Don’t Turn Off a Major Market

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May 2011
by Cathi Stevenson

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Don’t Turn Off a Major Market

by Cathi Stevenson

People past the age of 40 almost always need reading glasses. Around then, most can read something 10 inches away with ease. But by the time they’re 50, most people are holding their reading material 16 inches away, and the distance can continue to increase with age. The condition this reflects is called presbyopia. It occurs as the eye loses its ability to focus. Approximately 90 million Americans have it.

When you consider this, and factor in numerous other eye conditions affecting young and old, one thing becomes clear: Publishers who do books for adults on almost any subject need to design their books— and their promotional material—to suit people who suffer from vision problems.

While print books require special layouts and printings to accommodate people with visual impairments, electronic books have built-in advantages, including allowing the reader to change the font and increase text size. Issues with glare and contrast remain with some e-readers, but the technology is improving every day.

Still, it’s essential to format electronic books so that readers can utilize the options available on the devices. And it’s equally important to ensure that any images—particularly images with embedded text…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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