A Quick Guide to Accessibility Issues for Indie Authors

With the rise beforehand innovations, making our self-published books accessible to everyone is ending up being simpler and simpler. In todays post from the Alliance of Independent Authors AskALLi team, we dive into accessibility issues for indie authors and how you can make your books more accessible. With thanks to ALLi Partner member Jens Troeger from Bookalope for his contributions to this post.

Availability Issues for Indie Authors: Whats it all About?

Jens Troeger, Bookalope

He is likewise a passionate typophile and book enthusiast. Jens began Bookalope numerous years ago out of his individual requirement for intelligent and effective tools that help him create print books and digital books.

What is an available ebook, exactly? Thats the question Ive never stopped asking. For many years, Ive assisted various authors and publishers transform their book manuscripts into properly designed print books and accessible ebooks. They usually have a good idea of how the printed book should look, however havent believed much about its digital equivalent. And while numerous authors and publishers presume that a digital book is similar as its printed equivalent, it is, in truth, a totally various style version.

Ease Of Access Issues for Indie Authors: The Difference Between Print and Digital

Im attempting to get authors to comprehend that the digital book complies with different visual design rules and so needs to be reevaluated entirely– the book has to be upgraded for the digital medium, as a digital product. It has to contend and interact with the larger range of print and digital books readily available; and this all starts with how you approach the designs of your book. Richard Hendel, a well-known book designer and author himself, summarized this duality of the book in the essay The dilemma of the Ebook, published in his book Aspects of Contemporary Book Design.

The very best way to get you thinking of print books and digital books is by looking at them as two various discussions of the same material. Lets revitalize what we know about book content so far; its its text, images, and tables. The primary narrative text is generally structured into areas and chapters. It might consist of other elements like footnotes, endnotes, quotations, poems, etc. Typically, we reveal the texts structure and aspects visually; by altering the text size, typefaces, and using white areas. This visual expression is then printed onto paper– when printed, the books style does not alter anymore.

Ease Of Access Issues for Indie Authors: Why Bother?

In technical terms, then, we d like to build accessible ebooks. In 2015, Booknet Canada released a prolonged blog site titled Accessible Ebook Publishing in Canada: The Business Case which details the lots of aspects of available ebooks and their relevance for service, highlighted with some intriguing numbers that all emphasize the importance of available ebooks. In brief, theres no avoiding the need of structure available ebooks in our current environment, whichs why I believe we need to up our design video game.

Like all major authors and publishers, you care about your books and your readers. I believe that in addition to broadening the market reach of your books, you still desire to be respectful and inclusive by making your books accessible to allreaders, whether they live with an impairment or not.

Ease Of Access Issues for Indie Authors: Working with Rich Content

So, what can you do as an author to make certain that your book– print or digital– looks great for everybody, including impaired readers?

To respond to that concern, lets have a look at how some individuals use assistive technologies to check out digital material, websites, and ebooks. For example, your web-browser and most modern-day reading apps and devices have a “text to speech” function which permits a book to be read out loud. You can try it out for yourself, and listen to a manufactured voice checked out back to you the material of a websites or an ebook. Chances are that what you hear is puzzling; a stream of words stringed together in an apparently random order– perhaps even without intonations, pauses, or changes in speech. This content is not available, and you d have a comparable experience with an electronic Braille reader providing such content to a visually impaired or blind reader.

While less common, tables also require to be considered thoroughly when we rethink our material for an accessible ebook. Whatever we choose, the objective is to consistently aim towards and intelligent and inclusive book design which will resonate with all types of readers independently of the type of checking out medium.

This is why its important to structure your books content; you dont want the message to be lost in the medium. Ive mentioned above that text structure is independent of presenting that structure visually– since with read-aloud or with a Braille reader there is no visual discussion of the books structure. And while ebooks have a well-defined method of carrying out structured text, as an author you wish to have an intimate understanding of your books structural components: you need to understand which paragraphs are chapter or section headings, which ones are narrative text, and which ones are poems or quotations. This shows youre committed to producing the best variation possible of your book, where all the different parts collaborate.

Dyslexia is another important element to bear in mind. It is a reading disorder that can manifest in different ways, and you can get a sense of how a dyslexic reader may perceive text on this site. Modern ereader apps now ship with typefaces that are particularly developed for dyslexic readers; their letters are purposefully irregular in order to break the monotonous and symmetrical design of typical text faces.

For accessible ebooks, text is always chosen over an image, but often we cant do that. If you were to replace the image with a text box, what would a blind or visually impaired reader (or listener) of your book get in place of the image? This is called an “alternative text” for your images, and such alternative text needs to be meaningful and attached to every image and illustration in your book.

The same is true for inline formatting. Traditional book design uses italics to stress text or for an expression in another language, or to denote a book or article title, whereas bold text is occasionally used to imagine a strong emphasis. Notice how we separate between visual discussion (e.g. “italic” or “strong”) and its desired meaning (e.g. “emphasized”)– it is the significance that you, as the author, desire to be clear about, and that your book designer and ebook implementer should reveal in some visual way or another.

In any case, we should constantly ensure to supply a meaningful alternative text for our images. In addition, it is excellent practice to prevent inlining images into the text circulation. Big drop caps, foreign language letters, or mathematical solutions need to be made part of the content as text to guarantee that they are significant and accessible to the reader.

Availability Issues for Indie Authors: Piecing it Together

Now that weve edited our manuscript, understood the designated structure of our material, and develop handy alternative text for all images, one question remains … How precisely do we create a practical, legitimate, and available ebook? Well, in the very same way we go about creating a well-designed print book; we discover a great designer, or we find a great tool that does the work effectively and reliably for us.

