April 12th, 2021 by Jane Turner
I was introduced to the Books On The Hill Kickstarter project by Random Things Tours – and I’m blogging about it because I wholeheartedly support their effort.
If you love books, reading, and using your imagination – then you absolutely should support them too.
Books On The Hill has launched a Kickstarter campaign from 2 April 2021, running for 30 days, focused on raising costs for printing specially edited books, designed and produced for dyslexics.
On Kickstarter, there will be a number of different options for donating and you will receive rewards, such as ebook or a paperback of one or more of the titles to be published. There is also a unique reward from the authors contributing to the project.
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.
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, however there are sadly very few books for adults with dyslexia in traditional mass market publishing.
Dyslexia does not go away. You don’t grow out of it. 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. 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.”
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, may disagree). 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, designing cover art, and investigating roads to publication, including distribution.
Books on the Hill are collaborating with Chrissey Harrison, who is a local author and member of North Bristol Writers Group [and author of a fabulous 5-star book! -Jane]. Chrissey and Alistair designed the book-covers together, with Chrissey creating the finished product we now look on with awe. Nearly all the design work has been done by Chrissey, and she is also in charge of the printing process and typesetting. We are so proud and grateful to be working with her.
Special mention must go to Harrison Gates, who runs Nine Worthy, and who has donated his time and expertise to produce our print catalogue.
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 donating her proofreading skills.
Vicky Brewster has edited all the new stories by the authors. She specialises in editing and beta reading long-form fiction.