Small Publisher Launches E-Book Only Shorts Series


E-ssential Ideas Meet Immediate Needs

Independent Publisher Takes New Approach to Informing and Effecting Environmental Change

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 2012) — Island Press is pleased to announce Island Press E-ssentials, a series of short e-books that cover timely and important environmental topics.  In today’s world of e-readers, smart phones, tablets, and other technologies, knowledge and information needs to be more immediate, accessible, and widely available in whatever form is most useful. With this new program, Island Press, the nation’s leading non-profit publisher of books on environmental issues, offers those working on environmental issues the opportunity to share their latest research and ideas quickly and efficiently in forms that have the greatest reach and impact.

E-ssentials, published monthly, are e-books that are short enough to be read in a couple of hours, but long enough for genuine complexity—intended to give a reader a sense of what matters most about a given issue. Each E-ssential will convey critical news, research, and viewpoints from leaders in the fields of ecosystem conservation and management, the built environment, energy, health and other areas.

The first in the series, Making Transit Fun! by city and food writer Darrin Nordahl, has been called “potent…with all the enthusiasm for buses, trains, and bike lanes that its title’s exclamation point implies” (Grist). Published in April 2012, it explores how cities around the world are making getting around without a car more enjoyable. This feature is perfect for anyone who has dreamed of catching the next train via slide or taking a “porch view” streetcar to work on a beautiful spring day.

Beginning with Making Transit Fun!, Island Press will release a new E-ssential every month drawn from a broad spectrum of environmental issues, from wildlife conservation to urbanism. Future titles include:

·         Bedside Essays for Lovers of Cities by renowned architect and a co-founder of New Urbanism, Daniel Solomon. It explores what it means for a city to be vibrant, defines what it means for a city to be “continuous,” and details how these ideas connect to sustainability.

·         With Trash Backwards, journalist David Naylor profiles resourceful inventors and entrepreneurs who’ve questioned “business as usual” trash collection and disposal techniques, and whose efforts give us a glimpse into a world in which trash has new life.

·         Corporation 1920 is a companion to Corporation 2020, Pavan Sukhdev’s forthcoming book. In it, Sukhdev, a leading innovator in corporate responsibility and sustainability, explores how the modern corporation developed and became the main driver of our current, brown economy.

·         In TrekEast: Big, Wild, and Connected, readers will join John Davis, explorer and co-founder of the Wildlands Network, on his epic, human-powered journey through the wildest parts of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada—7,600 miles on foot, skis, bicycle, and kayak. John scouts the possibilities for an Eastern Wildway that can provide the safe passage wildlife needs to flourish.

E-ssentials authors will be both new voices we are proud to have discovered and established writers in the environmental field. It will include original writing as well as selections from Island Press’s 27 years of environmental publishing. They all will highlight important insights applicable to today’s most pressing environmental concerns.

“The ideas and solutions shared in Island Press books make a difference in how the public, practitioners, professors and students solve today’s environmental problems. As readers expand the way they receive information, it’s our job to look past the printed book to engage with readers and propel action,” says Charles Savitt, president of Island Press.

Priced at less than $5.00, Island Press E-ssentials are available for download to all major electronic reading devices, including the Kindle, Nook, and iPad. Links to each piece at a variety of retailers can be found at

For more information, contact Meghan Bartels, 202-232-7933×43/

Founded in 1984, Island Press works to stimulate, shape, and communicate the information that is essential for solving environmental problems.  Today, with more than 800 titles and some 40 new releases each year, it is the nation’s leading publisher of books on environmental issues.  But Island Press does more than publish books.  It advances environmental science by nurturing the exchange of ideas across disciplines and sectors, and by helping to create a multidisciplinary literature on environmental problems and solutions.  The knowledge created is spread far beyond the range of a limited marketplace through sophisticated communications initiatives that reach journalists, academics, policymakers, practitioners and the general public. Through these efforts, Island Press is driving change by moving ideas from the printed page to public discourse and practice.  Island Press’s emphasis is, and will continue to be, on transforming objective information into understanding and action.  For more information and further updates be sure to check out our blogs and podcasts at


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