By now youve most likely discovered that authoring content which works well for both print and accessible ebooks needs some more work than the majority of people understand. I believe its worth the effort, and not only for the sake of your readers. It challenges you, the author, to understand your text and its intended structural discussion from the inside out; without any page left unturned.

Bookalope is a tool that publishing homes, book designers, and self-publishing authors alike utilize to create fully available ebooks with simply a few clicks. Being a software veteran by trade, Ive constructed the Bookalope toolset over years of dealing with digital and print books. My mission is to make the procedure as simple and comfortable as possible for myself and other expert users. I desire to put the creativity back into the book style; reducing effort but maximising quality. Here is a brief introduction to creating accessible, gorgeous books utilizing these tools.

After submitting your manuscript, the Bookalope AI gets to work; it analyses the visual styling of the text to draw out the designated structure– precisely what well require for making the ebook accessible. And thats all there is to do, before you can download your accessible ebook.

If you d like to get even more technical, you can have the ebook inspected by EPUBCheck to make sure its implemented properly, and by the Ace tool to check if the built-in ease of access details (if any) is valid. If you d like to take your tests to the next level, have a look at Flightdeck!

While Bookalope looks after almost everything for you, you might still wonder about some ebook technicalities, and may want to make sure that your ebook is available and indeed legitimate. Heres what you d need to do next …

The easiest way is to open the ebook yourself on your phone, tablet, or laptop and see how it looks; then, have it read back to you. On your laptop computer, resize the window of your reading app or internet browser, change the font style size, and invert the color style. Ensure that the table of contents is linked into the book, which the glossary and index are linked throughout. Typically, both reference the page varieties of the printed book, so make sure that those print page numbers are likewise built into your ebook.

Bookalope does all of that for you, though, so you dont require to stress. If youre having your ebook developed by a supplier, you ought to constantly ask them to offer you with these recognition results.

Accessibility Issues for Indie Authors: Summary

In the end, youll have a great chance of increasing your books market reach. Your readers will be thankful for your efforts, and will be able to enjoy your composing no matter how they consume your book. To me, thats the answer to what makes an ebook inclusive and accessible; creating an unique book product that touches the hears and minds of all readers. And isnt that why you composed your book in the first place?

At first, this all might seem like a complicated procedure. Approved, it takes some extra effort to prepare and enhance your books content, but building an available ebook is its own benefit. And, with the right tools like Bookalope, its not that hard to do.

Accessibility Issues for Indie Authors: 4 Quick Tips

Skin– Large Print

Closed Captions

Big print books are books that are formatted and printed with much bigger typeface than normal. Vellum is a formatting software application designed to make formatting your books easier, quicker and more instinctive. And it truly does do just that. One of the advantages of Vellum though, is that it has presets that can help you turn your book into a large print edition in simply the click of a button.

When you produce a large print edition, make sure you increase your trim size and font size. It also assists to produce some type of stamp, sticker or indication that goes on the front of the cover to promote the truth its big print. Once your big print book is filled, youll need to link it to the sales page of your other book editions and dont forget that because its a brand-new format, you will need a different ISBN

According to Wikipedia,

You might not understand, but there is really a difference between the two. Subtitles presume that the audience can hear the audio. Whereas closed captioning assumes the viewer can not. So in addition to offering dialogue details, it will convey info like background noises, phones ringing and other auditory hints.

” Sweden reaches the tipping point where digital books, and especially audiobooks, are on the verge of outselling print.”

YouTube provides the opportunity for close captions on all your videos. Go to the creator studio, click edit video and then subtitles/CC to modify. You also have the option to upload your own subtitle files.

Technology has actually advanced considerably in the last couple of years, and reading has become infinitely more available considering that the advent of the Kindle and other digital reading devices. These devices have the ability to produce high contrast reading displays, different colored backgrounds, font modifications like utilizing OpenDyslexic– a function developed typeface– for those people with dyslexia that choose it. Its time to turn them into digital ebooks if your books are just in print.

Rev.com is frequently cited as one of the finest closed captioning software applications on the market. Then you can use that to fill up your captions, if you utilize transcription software.

Digital Devices

And the audiobook market is still comparably young compared to print and digital. For those who are either visually impaired and for that reason listen to audio, or those that prefer audio anyhow, youre missing out on an entire market and section of your prospective audience. If you dont wish to record and narrate your own audiobooks, consider looking for a narrator through places like Findaway Voices.

” Closed captioning and subtitling are both processes of showing text on a tv, video screen, or other visual display screen to offer interpretive or extra details.”

Are your books in audio yet? The audiobook market is flourishing. You just require to read our weekly International Insights to understand that in some parts of the world …

Audio Books

Ease Of Access Issues for Indie Authors: A Final Word

If you d like to check out or download guidelines on producing available books, Dave Gunn has actually composed a guide that was released by the Accessible Books Consortium, in combination with the International Authors Forum. To download click here.

Jens began Bookalope several years ago out of his individual need for intelligent and effective tools that help him develop print books and digital books. Over the years, Ive assisted numerous authors and publishers change their book manuscripts into properly designed print books and available ebooks. The finest way to get you thinking about print books and digital books is by looking at them as two different presentations of the same content. Richard Hendel, a widely known book designer and author himself, summarized this duality of the book in the essay The conundrum of the Ebook, released in his book Aspects of Contemporary Book Design. I believe that in addition to broadening the market reach of your books, you still desire to be considerate and inclusive by making your books available to allreaders, whether they live with an impairment or not.

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