Some novels pull you into their world with words. They capture your imagination and transport you to another time, or place or universe. Have you ever wanted to join the characters in a favorite novel on their travels? Most readers have, and now with new technology you can – virtually.
Using the premise of “literary tourism” — that if readers love places in books, they will want to visit them, Southeastern Literary Tourism Initiative founder and author Patrick Brian Miller is now including an interactive travel guide with his book – Blind Fate.
“Once this catches on, it’s going to become huge,” he said. “People just have to be introduced to it first. My hope is that when they hear about it first, they hear about it through Montgomery. The first always gets a lot of attention.”
It works simply enough. At the end of each novel there will be included a “tourism guide”. This guide will be filled with links to places that were mentioned in the book. The links will include tourism sites, historic sites, and local attractions. The hope is these links will inspire readers to travel to “real-world” destinations.
Miller hopes that this will not only lead to more book sales, but will also increase tourism to places travelers might not have considered before. In his latest novel, Blind Fate, the reader is pulled into a murder in Montgomery, Alabama. Links in the book include real places in Montgomery like Jasmine Hill Gardens, Rose Parks Museum and the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
While this is still a relatively new technology, eReaders are helping this become more popular. Tablets and the Kindle Fire offer readers the ability to click on a link within the book, taking them instantly to that specific location.
Miller is excited that very soon there will be a new genre, “tourism novels”, and that these will inspire readers take e-books and hit the road.