Saturday, 20 November 2010

A Book of the Tour

Okay, so the tour is over and lots of people have asked “What now?”

Well, have been giving that some thought and I have decided. Encouraged by some of my blog readers, I have decided that I will write a book about the tour I have just finished.

Apart from experimenting with my blog, for somebody who rarely writes anything, who prefers charts and diagrams, pictures and graphs to actually writing words, that is quite a decision for me. But, I think I have just done something quite significant and many of you seem to have enjoyed my words and pictures, so I am going to give it a go. I like a challenge, so I am going to see if I can do it. I am going to need help, but what the heck, it will be an enjoyable thing to do and it will be a permanent record of where I went and what I saw. If I manage to sell a few books in the process, then that will be a bonus.

I am looking at this being a book of pictures with some words, rather than a book of words with some pictures. That should keep me in my comfort zone.

What’s more, as a thank you to every one of my blog friends that have encouraged me to write more, I am going to give everyone that has ever written a comment on my blog (before today) one of the first copies of my book, for free!

I mean what I say, I really appreciate the support you have given to me over the past few months, so this is my way of saying thank you.

I don’t know how long this will take, but I will let you know every now and then how I am getting on.


Unknown said...


What a great idea, a book with pictures is a must, they are so much part of the story of your journey. For me they were one of the best parts of your blog and helped really bring it to life.

Thanks again.


BeemerGirl said...

Great Idea! I had a personal book published after an extended hiking, kayaking vacation along the East coast. It is great to pull it off the shelf and flip through it. You will enjoy it.

iansolley said...

Have you seen Nick Saunders motorcycle books? - I know his partner and can get an intro if you want?

Eve said...

AAAA HAAAA!!! That was NOT my first guess Gary...hahaha. But it was my third! ok I'll admit I was thinking at first Gary and Jackie are MOVING to the US!!! But then I quickly changed that to, Gary's going to do the REVERSE tour!!!! and then it hit me. A Book! with a strong feeling that you would be generously offering one to your fans! I am very excited for sure. Feel like a big part of that journey Gary. That's 5 months of thinking of you, wondering where you were, if you were safe, how Jackie was doing....watching GREAT videos!! WATCHING the weather!!! hahahaha. THANKS GARY!!
It will be so much fun. Hey....maybe after the book......A MOVIE!!!! hahaha who are ya gonna get to play the lead??? Maybe your readers can think of THAT!!! hahahaha!
Well, we'll keep in touch and could you post a picture of your pup who waited so long for you to come home too. That is one happy dog I'm thinking!!!
Thanks again...and don't rush it, we're not going anywhere!!

Lady R (Di) said...

I think this new project will help the adventure stay alive even longer. I'm very pleased you are going to move forward with that. I, for one, will be happy to purchase one of your publications when it's available. I'm sure with the appetizer we just had, it will be well worth it!

Keep us posted!

Beck said...

I look forward to your book! I predict in the future a USA book tour with the author signing copies at your local Harley Davidson store with the Leading Ladies on display. That just means, you have to come back to the USA and I will be one of those fans in line to finally meet you in person. But, of course, I will already have my own personal autographed copy. What a wonderful gift! Thank you!

Jerry said...

Excellent Idea!! And looks like you may have your first resource,,BeemerGirl. Since she has done it already, what a perfect place to start. It would make a Great "Coffee Table Book" with so many great pictures.
Since I found you about halfway through I am beginning at the first in Sept. 09 and reading through it again. Hope you don't decide to pull your blog in favor of the book though.
Good Luck to you and Jackie in this next endevor.

Brian Bascle said...

Gary, you should check out It's an online bookmaking site. You download their free software, upload photos, format pages, etc. They make it all very simple and then you have the options of ordering copies to give out yourself, or you can invite people to go to to purchase their own copies. Jane made a book for me for my 40th birthday and we did one for my son to mark the beginning of high school. The quality of the materials is quite good, too. You come away with a real keepsake.

SonjaM said...

Gary, what a wonderful idea. I have quite a few motorcycle travel books on my shelf and I would be more than happy to purchase my copy, once available. I hope that this new project won't keep you from continuing your journeys, and blogging about it, though ;-) Good luck!

mq01 said...

this is a fabulous way to re-live and share all the amazing days that you've just experienced! i cant wait to see it! but take your time gary and enjoy, i think you'll find the process of reviewing and compiling your adventure almost (if not just) as fun as living it... :) yeah!!!

Donna McNicol said...

Good for you!! You are a more talented writer than you think so don't short us too much on words...LOL! I can't wait to see the end result, thank you so much for starting and then sharing your journey.

Geoff James said...


That's a marvellous bit of news and I'm certain that it's going to be well-received. Having stuff-all literary skills, I'm in no position to give advice but I guess the main thing is simply to find a style that you're comfortable with. Given your excellently written blog, I doubt that's going to be a problem.

If you want to see for comparison a light-hearted approach to touring the USA by bike (rather more rapidly than your journey), but still entertaining, have a look at this:

All the very best and thanks again for the journey.

GF said...

