Today I’d like to welcome you to my stop on a different kind of blog tour, one which focuses on an important new Kickstarter project from Books On The Hill. Reading and enjoying books is something that a lot of us take for granted, but when you’re dyslexic the idea of reading books can be very daunting. Although I’m not dyslexic I know some people who are, as well as knowing how hard it is to get into reading when you’re a reluctant reader. There are some great publishers out there that work to produce dyslexia friendly books but most of these aim their books for children with few dyslexia friendly books for adults. This is where the Open Dyslexia Kickstarter project from Books on the Hill comes in and I hope that you’ll want to help support this important cause. Information about the project from Books on the Hill themselves…
BOTH Publishing By Books on the Hill
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.
Who Are We Working With
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.
Several fiction titles of different genres are planned on being published with more added depending on how much funding they can get to hopefully a total of 8 books initially. I hope you’ll want to help support this Kickstarter project as some of these sound so amazing and there’s such a wealth of different genres that there’s bound to be a book for everyone! 🙂
Sherlock Holmes and the Four Kings of Sweden by Steven Savile – Summoned by the Swedish royalty, the Great Detective must solve a seemingly unsolvable riddle – how can the king be in three places at once? What devilry is it that has thousands of eye witnesses placing the monarch at cities a thousand miles apart? Witchcraft? Sorcery? Why? And how does this tie in to a string of crimes that seem hound the
Ultrasound Shadow by Thana Niveau – A pregnant woman finds herself at the mercy of her unborn baby. Its strange dark presence directs her thoughts and controls her mind and body.
The Breath by Joel Cornah – The scientist Hala travels to a lost planet civilisation and find it seemingly empty. The old gods of the world may be stirring in the very air she breathes as she searches for answers.
Anchor Point by Stan Nicholls – Kye Beven is lacking confidence, and is ruthlessly bullied. Everyone except Dyan Varike, the best archer in the band, 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 and saves his home.
The Clockwork Eyeball by Steven Poore – In a alternate 1958 Marrakesh, the cold war continues with airships, clockwork cars and deadly spywasps. Young Saif risks his life to bring a defecting Russian agent out of the country.
The House on the Old Cliffs by Adrian Tchaikovsky – A collection of desperate investigators are unleashed on a mysterious disappearance, by a lawyer working for clients who care little about the quarry’s fate and more for their own interests.
At Midnight I Will Steal Your Soul by John Llewellyn Probert – A visitor to a psychiatric institution gets more than she bargained for when it becomes apparent the building she finds herself as a prisoner, doesn’t want her to leave.
The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling – Two British Adventurers set themselves up as kings in remote Afghanistan. A 1888 classic.
This is such an amazing project and I really hope you’ll all want to help support it as it can make a real difference to so many people who struggle to read. The books all look and sound so interesting and they are all quite short reads too so perfect for anyone to enjoy reading. 🙂 A big thank you to Random Things Tours for the chance to be on this tour and please do help to support this project! 😀
What do you think of this kickstarter project? Do you or someone you know find it hard to read? What do you think of the books to be published? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