Benetech and Bookshare are pleased to present Michael La Ronn, a science fiction & fantasy author from St. Louis, Missouri, who has written over 90 books in the areas of science fiction, fantasy, and self-help. His YouTube channel, Author Level Up, has over 46,000 subscribers and a few million lifetime views, including videos that teach writers how to write better and become better versions of themselves. Over the course of his extensive writing career, Michael has managed to balance his law school studies, a 9-to-5 job, as well as caring for his wife and family. It is notable that Michael is one of the many prolific authors who have decided to make their book collections accessible to all and has even donated some of his most prized works to Bookshare’s extensive online accessible library.
Accessibility for All
La Ronn is no stranger to accessibility, having had one of his first readers as an author be visually impaired. Due to its accessible nature, this reader was able to finish the eBook version of La Ronn’s interactive, choose your own adventure adult novel, Magic Souls, with joy. It was at this moment that La Ronn realized the importance of making content accessible and inclusive of all reading styles. “As an author, you should always make sure that everyone has access to your books, and we as a society don’t think about that enough.”, says La Ronn. Readers should be able to enjoy all the joys and adventures that reading can bring.
“I would have never thought in a million years that my books would reach so many different types of people.” – Michael La Ronn
Michael La Ronn Meets Bookshare
Throughout the years, people from all over the world have shared inspiring stories about their first encounters with Bookshare. We’re happy to say that La Ronn’s introduction to Bookshare doesn’t lack for that either, as he first learned about Bookshare through our very own VP of Content, Michael Johnson. While walking along beaches of Saudi Arabia, the two discussed accessibility and its importance. Johnson didn’t take long to convince the author to take part in the launch of his collection onto the Bookshare platform. In response to hearing about the challenges other authors and publishers faced with accessibility, La Ronn decided to tackle the issue himself. Through La Ronn’s conversation with Johnson, he learned about Ace by Daisy’s accessibility tool, which is what led to making his book collections more accessible. “Making books accessible is an important and smooth process, so why not make it accessible for everyone?”, says La Ronn.
Partnership with Benetech & Bookshare
As a passionate believer in the power of reading, La Ronn truly resonates with the Benetech mission to be able to provide accessible content to those with learning differences and/or physical impairments that hinder their reading experience. Because of this, La Ronn has decided to donate his science fiction and fantasy collection of books to Bookshare in the hope that other authors and publishers will follow suit with creating a more accessible world for readers. As another resource tool, La Ronn used the program ONIX, which handles most accessibility problems using proprietary software. Although time-consuming, with his skillset and dedication to creating accessible content for his readers, he was able to get his meta data in order, and his feed validated for a seamless upload to the Bookshare online accessible library.
Representation & Beyond for All Readers
During his childhood, La Ronn enjoyed reading many books but did not find much representation of African American characters in them. As an established writer in later years, he became more aware of the lack of inclusion and representation, leading him to write stories featuring more characters who look like himself. Often based on experiences or people he knows; he creates the world for characters he wanted to see growing up. It is La Ronn’s approach to creating inclusive worlds that contribute greatly to the success of his books and to the engaging reading experience he provides for his readers. He hopes to continue to pave his way in the industry by writing stories relevant to unique experiences.
“I want readers to have a good time with my characters. If you walk away wanting to get to know more about one of my characters, I will feel as though I’ve done my job. “ – Michael La Ronn
We are grateful to Michael La Ronn for donating his extensive collection of works to Bookshare ‘s online accessible library. Thank you, for creating an impact through your stories and providing accessible content to all Bookshare users.
Learn more about the author, Michael La Ronn at https://www.michaellaronn.com/.
Are you interested donating your novel(s) and/or collections to Bookshare?