I’m delighted to welcome you today to my stop on a very different kind of blog tour. The Open Dyslexia Kickstarter Project is a brilliant project that aims to make books more accessible for people with dyslexia or other similar learning difficulties.
Read on to find out more about this exciting project and to see details of the fantastic books included.
Our Kickstarter Starts April 2nd 2021
Making exciting good quality fiction accessible to a minority group currently not provided for by today’s UK traditional mass book market and providing a new tool for booksellers to use in their drive to increase diversity and inclusion.
It is estimated by the NHS that 1 in 10 readers in the UK have dyslexia; this is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. It does not anyone from achieving. Books On The Hill has been always passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. These days many publishers are making a lot of effort to have high quality books available for children with dyslexia but there has been a gap in the market for books targeted towards adults.
We have been so fortunate that many great authors have agreed to contribute to this project. All are brilliant authors and are names I am sure you will recognise.
Stan Nicholls, who has been a great support to me particularly with my PhD. He is the author of many novels and short stories but is best known for the internationally acclaimed Orcs: First Blood series.
Steven Savile, the fantasy, horror and thriller writer, now lives in Stockholm whose father is a customer of our bookshop.
The horror duo that is Thana Niveau and John Llewellyn Probert, both well established and engaging authors and also residents of Clevedon.
Adrian Tchaikovsky is an Arthur Clark Award winner and best known for his series Shadows of the Apt, and for his novel Children of Time.
Steven Poore is the highly acclaimed fantasy writer who I first met on my first fantasy convention in Scarborough.
We finish the Magnificent Seven with Joel Cornah, who also has dyslexia, and with whom I participated in a podcast on dyslexia for the Clevedon Literature 2020 ‘Festival in the Clouds’.
How To Get involved
We are launching a Kickstarter beginning in April 2nd 2021 for 30 days, with the focus on paying for the printing of our books and giving us starting capital to continue to print more titles.
There will be many ways you can be involved in this. You can contribute on the Kickstarter website itself There will be a number of different options of donating money, in which you will receive rewards, such as ebooks of a title or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. In addition a unique reward from authors who are contributing to the project.
You can still contribute outside the kickstarter. We are happy to receive your help in the shop, where we will have a donation box available.
Books on the Hill is passionate about helping people who have dyslexia, or have any difficulty with reading, to access the joy of good fiction. There are great books out now for children with dyslexia, with specialist publishers like Barrington Stokes and mainstream publishers such as Bloomsbury doing their part. However, there are sadly very few books for adults with Dyslexia in traditional mass market publishing.
Dyslexia is a learning difference that primarily affects reading and writing skills. The NHS estimates that up to 1 in every 10 people in the UK have some form of dyslexia, while other dyslexic organisations believe 1 in 5 and more than 2 million people in the UK are severely affected.
Dyslexia does not stop someone from achieving. There are many individuals who are successful and are dyslexic. Famous actors, such as Orlando Bloom; Entrepreneurs like Theo Paphitis, and many, many more, including myself. All of who believe dyslexia has helped them to be where they are now. Dyslexia, though, as I can attest to, does not go away. You don’t grow out of it, and so we are acknowledging that and trying to without being patronising, create a selection of books that will be friendly to people who deal with dyslexia every day.
Since we started the project in 2019, Books on the Hill have had many adults customers with dyslexia come in shop the asking for something accessible to read. For example, one customer asked if we stocked well known novels in a dyslexic friendly format. Unfortunately we had to say no, as they just don’t exist. We explained what we are trying to achieve by printing our own and she replied:
“I have been reading [children dyslexic] books but they are a bit childish so am really happy I have found your company!!
Thanks so much again and thank you for making such a helpful and inclusive brand – it means a lot. “
This response is not isolated. We have had many adults come in to the shop with dyslexia, who do not read or struggle to read and they they believe dyslexic friendly books would have real impact on their reading for pleasure.
Books on the Hill is Alistair Sims. He is the manager and commander-in-chief of the bookshop (though his partner, Chloe and his mother, Joanne, who set up the bookshop with him, may disagree with this description ). Alistair is dyslexic and has a PhD in history and archaeology. Alistair could not read until he was 13 and is passionate about helping anyone who has difficulty reading. He is the driving force behind BOTH Press and has been involved in every step in this project, from finding award winning authors to contribute, the cover design, and the road to publication, including setting up for distribution.
