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About 15% of the North American population has been diagnosed with Dyslexia, however, there are many undiagnosed and even more with other disabilities that make reading harder. Depending on what statistic you read, we would end up somewhere in the 30%-40% range of people troubled by reading, to different degrees.
With some simple changes in a manuscript, special font and formatting we can make it easier for those people to access the world of books as we do.
Thanks to print on demand options we as indie authors can utilize this market by introducing a special edition for dyslexia affected people. Using special font’s, and formatting we can open up new worlds for those with dyslexia and at the same time serve a market niche big publishers don’t care about.
I offer to do that special formatting of you manuscript, so you don’t have to research and worry about it.
under 50.000 $15.00 Cad
50.000 – 75.000 $20.00 Cad
75.000 – 90.000 $25.00 Cad
90.000 – 120.000 $30.00 Cad
120.000 – 150.000 $35.00 Cad
150.00 and up price by negotiation
The formatting process will take me between 5 and 14 days
If you’re interested in this service, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I was in the newspaper today and that’s reason enough for me to put my paperback on sale for you. This weekend only, 20% off the paperback. Hurry up and order now, before the price goes up again. Use coupon Code 3UMNSRKP to save 20% https://www.createspace.com/5966979
I often forget to promote my paperbacks, simply because they show up on the Amazon page but if you order them on Createspace I actually make a little more money… so please if you can order from them….
Waiting in the Wings
My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit…
The Immortal Druid (available soon as Paperback as well)
So there they are, and I hope to see lot’s of sales soon…. would be so great and if you liked the book please leave a review. Here, on Amazon, Goodreads or anywhere you like.
Get it this weekend, any review will be highly apreciated.
POD publishing giving authors the opportunity to reach minorities traditional publishing often can’t reach, or forgets.
As independent author / publisher, we have a prime opportunity thanks to Publishing on Demand options. One, I myself hadn’t noticed until recently, when learning more about my own disability. Those who know me, know that I’m dyslexic. What not many know is that only about a year ago, did I start to actively learn about the disability I have. Noticing that I was on the lower end of dyslexia, and that there are many out there, struggling so much harder.
That realization got me thinking, and then thinking some more, and then asking for input from those affected. There is a lot we, as authors can do to include minorities like dyslexic readers and reach out to them. Print on Demand being a great benefit in that.
I know that the larger part of our readership is the not affected kind, who had no trouble with reading, for any reason. However, considering that 15% – 20% of our population is dyslexic and that is only one out of many minorities we can reach, it’s worth considering to reach out to them. Don’t you?
The real question is the how to do that, and what minorities can be reached?
I started with those who are dyslexic like me, simply because I know where to go to ask and get information. The thing is most groups are focused on the support of children and their parents. Yet there are thousands of children’s books and young adult novel authors out there, publishing independently. The good thing is, what helps the kids and makes it easier for them, counts the same way for adults. So no matter if you write for pre-schoolers or adults the things we can do as author to make it easier and to include them in our readership is the same.
Of course it comes always down to cost, which is the reason I wouldn’t go any other way then through a POD service like Creatspace or Lulu. It takes the burden of publishing costs from us, and minimizes the risk if we don’t sell, or can’t reach that minority with our promotional efforts.
Considering my own two books I was surprised to find that with my second one I already implemented some of those things to make it easier. I guess it was the reason I liked the design of my paperback so much.
However my first book Waiting in the Wings would not accommodate a dyslexic reader any more than that from any other author, who has no clue on the how. I never knew how complex of a disability dyslexia is until I begun to dig deeper. To explain how dyslexia work, why people have it, and all that comes with it would be a book on its own. One I don’t want to write.
However, even without understanding the why’s we can implement changes or open up a separate line for those minorities. What I mean, and will do with my own books, is doing a special edition, with its own ISBN and eventually a different cover, for dyslexic readers.
It doesn’t cost me more than my time in the end, but opens up a new market, and if I don’t sell anything, I still haven’t lost more than the time invested.
