Kickstarter.com, the US-based crowd-funding website, chose a cycling history book to be one of three highlighted projects in the company’s global weekly email. This resulted in one hundred pledges of support. ‘Roads Were Not Built For Cars’, by BikeBiz executive editor Carlton Reid, now has almost £11,000 in guaranteed funding for his book.
Kickstarter.com is a crowd-funding website where members pledge to support start-up projects and in return receive "rewards". In this case, pledgers will receive first edition print books, or iPad or Kindle versions. Kickstarter project creators set a monetary target to raise and must reach that target for their project to be funded. If this target is reached the project can go on to raise further case. Reid’s book reached its target in 20 hours and there remains another 18 days of fund-raising.
‘Roads Were Not Built For Cars’ is a history book exploring the role of cyclists in highway history (they had a far greater role than most people imagine). Pledgers to Reid’s Kickstarter campaign included mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze, who pledged to buy two copies.
Reid’s book was the only project from the UK highlighted in the Kickstarter email. The other projects were a make-up artist’s transformation project from Hawaii, and nail-painting graphics from a designer in Los Angeles.
Reid said: "It’s been amazing to get so many pledges so quickly. I thought I’d be struggling to reach £4000 and so to reach that in less than a day was quite a shock. I’ve been working on this book for two years and getting so much backing from so many people will make sure I now finish it."
The first printed edition of ‘Roads Were Not Built For Cars’ will be available only via Kickstarter and some of the pledge categories have already "sold out".
Reid added: "The full text for the book will be available for free as a PDF download and I make this clear on the Kickstarter campaign page yet, still, people want the print versions and the interactive Kindle and iPad versions."