1998. Alistair Sims
Dr Alistair Sims, from Somerset is a bookseller who set up his own crowdfunded publishing company to produce books aimed at adult dyslexic readers like himself.
Alistair runs the ‘Books On The Hill’ bookshop and after years of waiting for existing publishers to bring out titles aimed at adults who, like himself, have dyslexia, he decided to set up his own publishing company using crowdfunding.
So far, ‘BOTH Press’ has released 16 titles by bestselling authors, including Bernard Cornwell and Peter James who have supported the scheme, with large fonts, thicker paper and accessible formats. To regularly publish dyslexia friendly titles, ‘BOTH Press’ needs more than £20,000 a year and have so far held two successful Kickstarter campaigns to fundraise, with all funds going towards high-quality book production. Alistair is also a passionate advocate for making reading more accessible, partnering with local libraries and schools to provide resources and encouraging UK publishers to produce more books for adult dyslexic readers.
In a personal letter to Alistair, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“As we mark World Book Day, I am delighted to be able to recognise your trailblazing work publishing books for people with dyslexia.
“Through your crowdfunded publishing company, BOTH Press, you have taken titles by some of the bestselling authors in the country and made them accessible to dyslexic readers for the first time.
“I was also inspired to hear how you are raising awareness of dyslexia in the publishing industry and ensuring more people can share in the joy of reading.”
“I am absolutely over the moon and shocked. I went into publishing dyslexic friendly books and promoting reading because there has not been any books out there, and being dyslexic myself, I believed the lack of books was a travesty, as it is not rocket science to publish fiction formatted for dyslexia. It is enormously encouraging getting this award in changing the narrative on reading and publishing dyslexic friendly fiction for adults.”
See more about ‘BOTH Press’.