Enough now of trying to convince you, I’m pretty sure you are all smart enough to see the opportunity. Let me tell you instead of what can be done.
• First paper, I always thought higher contrast was good for dyslexic, now I learned differently. Less contrast is better for most, meaning go with cream in your paper choice.
• Second the font. A serif font or dyslexic font (which can be downloaded for free here http://opendyslexic.org/) otherwise you can use Comic Sans for example.
• Spacing between lines should be 1.5 or double, double is better. In addition you have the option in word to widen the space between letters. Set it to Expand. (right mouse click, or modify normal, then go to Font, Advanced and chose it in character spacing.)
• Example for Normal spacing
• Example for Expanded spacing
• Example for Expanded spacing in 1.5
Those are the things we all can do, without going too much out of our way. Of course I understand, I’m after all as much business woman as author, that by doing so the production prices will go up. I roughly estimated that it will be most likely about 10% to 15% more, then for the average reader.
If you as author want to take those extra cost from your royalties and sell the book to the same price as your others, or charge accordingly more, is a decision each must do on their own.
In addition to those adjustments, those who can could make their book into an audiobook. This would not only reach dyslexic people, but any readers that have problems with their eyesight as well, including blind people. Regarding those I will look into ways to get my books offered to be printed in braille as well. However that will be at another time, and another article. For now I leave it at this, and let you think about it. Personally I only see a way of gaining readers, without great investment.
In order to see the exsamples you need to open the pdf file, sorry
So… lately I have been asked how I deal with my Dyslexia, and how I teach myself to get better in spelling, grammar and such. So here it goes.
I say in my book, but if you haven’t read it you can’t know of course, that when I found out I was dyslexic with 18, I started to research it and tried several techniques I found in books. None of them worked for me. If that was because they were designed for children, or just not for me, I don’t know. After those first few tries I tried again from time to time, but just couldn’t find anything that would work for me. Maybe it was the German language that made it harder, I don’t know. Truth be told, I made my peace with being dyslexic a long time ago, and have stopped thinking of myself as stupid or incapable a long time ago. So basically for several years I didn’t try to better it, because it’s part of me and I don’t see why I have to change that part… well, I do know… but I didn’t care and in a way still don’t. I am me, and me is dyslexic… done.
However when it was evident that my Fibromyalgia would force me to stop working at some point in the future, my dyslexia became a problem again. Becoming unable to do physical labor, would mean I would need to take a job in an office, which in most cases includes writing, something not exactly easy for me. Well I can write, just not always right.
In Germany I was taught from the first day of school that words are spelled like they are spoken, and most therapies I could find were based on exactly that. With English that simply doesn’t work. The language has too many words that sound the same, but are written totally different, or slightly different. The way I had tried to improve my German spelling, was utterly useless now.
Yet at the same time I didn’t think that using anything I would find in books would help, so I tried to find out how to help myself.
Writing in Word and using the spellcheck I soon noticed that if I corrected wrong spelled words myself, instead of letting the computer do it, I started to remember how they are spelled right after a couple hundred times. So every time my spellcheck underlined something, I deleted it and wrote it again, until I got it right. That meant sometimes to write it five or ten times, and when I used that word again, I would repeat that procedure and at some point I started to write it right.
Yet spellcheck isn’t perfect, you can activate all its capabilities, but if you use the wrong word and spell it right, it won’t correct it. Or rather if you spell a word right, but it has a different meaning, but sounds like the word you were trying to use. For example… ruff and rough, it’s sounded out the same, but I would often write ruff when meaning rough. The same is with words like women and woman or men and man… Where and were….
This is where it gets often complicated for me. Because I actually need someone to point those out to me, in order to know I write or use them wrongly. Now sadly you don’t find many people who are nice enough to send you a PM saying… Hay, liked what you wrote, but did you know you used ruff on page soandso and it should be rough? Just wanted to let you know…. No sadly those are very rare…
However I figured out that using either Narrator or another app that will read my text to me, I sometimes can find some of those problem words. When I find them, and figure out how they are written right I put them down on a list I hang up beside my computer when writing. The list has all my word I have problems with on it, telling me their meaning… like this is plural, this is singular, or this is past tense… you get what I mean…
I know that I also make a lot of grammar mistakes and that my punctuation is horrible, but decided to work on those once I actually get along with the spelling. In most cases I will build my sentences the same way I speak or hear others speak. For punctuation I do the same as when searching for words spelled wrong, I use a narrator that read my text to me. That way I can often find where I need to place a comma or shorten or split a sentence.
