Quill and Quire

Industry News

« Back to Omni

LPG launches collection of nearly 600 newly accessible ebooks

The Literary Press Group has launched eBooks for Everyone, a collection of nearly 600 newly accessible ebooks by Canadian authors. The collection, comprised of works from 23 of the nonprofit association’s 63 Canadian-owned and -operated literary publisher members, makes more Canadian literature available accessibly to readers.

“We’re all about helping readers discover the titles that our publishers put out,” LPG executive director Laura Rock Gaughan says. “It’s most exciting to take a big swath of Canadian literature and make it available to readers who haven’t been able to access it simply because of technological barriers.”

The project to convert the ebooks was prompted by the availability of funding from the Canada Book Fund. The Accessible Digital Books initiative, announced in the 2019 federal budget, allocated $22.8 million over five years to support independent Canadian publishers in the distribution of accessible ebooks.

The ebooks in the collection, which includes Cherie Dimaline’s bestselling YA novel The Marrow Thieves (Cormorant/DCB) and Catherine Hernandez’s novel Scarborough (Arsenal Pulp Press), are available for purchase on the LPG’s website and directly from publishers.

The titles will also be made available soon for borrowing through the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA). NNELS estimates that only about five to 10 percent of ebooks are built with accessibility in mind.

Publishers selected the titles they wanted to convert to an accessible format. The Literary Press Group encouraged publishers to consider works in formats that would be more expensive to convert to accessible files, such as plays, poetry, and graphic novels and comic books.

The LPG’s online bookshop also includes metadata for each title, so readers will be able to determine whether the ebook meets their accessibility needs.

Gaughan is quick to note that the LPG project is not unique: other organizations have undertaken similar projects elsewhere in Canada, under the same funding opportunity.

“There are currently other projects going on to convert files,” Gaughan says. “We’re by far not the only one.”

The LPG is hopeful that the collection will find a market with libraries, schools, and universities, as well as general readers of all abilities.

Gaughan says the LPG “would love” to do another round of ebook conversions if more funding becomes available. “There are just so many elements to people’s unique needs, and this puts a lot of access and choice in their hands.”


August 16th, 2022

9:00 am

Category: Industry News

Tags: , , ,