Doing a large-print edition

There was a comment by ABE in response to my last post asking for more information about doing a large-print edition. I was just going to reply, but then I realized that, if people are curious, I might as well make a new post that has basically everything I know about doing them in it.

So, ABE asked:

Just out of curiosity - as you should have it quite clear right now - how many pages did your regular edition have, and how much of a multiplier is it to go to the large print edition? You got close to the edge, so that helps pin it down.

The problem is that the multiplier changed because I changed fonts. Trang was set in 10-pt Palatino Linotype, it is a 373-page book, and it made a 794-page large-print edition (set in 18-pt Arial with 22-pt line spacing). Trust is 375 pages (oh, so it's not actually shorter, duh), but it's set in 10-pt Book Antiqua, so it makes an 846-page large-print edition--too long for CreateSpace, which limits you to 820 pages.

What I should have done--and what I did with Trang--was to stick all the text into a file, set the page size, font, margins, and line spacing, and have a quick look at how many pages resulted. That gave me a fairly accurate idea of what the page count was going to be--and that's why my line spacing is a half-point more narrow than it's supposed to be.

Also, I wouldn't necessarily have thought of putting out the large print edition - and that's another good idea.

I haven't actually sold any of my large-print editions. This is sort of a quixotic thing for me that I do when I'm not hugging trees and weaving clothing out of organic hemp. A large-print edition is a lot easier than a regular layout because the ragged right means that you don't have to worry about tight or loose lines, and you don't break words, so you don't have to worry about bad breaks. Buuuuut it does take some time and effort (or money, if you don't do your own layouts), and the payoff may never come, because people with serious visual disabilities these days probably get e-readers and set the font to something they find readable.* For me, it's easy enough and I'm fanatical enough about accessibility (can people read e-ink as easily as paper? I dunno) that it's worth it, but I could definitely see someone going the other way.

Lastly, has it ever occurred to you to sell your templates? After all this work on your part to get them right - maybe that would have some extra value.

I don't know that templates would actually be helpful to other people, because I'm already cheating slightly on the American Printing House for the Blind standards (which, in my defense, are by far the most stringent), and I'm going to have to cheat more. With the regular layout, since I use Word, I do a lot of odd hacks to make it work that you can't put in a template.


*ETA: I've read about authors wanting to fiddle with their e-books so that readers can't modify the fonts. Please, please, please, PLEASE, PLEASE do NOT do this. You may think that san-serif fonts are ugly, but for some people, they are the only fonts they can read.