/My First Book Out Tomorrow

My First Book Out Tomorrow

UPDATE: The second edition is available from March 1, 2016. After co-authoring and contributing to over 15 titles, my first proper book, National Geographic’s Walking Rome, is about to be released. The book, which I wrote late last spring, hits bookstores and online retailers tomorrow. I should be really excited about this, but instead I find the whole thing rather anticlimactic, particularly after finding my name conspicuously absent from the cover–National Geographic has given itself author credit on Amazon! Classy!

I am officially over writing guidebooks for big publishers. I’m sick of getting emails that say, “Hey we’d love to have you update the Rough Guide to Turkey. It’s more work and less money than last edition and obviously we don’t cover travel expenses. But it would be great to have you on board.” RG, NG, and all the rest of them can keep their 15 cents a word/no royalty deals. I’m out. Done. On to bigger and better things.

On a slightly less cynical note, the text is pretty good.

2017-02-17T15:19:39+00:00 March 5th, 2012|Categories: Culture, Rome & Lazio, Travel|38 Comments


  1. Lisa Barr March 5, 2012 at 3:54 am - Reply

    Sorry it’s anticlimatic for you; the timing of your book is perfect for me. Leaving for Rome on Easter Monday–my fifth visit but my first solo trip (husband arriving later for an Amalfi Coast trek). Your website as well as comments on Chowhound have been most helpful. Looking forward to some good walks and great food.

  2. Pier March 5, 2012 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Che brava che sei, complimenti davvero!

  3. Irene March 5, 2012 at 11:04 am - Reply

    I hear you! Somehow writers always need to be so ‘grateful’ for writing gigs. Money? You can live off fame alone, right? Such a shame. I’m sure this book will be amazing though, so congratulations nonetheless!!

  4. mart March 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Well them paying less is either because some number cruncher decided they need more money so lower the cost or that they are losing ground to new initiatives. I bet if you write your own guidebook (yes I know you have your app) and sell it via your site you might get some extra and don’t have to read anoying all aboard emails. All the best, you’re a pleasure to read, I mean your stories, and people passing here heading to Roma asking for information, I subito direct to the pf site. Hey you could give your name to a sandwich PF sandwich, no idea where that came from but sounds good. Have a good day despite the above. Oh and who makes/sells the best filled tomatoes sott’olio?

  5. Hande March 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    That is really crappy. Though, I guess you should be happy a little bit: you are the only one that at least gets mentioned under “more about the author”. The authors of Paris, London and NYC seem to luck out on that, too.

  6. Katie March 5, 2012 at 11:16 am - Reply

    @Lisa thanks lisa! hope the book is useful to you. for your time in rome, also check out my dining app Rome for Foodies: http://www.romeforfoodies.com!

    @Pier se bravo te piergiorgio! xo

    @Irene yeah we are so lucky to work for big corporate publishers. what a dream job:) did i see your Rome book came out too? i spotted a link on facebook in dutch that i couldt read!

  7. Katie March 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    @mart there are lots of reasons they pay less. mostly (generally) publishers know they can find hungry writers looking to build their resume to do work for next to nothing (or less when you factor in travel expenses). i like the idea of writing/publishing my own guidebooks:) thank you kindly for your support. hmmm…the PF sandwich butter and lardo on pane di lariano. via!

    dont know about the best tomatoes sott’olio. i like the ones at il goccetto. roscioli’s are ok too.

    @hande haha i had to ask amazon to add me!

  8. Kate March 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm - Reply

    Congrats on the book…screw NG! I’ve actually had other expats strongly suggest turning down writing offers if they come in because it’s basically slave labor. On a positive note, we have friends visiting in a few months and spending some time in Rome, so I’ll recommend the book to them — already recommended your site. Obviously, the text is fabulous 🙂

  9. russ March 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm - Reply

    Paula, Would your new book be available here in Rome? Perhaps at the Anglo-American Bookshop or elsewhere in Rome. We can not wait to purchase it and do it…Thanks, russ and emily

  10. Cenk March 5, 2012 at 4:24 pm - Reply

    Congrats Katie! Sorry to hear about the stab in the back.

