When this site first launched, it was to promote my low cost e-book ‘Cruising with Special Diets’.
No more. Starting today, I’m giving away 95% of what was in the e-book for free. You can now read it online at this web site, for no charge. And you’ll find more free material posted in the weeks and months ahead.
Why the change? It was because I got very frustrated, knowing that the book could help a lot of people, people who were already reaching out for help. People who I know wouldn’t blink twice at spending five bucks to get the comprehensive information they desperately needed to enjoy their multi-thousand dollar holiday, practically handed to them on a silver platter. But I couldn’t tell them about the book.
The reason is that nowadays, people look for information online, and when it comes to travel information, it’s sites like the immensely popular Cruise Critic. But very understandably, given the huge number of people offering travel-related products and services for sale, they are very strict about anything that comes close to advertising on their discussion forums. Pointing to my e-book, whether I did it or someone else did, would certainly qualify.
My own decision to lock up that content was making it more difficult to help people deal with the frustration of traveling with special diets. Not exactly the reason I put together the e-book in the first place.
So now the vast majority of the e-book has been posted as a free online guide, the new centrepiece of the web site. I think this easily makes it the best “one stop” source of information for cruising with special diets, without the idealistic and ultimately self-defeating spin you’ll find on the cruise line sites. And now it’s a source of information that both myself and others will feel free to tell people about!
The e-book is still available for purchase on the site. It may be a bit more convenient for reading on-the-go, and it does contain a very small amount of material as a “bonus” not found in the free guide (I deliberately chose things that I don’t think are essential to know, but that may bring a deeper understanding). But I really see the e-book no as a sideline, primarily a way for people who found the guide useful to say “thank you”.
Why have it for sale at all? Certainly not to get rich from! But I find that having an inexpensive item for purchase is a good way of measuring the reach or impact that it is having, which is great feedback and a valuable motivator to me to continue improving it. (I have another e-book, on a niche technical topic, where the entire contents are free online, yet 50+ people a month buy it mostly to say it’s been useful to them.)
But I am going to ask for your help.
Please let people who have special diets know about the free online guide. Post a note on your blog, or tweet about it. Follow @cruisediet on Twitter.
When people are asking questions about cruising with special diets, whether on sites like Cruise Critic or elsewhere, please point them to cruisespecialdiet.com, so they can get a better understanding of what’s involved in the whole process.
I first wrote the book to share what I’d learned with people who generally have a difficult and frustrating time traveling, to turn them on to something they may not have considered before, and to help them have the best holiday they could. I hope the changes I’ve made today will help achieve that goal.