Bestselling crime author Alex Gray visits Scottish Braille Press

Press Release | 29/02/2016

Celebrated crime author, Alex Gray, has praised the work of the Scottish Braille Press in making literature accessible for blind people after meeting the team who are producing the Braille edition of her much-anticipated new novel.

The Scottish Braille Press, in Craigmillar Park, Edinburgh, will launch the seven-volume Braille edition of The Darkest Goodbye on the same date that the standard print edition is released on 3 March 2016. 

The novel is the thirteenth in the Detective Superintendent William Lorimer series by the award-winning Glaswegian author, who is a regular on the Scottish bestseller lists and one of the masterminds behind Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland. 

And on Wednesday, Gray toured the Scottish Braille Press, run by charity Royal Blind, to gain an insight into how her novels are meticulously transcribed and translated into alternative formats for her visually impaired fans. 

Speaking ahead of her visit this week Gray said: “I am very happy that all of my work is available now in Braille as well as audio and large print as that means it can be accessed by everyone no matter their ability to read the written word. 

"Braille is fantastic because if you want to pick up a book, read for a while, stop reading and put a book mark in your place, with Braille you can do exactly that as you would with a print copy. There’s something about holding a hard copy of a book. When you reach the end of a Kindle book, the end comes up and hits you in the face all of a sudden. With a book, you are fully aware that you have got the last few pages to go and you race to finish it, or if you’re like me you can put it down for a while and come back to it so you can savour it. 

“The Scottish Braille Press does a wonderful job to bring books to those who cannot read them any other way and I feel humbled and thankful that they consider my work worth all the effort. Huge thanks are also given to my publishers, Little Brown, who help so much to make this happen."

Less than 5% of published books are available in Braille and these can take several months or even years before they are available.

It can take between two to four weeks to produce a book in Braille. The text has to be transcribed into Braille format by one of the Press’ skilled transcribers and the text is then proof read and corrections are made.