Sunday, 15 September 2013
LARGER than Life!
Welcome to the Large Print edition of The Housemaid's Daughter!
I must confess that its arrival was rather a surprise. I had noticed large print books in libraries before, but it never occurred to me that my novel would also have the opportunity to "big up" and take its place in this group.
Rather unsettled by my ignorance, I have been doing a little research.
Large print books are mostly sold to libraries, for visually impaired readers. So they need to have some very special characteristics designed to make the reading experience as easy as possible. For example, the books are put together in a way that allows them to be folded back on themselves or laid down flat to better help readers - without compromising the spines or the binding. The paper is special, too: a non-glare acid-free variety, whose non-transparency prevents something called "ghosting" on the reverse side of each page. Durability is obviously an issue - after all, you want the book to be borrowed many times and not fall apart! In the past this has meant rather thick-ish paper/covers but recently lighter-weight papers and board (for hardback covers) have been introduced, making a huge difference to readers who have previously struggled to hold a heavy volume.
Large Print books are a particular niche market and the leading worldwide publisher is a UK company called Ulverscroft. They have a presence not just at home but also in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. They also manage the Ulverscroft Foundation which accepts donations to assist those who have sight problems that need special attention. My novel will be published in the UK by their imprint Magna Large Print Books.
Magna have sent me 2 copies of the new hardback which will soon be in libraries country-wide. And a stylish one it is, too! The typeface and font is unashamedly big and bold and definitely easy on the eye. Magna have taken the opportunity to create a brand new cover, which is wonderfully bright but still retains the element of Africa.
I hope that this handsome new book will stand out on the shelf and gather many fans who would not normally have had the chance to read The Housemaid's Daughter.