I knew it and I told you the day we had dinner that my guess about your surprise was that you were going to write a book :-) I'm glad you going through with it, it was a wonderful trip and blog and you should expand on it in a book. Keep in touch and give us updates. Start a blog on your adventures in the UK ;-)

Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderful idea Gary and such a generous offer. I'd have bought it. This book will appeal to bikers for sure, but you also touched a nerve, for me at least,(retired biker)in just what a really wonderful and diverse country we live in. Any American or any one interested in learning about this country would love it. I liked Beck's idea of a book tour. Keep us in the loop.

Unknown said...


Great news. but please don't lock yourself up in your closet for months doing this. We still need some early morning "Gary" fix to keep us going.

you are a better storyteller than you think. You are so modest . . .

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Oz said...

Well that was not the announcement I was thinking of, but it is a great one. I think your book will be a hit. Many bikers will love it and will use it as a reference for planning trips. Good luck and I look forward to hearing how it goes.

Thanks again for having a blog and allowing all of us to witness your trip.

Rex J. Covington said...

Great idea, I would be happy to purchase one of your books when it's available.

Doug Klassen said...


It will be very interesting to see what you write now that you will have more time to reflect on your travels, the people, places, and events that you saw. The traveling itself and trying to write a blog entry at the end of a long day I'm sure caused you to leave out at least as much as you've written here already. With time to look through your photos again with a less tired eye I'm sure will allow you to discover more gems to share with us.

FLHX_Dave said...

This is good news my friend. I'm excited about this. I actually started going back over the whole tour again.

Maps and picts are all good and necessary. But what really makes things magical, at least for me, is reading about what you were feeling and thinking about as you saw all this. I would love to find out what you found out about yourself, your life and the people you met while you were out and about.

none of my business...just thought i would throw in my 2 cents here. However it comes out I know it's going to be good!

RaulERichardson said...

Hi Gary,

Excelent news my brother! I will for sure read the book and use it as a guide to retrace your journey when I do my cross country tour.


Gary France said...

Steve – I think the pictures will help show what the places are like, plus it will be a lot easier to do!

BeemerGirl / Lori – I am sure that your book brings back many happy memories and I hope mine will do the same.

Ian – I have only glanced at them. Let me do some research first to get in my mind what I want the book to be and if I need to, I will contact you about Nick. Thanks!

Eve – A book, yes but I am not sure about a movie!

Lady R – I agree, it will help to keep it alive, for a while at least!

Gary France said...

Beck – I am not sure about a book signing tour, but your own autographed copy, yes!

Jerry – No, I am not going to remove the blog. I will be adding to it, but not as often as when I was on the tour!

Brian – I have taken a look at and you are right, it does look very simple. I am trying to work out sizes, number of pages, costs etc – it is an areas I know nothing about, but it is fun finding out.

Sonja – You won’t need to purchase a copy! I will continue to blog, but at a slower pace than before....

mq01 – I will take my time. I am thinking it might take 6 months or so, but I really have no idea!

Gary France said...

Donna / Froggi – I will try to use as many words as I can....

Geoff – I have some ideas about the style, but I am prepared to re-think them once I start! I will get hold of a copy of Mikes book –thanks for recommending it.

George – I have no idea how the book will turn out, but I will enjoy the process of expanding it into a book, I am sure.

Patti – I think I need to get the balance right between the book appealing just to bikers, or a wider audience. I am not sure I know how to do that yet, but it will be fun trying!

Bob – Ok, you will get a “fix” every now and again, but don’t think it will be every morning!

Gary France said...

Oz – LOL. I liked the game of keeping my readers guessing! One thing for sure, it will include maps of the route I took, so people can use it as a resource for planning their own trips if they want to do that.

Rex – Thanks, I have no idea how long writing the book will take, as this is something I have never done before!

Doug – I think you hit the nail on the head. Part way through the tour when I thought about writing a book, it crossed my mind that the photos and what I wrote on the blog would be a good reminder of what I had seen and who I had met, and hopefully these will trigger other things I can write about.

Dave – I have been thinking about those very same issues myself....

Raul – I hope it helps you plan your own tour! I want it to be entertaining and helpful.

Canajun said...

Awesome idea. Someone suggested Blurb. I can also highly recommend the product - especially for "slurping" all your blog entries (text only, no pictures - you have to add those in separately).

And thank you for your most generous offer of a copy of the book.

sketchboardphotography said...


Thanks for the entertainment, I think I've missed out on the free book as I sent and email and not a post on the blog oh well! I've thoroughly enjoyed it particularly the last Month (I've just caught up with the past 3 weeks!! Life at Mace is a little busy! Your pictures of particularly San Fransico and Santa Cruz remind me of my own surf trip there. Cheers Peter

Gary France said...

Canajun – (and Brian who also recommended it) I took a long look at Blurb and it looks good if you are creating a very small print run of just a few books, but if you need a larger format (which I do) and a lot of pages (which I do) then it becomes very expensive for each book. I have therefore finally decided to go down the full regular book creation route using mainstream printers. Thanks for the suggestion though and lookout for a posting soon about progress of the book!

Peter – You are very welcome and I am glad that the blog reminded you of your own trip. Santa Cruz is a fantastic place and I have plans to go back there this summer.