With the arrival of e-books which you can display at large size, one might assume that the large print business had dried up. One would be wrong. Thorndike Press, now part of Gale, soldiers on. Large Print remains a significant element of public library service. The American Library Association is running a webinar on 10 May — details here. Gale’s blog Busts the Biggest Myths though interestingly the e-book issue isn’t mentioned. They do point out the logical benefits of large type for literacy teaching, and perhaps a bit desperately tell us that large print is ideal for reading while you exercise on a treadmill.

This chart from the Gale blog has the benefit of indicating who the players in this market are, though its percentages relate to books on the NYT bestseller list not to market share:


You don’t just take the regular edition and enlarge it photographically. Doing that will force you to use a larger trim size, which will increase your materials cost. It’s just cheaper overall to reset the entire work. Large print is defined as text in 16 point type or larger. Thorndyke tells us they set their books in 16 point Plantin. You’d think anyone could do that, and so they could. But the magic ingredient in Large Print is not the rather simple task of getting the books produced, it’s the sales and marketing. This is a niche market, and everyone in the business knows what their place is. A general trade publisher will probably make more money (or money without additional cost set against it) if it sells large print rights to Thorndyke rather than making a large print edition themselves.