Accessibility as and Indie Author

At my day job, I started using the font Open Dyslexic for calendars, handouts, etc. I work with a bunch of elementary school kids and according to research one in five people in America are dyslexic.

So *gets out calculator* that means there’s a good chance 6 or so of my students are dyslexic, and at least one of the adults working with them.

I decided to go with Open Dyslexic for my next book, A Mean Piece of Water, because it simply makes the book more accessible. I want my readers to feel welcome and excited by my books, especially young adults who crave those queer weirdo characters I love. One in five of them is probably dyslexic.

(It’s Chuck. Like for sure, if one of my characters is dyslexic, it’s her. Apologies for not putting it on paper, but consider this canon.)

Also, I am lucky that my interior formatting editor (shout out Racheal) was open to working with a non-standard book interior font. And, when it came back at a whopping FOUR HUNDRED PAGES, she helped get it down to 304 and it looks amazing.

There are so many barriers to accessibility, especially when you’re self-publishing.

Having a chonkier book makes it more expensive to get author copies, to ship, and to sell.

Audio books (unless I like record it myself on my phone) cost an astronomical amount of money to produce.

No way will I be able to have my book translated.

To have a large print book, a foreign edition, or an audiobook, I would need to purchase a separate ISBN, pay my cover designer again, and pay my formatter again. Y’all in America, ISBNs are PRICY.

I was about to write “I’m not trying to complain”, but that’s exactly what I’m doing. It really sucks that I am unable to make my book accessible to everyone. I would if I could, but in the mean time (before I get added to a banned book list and sales skyrocket), I’ll do what I can I suppose.

On that note, check out the font. It’s free and there are plenty of resources on their website. Cheers friends.

Published by jesmccutchen

Hello! I'm an aspiring author of humorous books about space gays and alien invasions. I might occasionally toss in a dragon or mermaid, and I can't wait to share my weirdness with the world.

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