If I look at texts written in the first two years after coming to Canada, and now, the difference is very obvious and easy to spot. If I had to put it in numbers I would say I improved by about 200%. My first tries wouldn’t even have matched a first grader.
I don’t know if what I do will help anyone out there, but if it does then I’m glad about it.
Ten years ago in Germany I was published twice, the old fashioned way, with a publisher. The first book I was discovered, and asked to get it published. The second, was written in anger and frustration after trying to promote my first one, finding mostly insults and disdain. However, the topic of the book was how a girl that had horrible grades, later discovered she was dyslexic, and had been told she would never do anything out of the ordinary, became an author.
Only recently I found the manuscripts to those books and because I had been asked for them over the years put them online. I also read over my second book and flinched. If it is because ten years have passed, or because I’m no longer angry and frustrated, I don’t know, but now I’m almost ashamed of that book. Not because what I wrote was terribly written, but because it wasn’t objectively written, or with a clear sight of the happenings. Even so my mom never said anything, I believe I might have hurt her with that book, a lot. Reading it now, it’s like I blamed every stumble, every hurdle I encounter, on one person or another. I decided that needed to be rectified.
The problem, my German has become so sketchy I wouldn’t even attempt to publish a single paragraph in it. I know my mom can’t actually read the new version of my story, unless I’m getting mega lucky and it gets picked up by one of the big five, and then translated in hundreds of languages. Which I will not hold my breath for. However, I will know that I made it right, not just to her but many others I blamed, when much of the blame lays on my own doorstep as well.
Failure, like success, is a combined effort. Rarely is only one person part of either.
My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit… (Yes I have the word Shit in the title) tells my story. From when I was little, how my parents wanted to keep me close, while my grandma tried to place a rift between me and my parents, to the woman I am today. That’s 36 years to cover, and many small and big events that shaped me to become who I am today, and will influence the person I will be in 20 or 30 years, while more events get added.
The original work was edited only slightly, keeping most of the native mistakes any or most dyslexics would make. I struggled for a while but in the end decided to do the same with this one. Like the original, My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit… is not just my story, it’s a statement, an example and a message.
A story written with all words spelled right, but without heart, sense, smarts and soul, is nothing but a dictionary. While a story written with heart, sense, smarts and soul, but wrong spelled words, is still a story.
I have no quarrel with spelling, I understand its importance, how it regulates and norms our way to communicate. The same count’s for grammar or punctuation, they are important, and believe me if I had a magical pill to make not be dyslexic, I would take it. I guess most dyslexion’s would, if only to avoid the taunting, insults and bullying we sometimes encounter.
At the same time, I think many put too much weight into it, letting bad spelling distract them from the message and meaning of the words. Our brain is funny, if a sentence is missing a word, it will simply put it there for you, because your brain knows it should be there. It also often will simply made wood out of wuds, because it knows what is meant and how it should be done right. Yet many let themselves be irritated by just that, and instead of simply reading on, will fixate on finding out what seemed wrong for a moment.
Well, you will encounter that reading this book. But it will also show you the pain of a dyslexic, or simply someone who is different. You will get a look at how I grew up in Germany in the 80s and early 90s with dyslexia, and how it influences a lot in my life. This book will show you how even after feeling worthless and ugly, one can rise above it all and excel in something they were told they never, ever could do.
My story is not a story of hardship alone, but of growing with the pain, of rising above it and of finding a way to an inner freedom. When you read it, forget about spelling, forget about grammar, or where a comma should be, simply read.
Coming soon… My Life with Dyslexia and other Shit…