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 At this time, we do not publish turn-by-turn guidebooks or technical manuals.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.
Adventure Travel Reading List
There are many books on adventure travel out, and of course, Road Dog Publications cannot publish them all. I have been wanting to make a list of books in this genre that I’ve read and have been inspired by. Most are about riding motorcycles, but of course, adventure doesn’t only happen when you’re in the saddle of a motorbike, so this list will have some stories of adventure travel by other means.
As I make this list, I will add links to where you can buy these books wherever I can. I am not compensated for this, but it is simply a way of getting these stories out to a new readership that will appreciate them. I will try to make sure the links go to the locations where the authors themselves make the most from the sales.
Clement Salvadori had emailed me awhile back, and as we exchanged emails, I was reminded of this task that always seemed to have been put on hold. So, I will start the list with Clem’s book and add more as time goes by.
No Thru Road
By Clement Salvadori, 200 pages
Clement started riding before I was born and long before the term adventure riding was coined. While he may not have gotten on a bike and headed overland around the world in one big “RTW” in these stories (although he did do a RTW 1973 - 1975), his rides were no less adventures. This is a collection of stories about Clement’s travels far and wide in sometimes familiar places, as well as places exotic and remote, that have all the elements of a continuous overland journey, even though it may have been broken up into more digestible bits. And what makes this book even more interesting is that many of the stories took place in a world long gone, a world where motorcycle travel was, indeed, a rare thing and not something that is almost a daily experience to those in parts of the world the traveler may be passing through as it is today. Much of this was before cell phones, GPS, traction control, fuel injection, and all the modern things we have become used to. Before Ewan and Charlie, and even before Ted Simon, there was Clement riding to places now well-known for their beauty, difficulty, and challenges. If you want to read about how adventure riding started, start here.
The Whole Story (Moto Raid & Ride On: Moto Raid II)
By Keith Thye, 224 pages (Moto Raid), 160 pages (Ride On: Moto Raid II)
Before Ewan and Charlie and even long before the icon of adventure riding, Ted Simon, put rubber to the road, there were two young college kids audacious enough to drop out of school and head to Chile from Oregon on '58 BMWs looking for adventure (and finding it) in 1963. Ride along with them in Moto Raid. The Panamerican Highway?—hardly a glint in the eye of planners at the time, incomplete with little "pavement" and few bridges. When the road disappeared, these two made their own. From glorious days of freedom and sunshine to struggling through jungle and mountains, Keith Thye and Dave Yaden made their way to Lake Oswego, Oregon's sister city in Chile, Pucón, while facing illness and even imprisonment. They truly rode a route that can never be ridden again.
But one can come close. 50 years later Keith and Dave and a group of friends retraced (most) of the route, writing about it in the sequel, Moto Raid II, comparing similarities and differences fifty years had brought to the lands, the people, and themselves.
The box set (shown) includes both books. Either book also can be bought separately.
By Ted Simon, 456 pages
This book is the real deal; it really started the popularity of ADV riding and has inspired many who came after, including authors of Long Way Round and the books that followed it. Ted takes off from England with little motorcycling experience but with lots of determination and rides around the planet on his Triumph Bonneville. I love books about journeys on bikes not specifically created for the kind of ride that they're taken on and long before the plethora of "adventure" bikes.
The book was first published in 1979. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the London Times all gave glowing reviews.
Also by Ted Simon: Dreaming of Jupiter, Jupiter's Travels in Camera, Riding High, Rolling through the Isles.
Into Africa, Under Asian Skies, Distant Suns, Tortillas to Totems
By Sam Manicom, In Order Above: 319 pages, 336 pages, 380 pages, 320 pages
This story spans four books and details Sam's eight-year round the world travels, at first solo and later with his partner Birgit. Sam dives deep into the cultures he encounters. His journey is vividly and honestly painted and shows the rewards that persistence and openness offer. You really need to read all four books in order for the true experience of living vicariously through Sam.
Buy Here Sam also tours extensively both in the UK and in North America, so if you're lucky, you might have the chance to buy his book(s) from him in person. Highly recommended. Sam also has audiobook versions of all his books.
The Perfect Vehicle
By Melissa Holbrook Pierson, 242 pages
This is a literary work of non-fiction. It is about much more than just motorcycles. It is about life, love, philosophy, and what makes a motorcycle far above a pile of mechanical contraptions that work together to propel the rider through space.
The Japanese-Speaking Curtain Maker, The Zimbabwean Psychiatrist's Hat
By Spencer Conway, In Order Above: 354 pages, 372 pages
The Japanese-Speaking Curtain Maker—Circumnavigating Africa told as only Spencer can, with all its good, bad, and ugly. Join him on his 51,345 kilometer joourney through 34 coutnries as he raises £30,000 for Save the Children.
The Zimbawean Psychiatrist's Hat—Spencer hits the road again, this time with Partner Cathy Nell, and circumnavigates the South American Continent facing deserts, jungles, mountains, floods and gangs, using his wit and humor to survice.