Towards the end of last year Margaret Holbrook published a couple of her books in large print format. When I expressed an interest, she was kind enough to share the technical formatting details with me and I've now produced one of my own. Here's why we did it, and how, in case anyone else fancies a try.
What made you decide to produce books in large print?
Margaret – I have Dry AMD and now struggle with reading. If I hadn't a problem myself, I perhaps wouldn't have given it much consideration.
In my case it's because both my grandmothers, who were very keen readers and encouraged my love of the written word, suffered visual impairment in later life. Large print books helped them to continue enjoying reading and I'd like to add to the variety of books now available in this format.
Is this something you'd advise other Indie authors to try?
Margaret – Give it some thought. If your books are quite lengthy the printing costs could mount up. I've only published two titles so far. One a novella of about 22,000 words, the other a collection of nine short stories. (Both Previously published, not new work.) Although they were both more expensive to print in Large Print Format, I hope the retail price is not so expensive as to put potential buyers off.
I totally agree about the length, especially with a first attempt, but if you have something suitable and can manage the formatting then I think it's worth a try.
Other than making the font larger, are there others things we need to do when formatting our books?
Margaret – The book size is larger. I'm using 6'' x 9'' and a cream paper and you keep text left justified so the right is 'ragged'. Also leave 1.15 -1.25 line space and don't indent paras, just leave a line space between. This makes them more easily defined. Also, on title page, under title put 'Large Print Edition.' The large print edition will need a new ISBN, but if you're only publishing through Amazon you can use their free one as you would with regular editions.
You'll also need to select a clear sans serif font – that's one with no little flicks or flourishes which can make reading harder for visually impaired people.
Is there anything else that's different from regular print books?
Margaret – You'll notice there's a lot more 'white' on the page. It makes it easier for anyone with low vision to make out the text.
When you upload the book to Amazon or Ingram Spark, make sure you tick the box to say it's large print, so that shows in the book's metadata and is displayed on the sales page.
Which books have you published in large print format?
Margaret – The two books I've published so far are Reflections of Murder, a novella, hardback, and Picking the Bones, nine tales in the folk tradition, in paperback.
Mine is Coffee & Cake, a collection of 25 short stories and I've done both paperback and hardback large print versions. It was already available as a ebook, paperback and audio version, so I thought I'd do every possible option!
Do you read large print books? Have you published any yourself, or is it something you'd consider in the future?
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