Island Press of Washington, D.C. is to publish the second edition of Roads Were Not Built For Cars, the highway history book written by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid. The first edition of Reid’s book was a sales success, with all of the 1100 copies he printed sold within days via the book’s website. Roads Were Not Built For Cars originally raised £17,700 on crowd-funding website Kickstarter.com.
Island Press is headquartered out of Washington, D.C. and specialises in environmental books. It’s an ethical publisher and has a strong focus on the built environment. It’s the publisher of Jan Gehl, the Danish urban design consultant. His Cities for People book is a classic.
Island Press is also home to NACTO’s Urban Bikeway Design Guide, and Barbara McCann’s Completing Our Streets. Ms McCann is now a Director at the US Department of Transportation, and her work on "complete streets" was featured in Roads Were Not Built For Cars.
Reid’s book is subtitled "cyclists were the first to push for Good Roads and became the pioneers of motoring" and is a history book on both cycling and motoring. It has had rave reviews. Edmund King, president of the Automobile Association said the book would "break down some road ownership issues, and help promote harmony for all road users whether on four wheels or two.” A review in The Guardian said it was “ … closely argued, meticulously researched …" and that "[the] iPad edition puts [publishing] professionals to shame, featuring lovely use of video, a wealth of images, clever 3D models, and even a 19th-century ditty about speeding cyclists.”
Reid’s deal with Island Press involves the assignment of the publishing rights for the print and digital copies of the book. While there are no more print copies available until the reprint the digital formats include iPad, Kindle and ePub.
The revised second editon of the book will be available globally from April 2015.