Write your travel blogs while you inhale nature with Pindat

by Jolien Burgers

One of the best things about travelling is being away from stress, your mailbox and the internet. But it is fun to tell your family and friends about the snow white beaches, the clear blue sea and the exotic animals you spotted. With Pindat, you can write your travel story while you take a sip of the local beer sitting beside a bonfire with your brand new international friends. That’s right, without internet.

The Dutch company Pindat created a free app which allows travellers to write their travel blogs and upload their pictures whenever they want. When you enter a Wi-Fi zone, you just have to log in and everything you created will be uploaded directly. This means waiting for a desktop in sweaty internet cafés with a poor connection is history.

With the app you can pin your locations on the map and connect them to stories and pictures. You can pin your locations every day, allowing  those at home to follow every step you take. On Pindat, you can also read travel stories from other travellers. . Are you having a boring day? Just visit the website and pick a location you want to read about. For a moment you’ll feel like you visited the impressive glaciers in Iceland or the vast salt flats in Bolivia yourself.

All good things and at one point it is time to go home again. Chances are you quickly relapse into daily routine. Pindat offers a way to create a tangible memory of your travels. By means of a one-button operation you can make a beautiful album with your stories, pictures and reactions. The albums are generated automatically, but it is possible to adjust your stories and add or remove pictures.

Ron Gerrits, founder and owner of Pindat thinks Peecho is the ideal way to make it possible for his customers to print their albums: ‘’It is very nice that Peecho also delivers outside of the Netherlands. We have customers in the Netherlands and Belgium. Many people ordered their albums and I received nothing but positive reactions. My customers are very happy with the print quality: the albums look like professional books.’’

Right now Pindat is only available in Dutch, but Ron has the ambition to conquer the world with his innovative travel app. If you have any questions, suggestions or remarks about Pindat, you can contact Ron Gerrits.  

7 struggles that every indie publisher will recognize

by Jolien Burgers in

The main advantage of not having an agent or traditional publisher backing you, is that you can control the whole process yourself. Self-publishing or indie publishing allows you to retain the rights over the final product, you can offer your product at a lower cost and you can do the marketing yourself. At the same time, having to control the whole process yourself is the biggest pitfall. These are 7 struggles that every indie publisher will recognize.

1. Taking care of your own cover, formatting and editing.

The fact that you enjoy writing doesn’t mean you also enjoy designing a cover. Many readers decide whether they want to read a book or magazine by the look and feel of the cover. So the cover needs to be designed with great care. And you are not a designer.

The formatting of self-published books and magazines is often underestimated. This also requires serious attention. Running heads in the wrong places, page numbers turned around, the absence of hyphenation and inconsistent formatting are mistakes that are made often.

 For many indie publishers, editing their own text is a tedious job. You know what the story is about, so reading it over and over again can get a little boring. At a certain point, you don’t see your own mistakes anymore.

Luckily, there are always resources online that can help you get inspired and turn a tricky task into a fun exercise. Take a look at our blog: 10 must follow pinterest boards for typography and editorial design.

2. Finding a trustworthy, competent and payable editor and/or illustrator.

If you decided not to do the cover, formatting and editing yourself, it can be hard to find the right people to do it for you. This  can turn into a big dilemma. Should you be spending more money on an editor and illustrator and make sure that you hired good people? Or should you save some money to promote your product?

If you’re looking for help, Reedsy is a place where you can find editors and designers for your books.  

3. The distribution of your book or magazine

When you first finished your book or magazine,  you felt euphoric. You did it! But then there is the next step: distribution. How do you know what will work best for your product? What if you don’t have the money to order a bunch of printed copies and then try to sell them? What if you order too many copies and your bookcase will be filled with unsold copies of your book for the rest of your life?

Print on demand providers like Peecho make the distribution of your publication in print much less of a hassle.

4. Setting a price for your book or magazine.

As an indie publisher, you want to be acknowledged. The more people that want to buy your product, the better. But setting the price of your book must be done carefully. When you set the price too low you risk that people will think it is badly written. When you set the price too high, people won’t buy it.

Check out  mediashift, a site where different authors share their visions about setting a book price for self-published books.

5. The marketing of your book or magazine could be a fulltime job

As a writer, you are not necessarily adept in marketing. And if you don’t market your product, nobody will know of its existence, and nobody will buy it. How do you find your target group and how are you going to convince them that reading your content is lifechanging? The biggest challenge is doing all of this at low budget.

If you don’t want to do the marketing yourself, you can find book marketers on Reedsy.

6. The stigma associated with indie publishing.

People tend to think that indie publishers are not as talented as traditional publishers and that their content is badly written. There is a prejudice that you have written nonsense. This stigmatization can lead to fewer sales of your product, while it might be even better than a traditional published product with more sales. Sometimes the success of a product seems to depend on marketing and cash and not on talent and creativity.

But don’t worry. You’re just ahead of the game. As this Huffington Post article on  the self-publishing stigma states: revolutions take time.

7. Getting reviews

As an unknown writer it’s hard to get reviews. You not only need reviews, but you need verified reviews too. Besides that, when you do get reviews, people tend to think you wrote them yourself or you paid someone to write them for you. Life is unfair.

Luckily, the Midwest Book Review gives priority to small publishers and self-published authors. Sites like these can help you get the word out and build credibility.

Despite these struggles, self-publishing is growing and so is the number of people that like to read self-published books and magazines. Take a look at our case study and get inspired by the success story of CT Magazine.

Keep up the good work indies!