Travel is their business and books are their bag— meet two of Blurb’s travel book authors
We all have a little wanderlust in us, which is why travel businesses are making custom travel guidebooks aplenty. Whether sightseeing, weekend-ing, or globetrotting, we love to discover new and interesting places in our own cities and in ones abroad—and we wouldn’t be able to find these gems without a little help from the experts. This week Mitchell Thompson, author of A Beginner’s Guide To Japan, and Juliet Moran, author of Travel Snaps, take us off the beaten track to find some travel inspiration, learn about the business of putting travel on paper, and explore book-making with Blurb.
“I really wanted to design a book about Japan and my experiences there—I was lucky enough to find Blurb and am extremely pleased with the results.”
Mitchell Thompson, author of A Beginner's Guide To Japan
Mitchell: I’ve been interested in Japan ever since I saw the film 3 Ninjas Kick Back as a young child. There was a scene featuring the Nintendo headquarters and a giant inflatable Mario balloon. As a child that loved ninjas and video games, I was hooked instantly. As I grew older, I learnt to appreciate the culture, history, and beauty of Japan on the same level as the more fantastical aspects.
Blurb: When did you first visit Japan and what was the experience like?
Mitchell: I first visited Japan for a few weeks in August 2013. The experience was like no other! The people are extremely friendly and there is always something to see and do. I got to spend some time in Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and a day in Mt. Fuji—but I can't wait to get back there and start exploring again.
Blurb: How did the book come about?
Mitchell: The book was actually created as one of my final assessments for my Graphic Design studies. I had an opportunity to design anything that I wanted and I really wanted to design a book about Japan and my experiences there. I was lucky enough to find Blurb and thought that it was the perfect option for me—I'm extremely pleased with the results.
Blurb: How have others reacted to the book?
Mitchell: Everyone that I’ve showed the book to have nothing but positive reactions! It's even spurred a few people to purchase a ticket and head to Japan themselves.
Blurb: Are there other places around the globe you fancy as much as Japan?
Mitchell: I live in Australia and I've been fortunate enough to travel to the United States a few times. They both hold a special place in my heart. I love the beach, beer, burgers, American sports, muscle cars, and hot rods! So I've pretty much got all of my bases covered when it comes to hobbies and the countries that I love.
Blurb: What's next on your book-making agenda?
Mitchell: As a graphic designer, I'm always looking at possible subjects that I can turn into beautifully designed books! I really love food—especially burgers—so I think a book detailing the best places to get a burger in my hometown of Adelaide, Australia might be the next idea on the cards.
“Our guides are for free spirits who are just as unique and offbeat as our locations.”
Juliet Moran, author of Travel Snaps
An interest in helping others discover hidden spots in every city they visit (or every city where they live) is what prompted Juliet of Milk in the City to create the lovely Travel Snaps.
Blurb: When did you start your business and why?
Juliet: Milk in the City was launched in August 2012 with the aim to provide an inspirational field guide for people to get out there and explore the cities they live in, as well as the great cities they might travel to. I wanted to share the hidden gems in every city that even locals might not know about. These are unique spots that make up the flavor of a buzzing city and cannot be found anywhere else.
Blurb: Does your business fill a gap of content in the market?
Juliet: There just isn’t anything like Milk in the City! Most travel guides focus on a wide audience of all ages and interests. We believe that our readers are more focused on finding something extraordinary and so we concentrate on that particular niche of adventurous free thinkers. Our guides are for free spirits who are just as unique and offbeat as our locations! We recommend places to explore and savor from an insider point of view.
Blurb: What's been your best travel adventure story to date?
Juliet: I’d have to say New Years in Paris. We had a 5am wake-up call for a trip to the Louvre because we wanted to be the first in line to see the Mona Lisa that day. We stood in the freezing cold with rain-soaked feet and croissant-filled bellies. The doors eventually opened and we bolted for Salle 13, neck to neck with competing tourists. We flew through the corridors in a delirious and exhausted state and made it into the room before any one else to find her in all her glory. For one whole minute, it was just her and us. She really is small!
Blurb: What's your top travel tip?
Juliet: Take lots of photos, but be picky about which ones you share. Your photos always need touching up, so never post them right away. Wait until you get back home and cherry-pick the best ones. Then do touchups before you upload.
Blurb: We love your book, Travel Snaps—what prompted you to get started?
Juliet: Milk in the City really wanted to create a vividly rich, top-quality photo book to celebrate our second year on the scene. Blurb was super easy to use and the perfect platform for us.
Blurb: What's in store for the future of your business?
Juliet: We’re going to keep rousing people to spice up their routine with insider travel tips and inspiration. We currently cover guides for Berlin, Copenhagen, London, Seattle, and Toronto. We’ll be expanding to other cities in the near future. We are also working on a stationery line for travelers to use when abroad to send notes to loved ones back home.
Blurb: Any additional books in the works?
Juliet: Yes, Travel Snaps II in the works! We are snapping away and plan to release the next book at the end of this year.