a finished book.
What advice would you give other writers?
Don't give up. It is challenging, but possible. Ask several other people to review and edit your work. Be sure to get editorial advice from people who you can trust to be honest in their critique. Finally, do your research about the book writing, publishing, and marketing process. There is a huge amount of helpful information available on the internet, if you make the effort to look for it.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish my book, and have been very happy with my decision. I have also done my own marketing, which is a huge amount of work, but really pays off. My marketing efforts have resulted in newspaper articles, on-line interviews, speaking engagements, internet presence, and more. All of this takes hours a day of reaching out to people in various ways, but the positive aspect of having done my own work is that publishing expenses were minimal, making it possible for the book to turn a profit relatively quickly.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I personally think that books will continue to be published. People love a good story. E-books are great, especially when one is traveling and trying to take along several books to read. However, some books, can just be better appreciated in paper format. I put my own book in that category, particularly because of its striking photographs. I also predict that more and more books will be self-published, as the technology to do so becomes easier and easier.
What genres do you write?: travel (non-fiction)
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.