  11. s March 5, 2012 at 4:44 pm - Reply

    Many congrats, sweet Katie- i understand your frustration; but, as you said, on to bigger and better things. x s

  12. Amy March 5, 2012 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    I stumbled across your dining suggestions on Chowhound while planning my upcoming trip to Rome this May, found my way here and then got the Rome for Foodies app 🙂 Thanks for all the work you’ve put into it, and I’ll definitely get back to you after my trip!

  13. Mary Jane Cryan March 5, 2012 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    been that road too..with Eyewitness Guide to Rome (1993)My name is still on contributors page for successive editions but I only got paid once.
    Also on various Survival guides to living, buying a home etc in Italy.
    I like to be in control: the contents, cover, etc. and also distribution, marketing…its more work but much more satisfaction.My local publishers are young, smart and much less expensive than the big guys.

  14. Joy (My Turkish Joys) March 5, 2012 at 3:17 pm - Reply

    Well, that’s good and bad news! Congratulations anyway! I hope I can get a copy delivered to us here in Istanbul before our late April trip to Rome. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enjoy reading your blog.

  15. Conchita March 5, 2012 at 5:24 pm - Reply

    I hear you loud and clear sistah…you should be excited and all at the accomplishment but then they go ahead and rain on your parade by not giving you due credit. Just see it as another notch under your belt and move on. When I was approached for the Sicily guidebook I was ecstatic but then 3/4 of what I got for it went for food & travel expenses, so much for wanting “local” writers. When it finally did come out I, too, saw it as an anticlimax, and was royally pissed off at the eidting in some sections (They left out Caltagirone – Hello?!). You have to look at it this way: no matter how prepared you are on the subject matter, some publishing houses insist on catering to the Clark Griswolds of the world, because selling to the masses is more remunerative than to connoisseurs. I’m not saying this is the case with NG but it’s frustrating when you see what’s being put to print by reputable companies about certain places – more often than not authored by carpet baggers who by happenstance “fall in love” with place they live in and hence come up with the most outrageous “facts” about a location – ever heard the one about the Duomo of Syracuse being the oldest church in Europe? Yep, you get the idea…it’d be a right laugh if only some writers weren’t actually being paid to write such monstrosities. Such is what we often have to “compete” with.

    Rant over. You have a stigghiole waiting for you in Palermo. xoxoxoxo

  16. janie March 5, 2012 at 4:40 pm - Reply

    Well I know I’ll be toting it around on my next trip to Rome. Congrats! It’s hard to believe they left your name off the cover!

  17. Lucinda Keller March 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    Crap. I’m sorry, that sucks. Should I still buy it?
    It’s great you are putting your foot down. I think the universe
    will reward you! You deserve it!

  18. Janet March 5, 2012 at 10:02 pm - Reply

    Congratulations Katie! I know the book will be full of insight and humor. Thanks for being among the best parts of my INBOX each day!

  19. Can March 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm - Reply

    Ciao Katie, complimenti! mi ricordo che ne parlavi della revisione delle vaie guide e che ti stressavano! lasciali perdere che ci guadagna la salute! Quando vieni ad Istanbul? Noi abbiamo aperto l’agenzia ufficialmente, organizziamo qualcosa insieme dai!

  20. William Graebner March 5, 2012 at 11:33 pm - Reply

    That’s great news that it’s finished and published. All authors should get royalties; it’s not enough to be paid by the word. What if it’s a bestseller? One alternative–self-publishing–is exceedingly difficult and time-consuming, and you have to do all your own publicity (inevitably inadequate). Best of luck with the book!

  21. Timi Siytangco March 6, 2012 at 1:58 am - Reply

    Wow, that’s nothing short of highway robbery. but congratulations anyway! Sadly for all of us, print publishers are under the gun revenue-wise and haven’t figured out how to change with the times.

  22. Emiko March 6, 2012 at 1:55 am - Reply

    You’re brilliant, Katie. Everyone else has already said it, but good for you on knowing when to say no and doing things for yourself. You’re my idol! Brava! Looking forward to seeing what comes out in the future….

