Taking “Tales To Go” on the Road

May 23, 2014

in App Reviews

  • SumoMe

For over twenty years, Travelers’ Tales has been publishing anthologies of travel narratives filled with pathos and humor.

Co-founder Larry Habegger is a perennial member of the faculty of the prestigious Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographers Conference held each August in the San Francisco Bay Area.Tales To Go Screenshot

The company’s Website says that it

“…has more than 80 books in print. The ten series categories include country and regional guides, travel advice books, books with the themes of women’s travel, spirituality, food, humor and adventure; gift books; Footsteps: The Soul of Travel, a series that features single-author travel narratives; and Travelers’ Tales Classics, a series introducing out-of-print travel favorites to a whole new audience.”

Now, TT has become a 21st century e-publisher with the recent release of its “Tales To Go” app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

What’s Inside

The “Tales To Go” app is an e-zine of sorts. Each month, four new stories will run.

TTG InsideThe layout is simple and, except for the “cover is free of graphics or photos and, best of all, those annoying and distracting ads found in some smartphone apps.

Just swipe your finger up to move through a story, and across your iDevice’s screen to move from story to story.

Here’s what’s in the inaugural issue:

  • How I Got My Oh-La-La (American girl Colette O’Connor “gets” French lingerie)
  • Grandpère (Ken Matusow learns the value of having a “fixer” in Africa)
  • The Ghosts of Alamos (Lavina Spalding comes to terms with her father’s death)
  • Protected (Peter Wortsman makes “small talk” about a big subject at a formal dinner)

The pleasure of reading these four pieces was enhanced by the fact that I’ve met two of those four writers who, like me, live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I ran into Ken at a meeting of travel writers in San Francisco last Saturday. He tells me that since their encounter in Mali, “Grandpère” has moved to Paris and they’ve exchanged e-mail.

When Lavina Spalding and I were students in a travel writing taught by legendary editor Don George at Book Passage (where he frequently teaches and is co-chair of the Travel Writers & Photographers Conference), she was working on The Ghosts of Alamos, a touching story that she had struggled to write in the years since her father passed away.

Thanks to input from Don and his students, Lavina finished the story during the class. It was published on the Gadling.com Website, and later appeared in Traveler’s Tales The Best Travel Writing, Vol. 9. (Lavina edits The Best Women’s Travel Writing anthologies for Travelers’ Tales).

How to Subscribe

To whet your appetite, the first issue of “Tales To Go” is free.

You can read future issues by paying a $1.99/month automatically renewing subscription, or $19.99/year. And you can pony up $2.99/issue to read any issue published before your subscription started.

According to the app’s information on iTunes,

“When you become a subscriber, you can download any issue published while your subscription is active. If your subscription lapses, you will still be able to read the issues published while you were an active subscriber. Tap the “Restore” button to make previously purchased issues available on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad. You can update or opt out of renewal for your subscription in your iTunes Store account settings. Subscriptions automatically renew at the same cost ($1.99 a month or $19.99 a year) to your iTunes Account within 24 hours of the end of the current period.”

You Won’t Leave Home Without It!

Travelers’ Tales printed anthologies are compact, running 300 pages, more or less. They won’t quite fit in your pocket, but they are “portable” enough to stuff into your carry-on bag and read on the plane, train, or in your hotel room.

“Tales To Go” app content is always available, even when your Apple mobile device is in “Airplane Mode,” so you’ll be able to sample the same witty and wise travel writing that you’ll find in the TT printed books wherever you may be.

To learn more about Travelers’ Tales, its “Tales To Go” app, and executive editor, Larry Habegger, watch the following episode of “This Week in Travel,” co-hosted by Chris Christensen (“Amateur Traveler”) and Jen Leo (“Web Buzz” columnist for the Los Angeles Times).

(No time to watch the “This Week in Travel” video? Not a problem. Listen to the audio podcast of the episode with Larry Habegger or, better yet, download the $1.99 “This Week in Travel”  iPhone/iPad app or subscribe to the free “This Week in Travel” podcasts so you can listen to any episode of the show while you’re “on the road” or just on-the-go at home.)

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