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Self Publishing a Quirky Texas Travel Guide in 2014

Tui Snider's Unexpected Texas travel book cover (photo by Tui Snider)
Tui Snider's Unexpected Texas travel book cover (photo by Tui Snider)

From the A to Z Challenge to Writing a Book

Back in April of 2013, at the urging of my dear friend and fabulous creativity cheerleader Morgan Dragonwillow, I took the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

For my A to Z Blogging Challenge theme, I chose “quirky Texas” since I knew I could fill up a couple of alphabet’s worth describing all the quirky travel destinations and unusual history I find here in the Dallas – Fort Worth area.

What surprised me, however, was the strong response I got to these posts.
Comments from non-Texans were mainly along the lines of,

“I had no idea Texas was so fun and interesting. For the first time in my life, I actually want to visit that state.”

Comments from actual Texan residents (many of them born and bred) were mostly variations of,

“I’ve lived here all my life and had no idea about [insert quirky travel destination or bit of offbeat history here]. I will have to check that out.”

By the time May rolled around, I took a good hard look at my bookshelves and at how I have been spending my free time. Here’s what I realized: My shelves are packed with books about offbeat and overlooked Texas travel and history, and I spend most weekends exploring this fascinating state to see what interesting things I can find, photograph, research and write about.

Captain Obvious Steps In & Now I’m Self Publishing

It suddenly dawned on me, as though Captain Obvious himself were speaking to me from the magical world of ideas: Why wasn’t I writing my own book about quirky travel in Texas? Why wasn’t I writing the book I wished for when I first moved to the Dallas – Fort Worth area?

And so, my friends, I began writing  just such a book!

Since May, I’ve gathered all my online and offline notes into a huge, messy file. I’ve been writing and researching and plotting and planning… which led to my second big decision:

I am going to self-publish my Texas travel book.

As you can see, I’ve got a rough draft for the cover at the top of this post. The title (as of now) is Unexpected Texas: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to Do Near Dallas & Fort Worth.

As of now, my plan is to release the book in early March. *fingers crossed*

Weekly Self Publishing Updates

Once a week, I will do an update a la #ROW80 about my self-publishing journey and let you know how it is going. If you are considering self publishing, I hope to inspire you as well as let you learn from my triumphs and mistakes along the way.

Speaking of #ROW80 writing goals, how are things going with your writing life? Do you have any big plans for 2014?

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. I often thought there should be a series of books like this for each state of the Union. So many of the best things are off the beaten path (or out of the major guide books), and my husband and I are one of those couples that loves to drive non-highway routes and see small towns and…

    So anyway, this is awesome news, Tui. Please keep us updated.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      I will definitely be updating folks here with my progress. I’m so excited about this project. Oh, and I agree with you. In fact, I already have several ideas for an Unexected Florida book and even a quirky travel guy to Manhattan… but that’s down the line! Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  2. Awesome news, Tui. I will have to get it – even if I don’t have plans to visit Texas anytime in the future.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      You’ll definitely be getting a copy! Maybe I should even bake some Texas-shaped crack cookies as part of my publicity campaign! :)

  3. I am so glad you have set a date for release of your book! It is also motivating me to get my next book done by March since my first book came out last March. I am jumping up and down for you and cheering us both on to the finish line!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      If I can give back a little inspiration and motivation to you, then I’m a happy camper. Here’s to making 2014 a wonderful break-through year for all our creative projects. :)

  4. Tui:

    What a novel idea! Actually, I am envious of you about self-publishing a book. I would like to know how to go about doing that myself. I like yourself have many thousands of photographs and hundreds of pages of documents of my travels across United States to the wonderful, offbeat, quirky, beautiful destinations that this wonderful country of ours has to offer. I’ve been told by number of people that I should publish a book, but I’m not quite sure what to do, so maybe you can give me some advice! In the meantime, you may want to continue to have great success with your book! I promise to buy one once it’s out!

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Come along for the ride, David! From what I’ve seen & read from you, you’ve got several books in you waiting to get out. I’ll be posting about my self-publishing process, tips, marketing and everything in between. Btw, you ought to join us for #StoryDam chat on Twitter sometime. We chat about all things writing-related every Thursday night at 8pm on Twitter. I’ve learned a lot there, and I’m sure you could, too! :)

  5. That’s great news, Tui! I’m excited to see the whole project. What a great state we live, huh?

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Thanks, Laura! Yes, there’s soooooooo much more to Texas than what people see in the headlines. It’s a fascinating place, well worth exploring. :)

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