Monday, March 16, 2009

Hachette Book Group Partners with Bookshare

Bookshare looks for publishers to partner with us to make books more available to people with disabilities. It's very exciting that we can announce that one of the largest book groups in the United States has just made the commitment: Hachette Book Group Partners with Bookshare To Make Thousands of Books Available to People with Print Disabilities.

Hachette Book Group publishes under quite a number of famous imprints, such as Little Brown and Company and Grand Central. According to the company, they had a record 107 books on the New York Times bestseller list in 2008, with 35 of them ranked #1. By gaining access to these books directly from Hachette, we don't have to go through our typical time-consuming process of chopping, scanning and proofreading the books. They will be sending the books to us in high quality XML formats that we can turn into DAISY and Braille digital files. We're really excited about the social responsibility that Hachette has demonstrated through making this commitment!

Part of our commitment to Hachette is to ensure that people with print disabilities get the Hachette books they need through Bookshare. The Bookshare infrastructure is set up to make it easy to provide these specialized accessible formats. We're looking forward to making other, similar partnerships with publishers to address the needs of people who simply can't use the traditional print book.

1 comment:

Davis said...

Dear Jim:

Thank you for your good work with getting Hachette on board with BookShare.

The letter I wrote is below.

Again would you consider buying ReadPlease the company or offering copies of ReadPlease Plus 2003 as one of the best text to speech softwares I have used. Read:OutLoud is good but a bit sticky and Victor Soft lags behind by a second on the hightlight at speed 7 or 8. (I've explained to support)

But as the letter below states BookShare has changed my life. I'm reading and reading a lot.

Thanks again. Below is my letter to Hachette.


March 16, 2009

Maja Thomas
SVP Hachette Book Group Audio and

Re: Bookshare partnership.

Dear Maja Thomas:

Thank you so much for partnering up with Bookshare.org.

Bookshare has opened up a world to me which was almost impassable, the world of the printed word, books, novels and news has been exhausting to tread until I became a member of Bookshare.org. The printed word in today's internet has been a breeze because of ReadPlease which I found on-line in 2001. Most of my published reading was restricted to the Gutenberg Project and whatever book I was really intent on reading I would have to do the following:

1. Scrape the glue off the binder then cut the binder.
2. Scan the book into PaperPort then process the scanned book with Optical Character Recognition (OCR) it into a text rich format, then save in Microsoft Word.
3. Then read with ReadPlease

When it came to reading the Wall Street Journal, which my wife bought for me with expiring air miles, I would scan the paper headlines and then cut out the article and then do the same as the above process for reading a book and read with ReadPlease.

Then a Librarian told me about Bookshare, and in November of 2007 I joined. This technological oriented Company provided new text to speech software, which took my reading capability to a new level. Read:OutLoud Beta and the Victor Readers have given me the ability to read a book at work and then use ReadPlease for proofing letters, email, contracts and other work oriented reading. (Attached are three articles which I wrote, one being a talk I was asked to present at the Florida Council for Exceptional Children, given in Oct. 2008)

For Hachette to come on board as a pro-active publisher, all I can tell you is THANK YOU, I am grateful. It is my hope Textbooks break the iron clad stance and go green, to put education on the cutting edge as you all have at Hachette.

Please thank your team for me, a 49 year old father, and husband with the "gift of dyslexia", who for the first time is on the edge of my reading chair.

Sincerely,


Davis W. Graham
Executive Director \ CFO
Manatee Diagnostic Center, Ltd.
Bradenton, Florida