Pilot scheme launches in U.K. to make Large Print books by bestselling authors available in high street bookshops.
FOCUS, a new trade pilot scheme to make Large Print books readily available on the high street is announced today, 6 February. Launching on 2 April the scheme will feature 53 new and bestselling fiction and non-fiction titles from HarperCollins, Random House and Penguin. The campaign is spear-headed by seven lead titles, all Large Print editions of new titles, written by high-profile authors including Karin Slaughter, Barbara Taylor Bradford and Len Goodman. The seven lead titles will be displayed in bookshops nationwide while the additional 46 titles will be available on a print-on-demand basis.
The seven lead titles are:
Corsair by Clive Cussler (Penguin)
Guide to Birds of East Africa by Nicholas Drayson (Penguin)
Better Late Than Never by Len Goodman (Random House)
Once in a Lifetime by Cathy Kelly (HarperCollins)
Fractured by Karin Slaughter (Random House)
Being Elizabeth by Barbara Taylor Bradford (HarperCollins)
The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine (Penguin)
FOCUS was initiated and funded by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and supported by BBC Audiobooks.
John Godber, RNIB’s Head of Products and Publications, comments,
“There are thousands of people who give up reading if they start to experience problems with their sight. This new range of titles published by RNIB in association with BBC Audiobooks, HarperCollins, Random House, and Penguin and marketed through the high street will allow people to continue to read the books they love plus have access to a wider range of titles in a format they can read with ease.”
FOCUS is leading the way to help persuade booksellers and publishers that there is a market for people who want to buy books printed in a larger font size. The campaign is designed to encourage readers who are frustrated to be struggling with standard font size and life-long readers who are experiencing sight difficulties due to old age. Another aim of the initiative is to encourage publishers to simultaneously publish a Large Print edition at the same time as the standard print edition of a new title is launched, thus giving all book lovers the same reading opportunity.
Ian Hudson, Deputy CEO of The Random House Group and President of the Publisher’s Association, comments,
“The Random House Group is delighted to be part of the FOCUS project. People experiencing problems reading traditional print want the same great books, but in a range of formats to suit their needs and we are very happy to do our part in realising this vision. I hope our participation in this pathfinding initiative helps highlight the new opportunities for all publishers.”
Barbara Taylor Bradford, whose novel Being Elizabeth is one of the lead titles in the campaign, comments;
“I am very pleased and honoured to be part of such a fantastic initiative to get Large Print books available on the high street. I welcome a scheme which allows everybody, regardless of age or 20-20 vision, the same access to a wider variety of literature.”
All titles will be published in a trade paperback format in 16-point type face and priced at £12.99 (for those titles available in paperback in the trade edition) or £16.99 (for those titles available in hardback in the trade edition). The books will have the same cover as the trade edition and will be branded with the “Focus – clearly a better read” sticker.
Kate Gunning, Head of Buying at Foyles, comments; “It's certainly about time that bookshops started catering for customers who, until now, have tended to be reliant on audiobooks or borrowing Large Print titles from libraries. This is a thoroughly worthwhile initiative that also makes commercial sense.”