  23. Robyn March 6, 2012 at 9:48 am - Reply

    Been there, had those feelings (Lonely Planet) and you’re so, so right. Guide book writing is an OK stepping stone if you’re just starting out but you’ve got bigger fish to fry. Onward!

  24. Steve O. March 6, 2012 at 9:53 am - Reply

    Congrats on the book, sorry to hear they shafted you on credit, but as many have already said it’s not too surprising. I’m sure the text IS great. Bright side: I don’t know that you’d even want your name on the front of that book anyway, then people might think you had something to do with that awful cover that looks like a guidebook from 1989. 😉

  25. Nathalie (@spacedlaw) March 6, 2012 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    That’s a great achievement nevertheless (even more so because of the conditions offered). Well done!

  26. Rossella March 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    First of all congratulation for the book. You must be pride of it.
    As far concern authorship and name on the cover, I agree with you. In my little word, I experienced becoming a goshwriter at really the last moment.
    In Italian, as you probably knows, we says “I patti devono essere chiari”. Apart money, name and author rights are important matter.
    You’ve my moral support.

  27. Arlene Gibbs March 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm - Reply

    When will people learn not to mess with folks from Jersey!

    On a more serious note, congrats on your book.

    I cannot believe they didn’t give you credit. Sigh. I feel your pain.

  28. Jeannie Marshall March 6, 2012 at 11:51 am - Reply

    That’s the funniest I-wrote-a-book announcement I’ve ever seen. As far as I know, it’s always been this way with travel guides. They hardly pay anything. Write another book. And keep all the money for yourself.

  29. Sarah May March 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    A huge accomplishment you should be celebrating. Now that you are retired you have ore time for golf and things.

  30. Frank March 6, 2012 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    I don’t know if you see this, but there’s an ad on your site right now that says: “Feel the PRIDE of being a published author!” No joking.

    But, still, congratulations on the book. Credit or not, you know what you’ve done and that the work is good. Cold comfort, perhaps, but still some comfort. In my line of work, credit of authorship is the exception rather than the rule, so I’ve learned to live with it.

  31. Michael Housewright March 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I am so excited for you. You know I will get this immediately 🙂

    Very cool!

  32. Tom & Ann Connolly March 7, 2012 at 12:14 am - Reply

    Katie,went to my local bookstore today and picked up a copy of your book. it is lovely–and fits in the hand much better than most guide books. Congratulations on a job well done. Hope Keith Bellows was talking about you in the introduction.Counting the days until we are walking Rome with you! ann

  33. How and Why Parla Food Exists March 8, 2012 at 3:15 am - Reply

    […] been meaning to write this post for a while now and it seems more apropos than ever considering Monday’s announcement. The wheels started turning last month when I got an email from a reader named Matt R., a college […]

  34. Midwest Reader March 9, 2012 at 4:05 am - Reply

    Congratulations! We’ll be carrying your book and your app on our trip in mid-March.
    NG was not able to suppress all recognition. Searching for Walking Rome in the US Amazon’s books section just now did produce a list headed by “Walking Rome (Cities of a Lifetime)by Katie Parla”
    Best to your future efforts.

  35. Heidi March 10, 2012 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Hey Katie!

    Such a bitter/sweet success!

    Congratulations on thumbing your nose at the “big” guys. That’s a lesson well learned. Now you can take that deep breath and move on.

    More importantly, congratulations on YOUR new book!
    I’ll be carrying a copy to Roma to have the “author” sign…


  36. Br. Paul March 13, 2012 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Congratulations, Katie! I will be among the first in my neighborhood to get one!
    Congratulations,too, on your decision not to write for big guides. Your knowledge, expertise and experience are too valuable to be exploited.

  37. james daughan March 17, 2012 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Just ordered your book on Amazon.

  38. C Smith May 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Hi Katie,

    I bought the book and I am loving it. You have done an excellent job – it is jammed with the informtaion that people actually need. I am taking it with me in August on my family trip.

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