Banner image: Cathy O'Dowd launching her book Just For The Love Of It in India. 

There are three ways in which writing can help you fund your adventures


Blogging remains an effective tool (despite claims that it's 'over' as a medium) but you are competing in a noisy space. 76% of bloggers use Wordpress and Wordpress powers over 76.5 million blogs.

There are ways to monetise a blog (affiliate links, sponsored posts) but for many the blog is way to build Social Influence, which can then be used get you paid talks, book deals, article commissions, brand ambassadorships, etc. 


Getting paid to write articles for media is an old staple in the adventure funding toolkit. The proliferation of media now provides many more outlets - and publications often put up many more articles on their websites than ever get into print. However, many publications are keen to offer you 'exposure' rather than cash. Exposure may be very useful to you in building Social Influence, but it can be hard to know when you can ask for money and how to do it. 

The dirty little secret about adventure writing is that something has to go wrong.
— Tim Cahill - travel writer & founding editor of Outside magazine


In the modern chaotic and fast-changing world of book publishing, there are three avenues to publication.

  1. Traditional Publishing
    A big-name publishing house offers you the standard 12.5% royalty, takes 18 months to produce the book, deals with worldwide distribution and selling of foreign rights and translations, put their marketing team behind you for a shorter period than you'd hoped, and then moves on. The days of receiving a big advance for an adventure book are gone, you are lucky to get any advance. 
    To reach a Traditional Publisher, you almost certainly need to work through a literary agent. 
    Pros: prestige of a big name publisher, no money upfront, professional production, wide distribution
    Cons: not much money, not much control, still expected to do much of the marketing yourself
  2. Self-publishing
    You do everything yourself or sub-contract to specialists and pay them. Writing, editing, design, proofreading, printing, storage, distribution, marketing. Online platforms can deal with many of these things for you, but always by offering you limited options. 
    Pros: total control of the outcome, you keep all the money from sales
    Cons: you put in money upfront, there is a steep learning curve in a range of skills, it's very time consuming
  3. Hybrid
    There are now various hybrid models, mostly with smaller publishers. Each deal is likely to be unique, but expect to get 50% of the royalties and the production and distribution dealt with by the publisher. But you will receive little in the way of editing support and less marketing. (The current edition of my book Just For The Love Of It is on this type of deal with Crux Publishing.)

In the future, you can expect to see articles about the how-to of writing and interviews with adventure authors and publishers. (Let me know if there is someone you'd particularly like to see interviewed.)