From The Alliance of Independent Authors:
As a young child, I learned to read and write in what seemed like the blink of an eye. The world of books unfolded, bringing knowledge and adventure.
Not all of my relatives have been so lucky. Parallel threads run through my family: each of the last three generations has included at least one writer, one engineer and one dyslexic. My grandfather, a dyslexic engineer, achieved great things in his profession but wouldn’t pick up a book for pleasure.
It’s a common story.
10% of the British population is estimated to have dyslexia, including celebrities like Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver and Keira Knightley.
. . . .
Alistair Sims, who owns the bricks-and-mortar bookstore Books On The Hill in the gracious Somerset seaside town of Clevedon, is himself dyslexic. He makes sure to stock an excellent range of books for dyslexic children and young adults, attracting customers from miles around.
It’s a source of frustration to him that mainstream publishers ignore dyslexic adults completely, choosing only to service younger age groups.
We both agreed that indie authors were uniquely placed to fill that gap.
To borrow from corporate-speak, indies are focused on solutions.
We’re not afraid to try something new, and we can get books published quickly. Within two months of meeting Alistair, he was stocking my dyslexia-friendly paperbacks in his shop.
. . . .
So what makes a paperback dyslexia-friendly? Alistair suggested I read the British Dyslexia Association Style Guide, which recommends:
- a large sans serif font
- wide line spacing
- black text on a cream background
I also investigated specialised fonts, such as Dyslexie, road-testing them on dyslexic relatives. However, they found conventional sans serif fonts just as easy to read provided the text was made large enough. It seemed the special fonts didn’t perform any better than Verdana, which came out well in comparison tests by the BDA New Technologies Committee. I therefore chose 14 point Verdana with 1.5 line spacing, and, of course, cream paper.
Link to the rest at the Alliance of Independent Authors and thanks to Felix for the tip.