Books on the Hill are collaborating with Chrissey Harrison, who is also an local author and member of North Bristol Writers Group. Chressey and Alistair have designed the book-covers together, with Chrissey creating the finished product we now look on at awe with. Nearly all the design work has been done by Chrissey, and she is also in charge of the printing process, typesetting. We are so proud and appreciative to be working with her.
Special mention must go to Harrison Gates, who runs Nine Worthy, and who has dedicated his time and expertise to produce our print catalogue for us free of cost.
Joanne Hall is an author, editor and formerly the Chair of BristolCon, Bristol’s premier (and only) science fiction and fantasy convention. We must give a huge thank you to Jo for proof reading the stories free of cost.
Vicky Brewster has edited all the new stories by the authors. She specialises in editing and beta reading long-form fiction. Vicky is a great professional editor.
Discover more about this brilliant reading initiative at Books On The Hill
About The Books:
Anchor Point by Stan Nicholls
Kye Beven us lacking confidence, and is ruthlessly bullied. Everyone except Dyan Varike, the best archer in the land, believes he is not good enough for the community’s defence. When Kye’s village is menaced by a despotic sorcerer, he reaches for his bow and steps up to the mark…
The Clockwork Eyeball by Steven Poore
It is 1958 in an alternate Marrakesh. The cold war still wages on and Sputnik has launched, gazing down of earth. Seemingly Russia is conquering space at last.
An uncover agent needs to be extradited and the British expects Marrakesh to facilitate this.
Saif, a local boy has an important mission, to pick up a British spy unnoticed and bring him to the Deputy Security directorate. Saif escapes surveillance in a borrowed Grand taxi, but the pick-up doesn’t go to plan, as the British agent, known as the lighting rod, is the one man guaranteed to make a hard situation, harder.
The race is on to escape the Russian secret service, advanced technology and bring the undercover agent into British hands.
The Breath by Joel Cornah
The planet Wanda V has been abandoned for some time. The Gates had collapsed generations ago. It was called a waste of time, but the lone scientist, Hala, sets forth to investigate.
While Hala collects data on the planet, legends and mythologies that surround these ruins become all too real.
Can Hala escape a god? And what does this self-proclaimed deity want?
Sherlock Holmes and the Four Kings of Sweden by Steven Savile
Under the pretext of opening a school of detectives, Sherlock and Watson are summoned by the Swedish royalty. The Great Detective must solve a seemingly unsolvable riddle – how can the king be in three places at once? Why is it happening? And how does this tie in to a string of crimes that seem hound the King’s footsteps?
Watson seemingly alone, lectures at the The Bernadotte Chambers in Stockholm, speaking to his carefully chosen audience how this crimes of murder and mummery had come to pass. All the while waiting for Sherlock to appear and present the final reveal.
The House on the Old Cliffs by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Doctor Hendry, a known pseudo-historian has gone missing. His employers want answers.
Michael is offered a job that pays ten times what he would get standing outside a club, knocking people over. On reaching the London office of the law firm, Branmer & Stokes, four other professionals are waiting. Two mercenaries, Shaw and Kelling, with broad minds and little scruples. Cohen, a paranormal investigator and Doctor Furrisky from the University of East Anglia’s department of history.
Together they are given one job. Find Doctor Hendry in his home on the remote clifftop. They find more than they bargained for or even comprehend.
At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul by John Llewellyn Probert
Lynda is having second thoughts about joining Dr Sampson choir, but she really needed to get out of the house. Too long she has spent putting herself into boxes for others benefits, but really was a choir in a psychiatric hospital the right way to find something for herself?
Of course it had to be one of those Victorian gothic monstrosities, and of course it had a dubious past, so really it’s just her imagination setting her on edge right. The weather isn’t helping nor is the fact that suddenly she is a prisoner and something does not want her to leave.
Ultrasound Shadow by Thana Niveau
Molly Landor had always imagined having kids someday, though she had hoped it would be by choice and not by accident. After double checking the test was positive, there’s no doubt about it.
Something strange begins to occur and Molly announces that she will go ahead with the pregnancy. Friends and acquaintances become alarmed her behaviour becomes erratic and Molly announces details of her baby that no one could know, even refusing to go to the hospital to check the baby.
Is it just normal pregnancy mania or is something more unnatural arising?
And that’s it! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about this Kickstarter project and I hope you found it as interesting and informative as I did.
Please do visit the website to find out more about this fantastic initiative: Books On The Hill
Thanks as always to Anne Cater for inviting me to be part of the blog tour.