Do You Have a Story to Tell?
Road Dog Publications is always looking for exciting new books to publish. We want to be The Publisher to go to for inspiring books that encourage people to explore the world around them and to engage with it. If a few are actually prompted to take on a riding or travel challenge themselves, then we will be happy to have been a part of that.
We plan to be the premier motorcycling and adventure travel publisher in North America and are carefully working toward that goal by being very selective in the kinds of books we publish. We do not push out a dozen new books a year, but are slowly expanding our lineup with only the highest quality books. We are searching for manuscripts that tell the story of how the experience of riding or otherwise messing about with bikes, or adventure travel changes the person who experiences it. If you've ridden around the world, or just around your state, and have an engrossing story about what you learned about other places, other people, and especially about yourself, we want to hear from you.
If you want to get a good idea of the kind of stories we want take a look at our books or these titles from other publishers: The Perfect Vehicle: What It Is About Motorcycles by Melissa Holbrook Pierson; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig; Jupiter's Travels by Ted Simon; Into Africa, Under Asian Skies, Distant Suns, and Tortillas to Totems by Sam Manicom. At this time, we do not publish turn-by-turn guidebooks or technical manuals.
What We Need—First, of course, that great story. Manuscripts should be at least 60,000 words. When submitting a manuscript, simply email an electronic document of the text (MS Word, OpenOffice Writer, and most other word processing programs, with the exception of MS Works). If you prefer to mail a CD/DVD/thumbdrive send it to: Road Dog Publications, 411 North Wales Drive, Lake Wales, Florida 33853-3881 USA. If used, we will copy the text and format it according to our house style, so don't waste your time with fancy formatting. We design the book; you write the story. Please don't send paper manuscripts. Our business model is to produce text-based stories, and does not lend itself to books with color photographs, such as "coffee table" books. We publish high quality softcover books with black and white interiors, with full color covers. You may include photographs that go with the text, but they will be reproduced in grayscale inside the book. For us the story is king so those photographs should support or enhance the story not be the story themselves.
Road Dog Publicatons is not a "vanity" publisher. If accepted, you never pay for services like editing, proofreading, or cover design. We handle advertising and sales through a distributor who sells to all major channels and who has an on-staff, and specialized, sales force. While we foot the bill for advertising, we strongly encourage our authors to self-promote, also. Road Dog Publications pays a competitive royalty based on books sold. At this time we do not offer advances or consider ideas for books yet unwritten. If your story is accepted, you retain the copyright, and only grant Road Dog Publications the exclusive right to publish your book in a particular region, such as North America or the UK, and in a particular format, such as print or eBook. If you already are selling your book in eBook format, we can handle just the print version for you.
Because our goal is to only publish the very best books on riding and adventure travel, we are very selective of what we choose to publish. We do not accept every manuscript we receive, but we read and consider every submission.
Do you have a story about motorcycles, riding, or adventure travel? If so, I’d like to hear from you.
I love stories that transcend mere travelogue and become the tales of how adventures changed the person living them. I like to say, “The adventure is what happens between the ears.” Introspection and consideration of what each experience meant and how it helped shape your character is the kind of stuff that makes my short list. Mode of travel may contribute to the story but should be the context in which the story takes place. And while Road Dog Publications is primarily geared to life on two wheels (I live it every day), I also know that adventure doesn’t just happen on motorcycles, and I am open to reading about travel by other means, such as sailing, hiking, four-wheeling, and on. If the story contains enough good stuff about the internal experience, then it is good enough for consideration. I am looking for books that will not only appeal to motorcyclists and our peculiar ways but which have broad appeal to audiences who may not be riders but who enjoy a good adventure, so the means of transportation should take a back seat to the storyline and be a background element to what is happening “between the ears” of the traveler.
A passion of mine is vintage motorcycles (I am the editor of Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Magazine and owner of a couple vintage bikes) as well as modern bikes and techniques for effectively riding them or using them for long distance travel. Manuscripts on motorcycling history, riding technique, and long distant riding are welcome.
I use a business model that is ideal for certain types of books. Typically Road Dog books are paperback with black and white interiors and full color covers. Coffee table books that use full color photos do not fit this model, so while I may enjoy looking at those kinds of books, they are not suitable for me to publish. The business model is based on many factors, including cost of manufacturing books and keeping retail prices affordable, strong story-telling being the basis of our lineup, size and binding limitations with the printer we use, return on investment, etc. Book-length manuscripts should be around 60,000 words and up to 100,00 or so, with the ideal being somewhere between those two extremes.
Road Dog Publications has been aiming to redefine the publisher/author paradigm ever since its founding in 2011. When I started the imprint, I had come from years of republishing books that had fallen into the public domain, so the idea of royalties was new to me. When I learned about the process and how authors were being compensated, I thought there must be a better, fairer way. So, over the years, Road Dog Publications’ business model has been developed to create a more logical and equitable relationship between publisher and author. I’ve refined our arrangements so that today I can say that relationships with authors are true partnerships here at Road Dog.
Road Dog Publications is not a “vanity press” (a vanity press poses as a "publisher" but is really a printer and provider of services, all of which the author pays for). if we decide to publish your boo,k you are paid a royalty based on books sold. You are never obligated to pay Road Dog for services such as layout and design, advertising, and distribution. I do, however, strongly encourage authors to self-promote as much as possible. History shows that those authors who actively promote their books are the ones who receive higher royalty payments. Authors are encouraged to attend events and do book signing and author appearances as much as possible. Copies of their books can be provided
My standards are high for what I will include in our book lineup, but I encourage writers to send in their manuscripts. While I cannot promise all will be accepted for publishing, I can promise that a decision will not be made until the entire submission has been read and evaluated, unless the submission does not fit our business model (above).