Formatting

Create a Large Print Edition Book

Spoiler alert: It is quick and easy and makes your book available to an expanded audience!

You might think that large print versions are only for Reader’s Digest readers but they are actually in high demand and not just for senior readers. Joanna Penn of The Creative Penn even found that her large print edition made up 36% of the income for one of her books while the “regular” paperback made up only 12%.  

Libraries and schools are often on the lookout for new large print books they can offer to vision impaired readers of all ages. In fact, according to the WHO, approximately 568,202 children and 26.9 million adults have a vision impairment in the US alone. So it is no surprise that there is a market for large print books. Plus, there is usually much lower competition since not all authors know how simple it is to create a large print edition. 

Large Print vs Regular Print

As long as we are busting myths about large print, it should also be noted that large print doesn’t just mean using a bigger font size. In fact, while many of the other formatting programs claim to offer large print, all they are doing is increasing the font size.

Before adding the large print option to Atticus, we wanted to make sure that we were meeting all of the guidelines, as per the UK Association for Accessible Formats, and the American Foundation for the Blind, to create a truly accessible book for readers who need large print. That means when you select a large print option in Atticus the defaults will automatically include:

  • Sans serif font
  • 18pt font size
  • Larger line spacing
  • Space paragraphs instead of indented
  • Ragged right text

The good news is that creating a large print version of your book only takes a few seconds with Atticus. 

Create Large Print Paperback Books in Atticus

Once your book is uploaded or written in Atticus and you are ready to start formatting, head over to the Theme settings for your book. Scrolling down you will see the section called “Print Settings”. (You won’t need to do anything special for your ePub since e-readers already allow for font setting personalization.) 

In the section where you select your trim size you will see an option called “Large Print Options”. When you select one of those trim sizes, the other settings will also change automatically to match the large print guidelines. 

Then, all you have to do is click “export PDF”. 

It is important to note that the pre-generated themes do not change font styles or sizes for the chapter headings or the header and footer. So if you want to have a larger font for the chapter headings of your large print book, you’ll want to create a custom theme. It is recommended to use left aligned titles or chapter numbers and sans serif fonts are preferred. 

Additional considerations for creating a large print edition

There are a few things you might want to take into consideration when deciding whether to create a large print edition of your book. 

The first is the cover. You may want to put something on your cover that identifies the book as being large print. This will help you readers feel more confident that the book they are purchasing is actually a large print version. 

Also, even if you are using the same trim size, your book will have considerably more pages because larger font = more pages. Since the number of pages affects the width of the spine, you might need to create or alter your cover design. 

Those extra pages don’t just change the width of your spine, they also increase your print costs. However, this can easily be addressed by increasing the list price of your book or using a larger trim size. (Amazon charges per page regardless of whether your trim size is 6×9 or 8.5×11) The good news is that readers of large print books understand and expect the list price to be more and are willing to pay to have the ability to hold the physical book in and read comfortably. 

This blog post covers the most important points. If you wish to find out more, the following should be useful:

Last Updated: 10/29/2021

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