The Oversized Impact: Unveiling the Value of Large Print Books for Publishers

January 23, 2024
Ingram Associate
The Oversized Impact: Unveiling the Value of Large Print Books for Publishers

Reading can be a great pastime, but it's much more difficult for people who have low vision. While many sight-impaired people choose to listen to audio books, that may not be the right choice for every book or every person. The best way for publishers to help low vision readers who don't want to rely on audio books is to offer them large print options. This makes books more accessible to a larger number of readers and encourages people to keep reading both for pleasure and information.

What is Large Print, Who Needs It, and Why It Matters

While large print may just seem like a generic term for a bigger letter size, it actually has a standard. It's defined as a font size that's 14 pt or larger, but the ideal size is 16 to 18 pt font. However, the country you’re based in or the country where you’re publishing may impact the typical print size used for large print.

Visually impaired readers and those with reading difficulties receive the biggest benefit from large print. Around the world, there are at least 2.2 billion people who have some type of vision impairment. Giving them the option to have large print books can make all the difference in their opportunities to read what interests them and what they need or want to know.

Students of all ages can also benefit from large print books. They spend a lot of time reading for their classes, and larger print is easier on their eyes. This is true of anyone spending a lot of time in front of a screen, too. Their eyes also become tired, and they may need to have larger print books so they can read more comfortably in their downtime. While it's not necessarily required, it can have a significant impact on a reader's comfort.

When someone can't read standard text editions, or when doing so is time-consuming and difficult for them, having large print books improves both accessibility and inclusivity. They can gain valuable information, enjoy time with others at bookstores and in book clubs, and keep their world from getting smaller.

Actionable Steps for Setting Up Large Print Options

There are a few mandatory details to be aware of for large print files. Formatting them correctly and getting them set up the right way the first time makes it easier for everyone who needs these kinds of books to find and enjoy them to the fullest. When you're setting up files for large print books, make sure that:

  • The font size is at least 14 points, and no larger than 18 in most cases.
  • The font is one that's easy to read, such as Helvetica, Luciole, or Arial.
  • There aren't any italics, bold, underlining, or big blocks of capitalization.
  • No information is being conveyed only through images, color, or diagrams.

Large print files have a few general guidelines to consider, as well. These include:

  • Making sure the layout is clear and consistent.
  • Providing adequate contrast between the paper and the text (black and white is a classic, and a great option!).
  • Choosing a non-glossy paper to reduce glare.
  • Adding a large print badge to the spine or cover of the book.

The right paper and contrast can make a significant difference in how well someone can see the words and letters on the pages. A good layout and a large print badge on the cover round out the helpful ways you can make your book easier for readers to find and experience.

Best Practices for Large Print Metadata

When you're publishing large print books, that information should be part of the edition description that's recognized in ONIX. You also want to add language to the description that advises the title is in large print format. Within that same description, include both the font size used and the book block font. If you have the option, you can benefit from listing your large print titles under their own imprint.

Other Resources for Large Print Book Information

Here are a few of the biggest and most important resources for publishers who are starting to consider large print books. By understanding the specifics and details of what people with low vision need most, you can provide them with a better reading experience that can help them gain knowledge and enjoy books again.

This is far from an exhaustive list, but these organizations can help you discover more of the value of large print books. With better information about what readers with low vision are looking for, you can focus on including valuable data into descriptions and formatting books in ways that work for them. Not only does that help you get more readers, but your dedication to providing options won't go unnoticed.

The Oversized Impact: Unveiling the Value of Large Print Books for Publishers
Ingram Associate

Ingram Associate

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