Announcing the Launch of the eBooks for Everyone Collection

Today is the official launch day of an exciting new initiative: the eBooks for Everyone collection. Over 600 (!) Canadian-published ebooks have been converted to accessible formats for print-disabled readers. Below, we tell you more about why we’re so amped.


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About the eBooks for Everyone Collection

On August 16, 2022, All Lit Up’s parent organization the Literary Press Group launched a collection of newly accessible ebooks from 23 Canadian literary publishers. Thanks to Canada Book Fund’s Accessible Digital Books Initiative, we were together able to undertake a significant project: to convert 600+ existing and new epub files into accessible formats. Right now, over 300 of these are available on a dedicated All Lit Up page, the eBooks for Everyone Collection, with more due to be added all the time.

Currently, less than 5 percent of books currently published each year are accessible to readers with print disabilities, so we’re so excited to see this huge push into having Canadian-authored and -published books be available to any and every person who’d like to read them.

Says LPG executive director Laura Rock Gaughan: “It’s thrilling to release this rich literary collection. New readers will discover vital Canadian books that were not previously available in accessible ebook formats.”

With a wide range of genres – novels, short stories, creative nonfiction, poetry, drama, graphic narratives, and children’s books – and subcategories like award winners, campus novels, and LGBTQ+ reads, there’s something for everyone in the collection!

And, in addition to being for sale on All Lit Up, the books in the collection will also be made available for free borrowing through the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) and the Centre for Equitable Library Access.

What is an accessible eBook?

We’re so glad you asked! Accessible epubs have special features like:

  • alt-text that describes what’s going on in an image
  • robust table of contents navigation
  • a semantic reading order, so that screen-readers read in the correct order of things on a page
  • language tagging (a great feature that makes sure words in different languages are pronounced properly, so words like “hors d’oeuvres” are read “orr-durves” and not “horse da-overs”)

The eBooks aren’t the only things that have become more accessible…

You may have noticed that it looks a little different around here: that’s because we made some accessibility upgrades to our site! All Lit Up is thrilled to be a leading retailer in displaying ebook accessibility metadata. In non-publishing speak, this means that we show precisely what makes an ebook accessible on book pages on our site. You can see it in the below example with Gibby from ECW Press:

We look forward to continuing to display data as it’s supplied for accessible ebooks in the collection.

And, we’ve also made upgrades to text contrast and certain semantic changes, so that All Lit Up itself is also more accessible to folks using assistive reading technologies. We’ll continue to strive to do better, because reading is what? For everyone!

What are you waiting for? Browse the eBooks for Everyone collection here.