25 chapters, 100,000 words, 120 illustrations
Table of Contents
HOW TO SEE THE WORLD
Art of Travel - European and World Backpacking
I first thought of the project during my second five-month tour of Europe. I considered it while hitchhiking during my next few trips and finally began typing in 1993. The working title was Art of Travel: Tools and Techniques of European and World Backpacking.
In the summer of 1995 I received an offer from a publisher consisting of a $3000 advance and a 6% royalty on the cover price. The advance would be paid in installments over the course of a year, and the royalty would only kick in after the first several thousand books were sold. The agent would get 15% of my cut off the top of everything forever, and I would pay his expenses. Approximately 20% of the royalty would be withheld by the publisher to cover returns. The publisher and the agent would get major chunks of the foreign and other rights. Probably no more than a few thousand books would ever be printed, and my total compensation was unlikely to be more than a few thousand dollars.
No agreement was made and I was left to consider the merits of a poor deal versus no deal. (While the money was relatively trivial, other factors seemed to favor anything over nothing.)
Fortunately, as an optimist, after a few months I began thinking how these events could be made fortuitous, and that's how this electronic edition came about. Instead of doing 98% of the work for a few percent of the reward and laughably little say, I'm presenting this work directly to the public.
May 1993--I make an outline and write ten pages of notes, initially concentrating on health.
June 1993--Typing begins.
August 1994--My first proposal gets a come-on from a New York publisher. A month later I send an incredibly bad manuscript (though until the instant I mailed it I thought it was incredibly good) and never hear a word back.
May 1995--By now I've sent dozens of proposals and have five publishers supposedly considering the manuscript. The first agent I contact signs me up.
July 1995--Agent receives the above offer, which I immediately calculate as too close to zero. The agent makes a counter-offer, but the publisher refuses to deal, and claims to have another similar manuscript.
Fall 1995--Agent makes a brave effort to sell the manuscript through many contacts.
December 1995--Agent and I give up trying to sell the manuscript.
January 1996--I decide to place my book on the Internet.
August 1996--ARTOFTRAVEL.COM domain established and simple text version of (renamed) How to See the World on $25 a Day or Less placed online.
December 1996--Registered with search engines.
January 1997--Selected for Yahoo Picks of the Week, visitation skyrockets.
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