The Daisy Chain – Available here & on Amazon
The Daisy Chain – dyslexia friendly edition, hard copy only
This edition of The Daisy Chain, an historical novel set around Kew Gardens in 1771, has been typeset in a format that academic research by Anglia Ruskin University shows makes it more readable by neuro-diverse people.
The key to this increased accessibility is a combination of a specially designed typeface called Open Dyslexic and increased word and line spacing. Whilst some classic works and children’s stories have been typeset in Open Dyslexic, this is the first time this specific combination of font and spacing have been used.
Why not download the first 12 pages for free and see if this works for you.
An innovative project
Dr Steven Stagg, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, who carried out the study is delighted to see academic research carried forward into practice:
‘When you’re involved with academic research it normally tends to stay within the academic realm – no matter how persuasive it might be, you never expect it to be picked up and put into practice in the popular arena. So, when dyslexic author Al Campbell contacted me and asked if he could apply the principles of some research I had done with dyslexic students on word and line spacing to a book he was writing, it was quite unusual.
My research, and that of my colleagues, indicated that if words and lines were spaced out more than is traditional in typesetting, dyslexics would be able to access content more effectively. I myself am dyslexic and, when Al sent me some page proofs, I read the dyslexia-friendly version first without any difficulty, wondering if it actually made an improvement. Then I opened the conventionally typeset version and couldn’t even begin to read it. I just had the sensation of the page moving and of seeing light and dark contrasts rather than letters.
From both my personal and research perspective, for dyslexics like me, the change really does seem to make a significant difference. I could read a novel.’
Pre-publication research with dyslexic readers
For research purposes prior to publication this new format was shown to a wide range of dyslexics who have all commented positively on how much easier it is for them to read. Sample pre-publication reviews include:
‘I really like that dyslexia-friendly font and layout – it’s more relaxing on my eyes, makes it easier to see the words and makes reading so much more enjoyable for me’
Amy Hunt, dyslexicbookreviews on Instagram
‘When I looked at the first page, I realised for once I could read without being frightened. It’s a good tale too’
Mark Wilson, playwright, and theatre director.
‘It takes dyslexic actors like me longer to get to grips with words that are typeset in traditional ways. It’s so great that somebody has finally taken us seriously and realised that, when addressed properly, dyslexia needn’t be a barrier’
Daisy Roe, actor.
The book itself is the story of orphaned botanical painter Daisy Salter who comes to London and, by a chance encounter with legendary scientist and explore Joseph Banks, is appointed Painter in Residence at Kew Gardens. She is befriended by Queen Charlotte and becomes involved in espionage, slavery and smuggling before having to rescue the Queen’s birthday present, the magnificent Bird of Paradise flower. All the while wondering which of the two men who have asked for her hand in marriage she can trust.
How to buy the book
Currently, due to technical issues, the dyslexia-friendly edition of The Daisy Chain is only available in hard copy. The author and publisher hope an electronic version will be available at some time in the future.
A small number of copies, signed by the author, are available from this website by clicking the ‘BUY NOW’ button for £8.99 plus £2 P&P in the UK. Otherwise you will find the book on Amazon here.
About The Author
Al Campbell is a dyslexic writer who is passionate in his belief that the UK’s six million dyslexics should be able to read the stories he writes. He hopes this dyslexia-friendly edition of The Daisy Chain will also act as an example for all publishers to make the works of other authors accessible in this format.
Download the attached PDF and you can read the first bit to see if the dyslexia-friendly layout works for you and if you like the story.
Buy a Copy
Get a signed copy, sent straight to your door. Alternatively you can buy a paperback copy on Amazon – no KIndle copy is yet available.