Be a Book Bug … Not a Bug Carrier!

Hubby John and I travel lots for business. Okay, sometimes a little pleasure. Some of it is on a cruise ship where I’m either writing or doing a workshop for authors–like the cruise that Joan Stewart, Amy Collins, Georgia McCabe and I completed last month. A total of 24 of us attended … here’s a shot of a few that we managed to gather at dinner at one time. And we were on Royal Caribbean–none of us caught a bug–any bug.

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The recent outbreak on Royal Caribbean and the response of the line: providing all guests a 50 percent refund of their cruise fares and an additional 50 percent future cruise credit. It’s also reimbursing airline change fees and accommodations for guests who had to change plans for traveling home–is smart. Most will be back again. Royal Caribbean has been a line that we have enjoyed dozen of times, including transatlantic cruises.

How do you avoid “bugs”? Wash your hands. Lots. Sanitize what you can in unfamiliar places. Carry wipes and if you are concerned about closed areas (I’ve gotten sick from many a close by bug carrying person on a plane), consider carrying and wearing a mask when you are in a confined space with strangers. Don’t touch stuff and things–like overhead bins, arm rests, door knobs, even magazines in the back pockets–there are breeders of bugs. I have two pilots in my family–both warn against this. If you have been sick in the past week, or feel “something” coming on, please–stay away from others.  bug3

For 30 years, I made my living as a speaker. Sometimes, my speaking on the books I had published had me in a dozen different states in one month. We had a written rule in our office: No one was allowed to come to work with a cold or anything else that could be contagious. Period, no exceptions. I had too many that depended on my voice and wellness, including my family. Bugs were not welcomed.

When John and I cruise, we always have a balcony room and keep the balcony door open when we can–and use it. The sea, the air, the sunshine is what we come for–not the crowds at the pools. I have started and finished many a manuscript on my balcony.

And, we carry Charcoal pills with us–a tip I picked on a cruise from Brazil where I picked up food poisoning–the ship’s doctor came to my cabin, loaded me up, and I was good to go in a short period of time. Charcoal pills, you ask? Mainly used for poisonings and overdoses of other medications–they absorb toxins–charcoal has the ability to bind together certain gases and toxins so they cannot disperse through the blood stream. This slows the progression of poison through the body and eases the upset belly.  charcoal pills

With that said, if you are using other meds, check with your doctor to make sure that if you do take charcoal pills, that they won’t interfere with what you are taking.

As an author, you will most likely be on the road at times. You need to be well–and when you have a crowded room celebrating you as a speaker and as an author, there are bound to be some bugs lurking. No, you can’t sanitize someone who is hacking, coughing or sneezing … but you can distance yourself if they are.

All travel today requires that you be smart. You may be attentive to hygiene and on bug alert–many are not.


Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd a book publishing expert and coach. She is the Founder of Author U,  a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 31 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms, Snappy Sassy Salty: Wise Words for Authors and Writers  and a speaker at publishing conferences.

Become part of her inner circle by joining the Author’s Ark and exclusive monthly webinar and coaching event. Her audio and workbook series, Creating Your Book and Author Platform is now available. Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Author U – Your Guide to Book Publishing on the Toginet Network at . Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact Judith at