Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

29. Book Accessibility: An Interview with Sassy Outwater, Pratik Patel, Laurel Montgomery and Kodak

I interrupt your regularly scheduled RWA interviews for a podcast interview with Sassy Outwater, Pratik Patel, Laurel Montgomery and Sassy's guide dog, Kodak. Kodak has many crucial things to say.

We talk a bit about why blind accessibility for books is important, how authors can advocate for their books and their blind readers – and fear not, the bulk of the presentation and the handouts we gave will be available online soon, too. 

ETA: There is a transcript of this podcast available, should you wish to read it instead of listen. Be warned: it's long! We talk a lot.

The following books were mentioned in our conversation, should you be curious: 

Slow Summer Kisses Cryoburn Sylvester - Read by Richard Armitage

The music this week was provided by Sassy Outwater, and the track is called “Fiddler On the Loose,” and that's Sassy performing. No word if Kodak also performs. 

If you like the Podcast, you can subscribe to our feed, or find us at iTunes. You can also find us at PodcastPickle.

You can email us at, or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-DBSA. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into our next podcast.

Next up: more interviews from RWA! Pitch appointment horror stories and hilarity! An aspiring author interviews me while I try to interview her! And mayhem, possibly. That'll be up soon. Enjoy! 


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  1. 1
    Smithmd says:

    Thank you so much for this attention to accessible ebooks!  I’ve worked in blind rehabilitation and regaining the ability to read is life changing.  The more people realize how easy it is to make books accessible the better! Thank you.

  2. 2
    Mochabean says:

    Good Morning.  I just wanted to say that I listened to this podcast on the way to work and I really enjoyed it.  I freely admit that I’d never thought about the issue of book accessibility (the privilege of the sighted, consider it checked) or that an audio book is an entirely different experience from a digitally accessible book.  I also share Sassy’s enthusiasm for Patrick Rothfuss’ The Name of the Wind and I bet she’ll enjoy the second book even more that the first. (Sassy, Jo Walton over at has done an extensive reread of both books with some really great analysis that you might enjoy once you’ve finished both books). Sadly, the third one is probably years away…anyway, thank you again for a great podcast!

  3. 3
    SB Sarah says:

    You are so welcome! I was also blown away by what I learned just putting our presentation together. Actually hearing what blind people listen to when they read a book or a website made me rethink a lot of things I do, too.

    Thank you for listening – and for the compliment!

  4. 4
    CutMyTeethOnKleypas says:

    EXCELLENT!  I am looking forward to this and how to set up books/presentations that are more accessible to blind readers!

  5. 5
    Wendy Barron says:

    I seriously love your podcast – my TBR is groaning and leaning like the tower of Pisa because of you and Jane – and this was a remarkable episode. Thank you, and Sassy and Pratik and Laurel (and Kodak) for a very thought-provoking and entertaining episode.

  6. 6
    Danielle TBQ says:

    Thank you—thank you for sharing such a great interview with us. Sassy—I’m in awe of you. Really, I am. :) And Kodak, as well!

    While listening to this podcast the other day, it really hit home for me. As a reader, my biggest fear is losing my sight. Yes, there are other ways to enjoy books without being able to see, but…without sounding petty, it’s just no the same, is it? :(

    It’s easy for anyone to lose their vision—if not completely, then at least to become visually impaired as we age alone.

    Due to some eye problems I had last year, I have lost much of my peripheral vision. And it will more inlikely never return—my optic nerves were damaged for too long before we caught the problem. Now, I suffer a loss of vision, enough that I will never drive, have trouble even walking (in places I’m not familiar with at least), and it does make things a bit harder to read at times (certain fonts and colors that I had no problem with before now make it impossible for me to read now). I have to admit, though it’s hard, that there is that possibility that my vision could get worse. I hope not, my doctors hope not, and it may never happen—-but it’s possible.

    With this slight…fear lurking in the background, I hope that the publishing world, and authors, realize that if they only take those few extra steps, more readers could be reading their books—no matter how said reading is done. Should I ever need something other than a physical book (or ebook) to get my reading fix, I hope that romance authors and publishers have their books available for me to still enjoy.

    Thanks for such a great podcast, it’s one I’ll be keeping! :)

    TBQ’s Book Palace


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