Publishing companies come in a variety of different sizes and come into to existence for a variety of different reasons. For instance it was reported in the Guardian that Lord Heseltine, one of the founders of the hugely successful publishing companies called Haymarket Media Group. Was said to have “severe dyslexia” and that “he was never going to be a stellar scholar”, But he was still able to make a success out of Haymarket before entering into politics. The son of Lord Heseltine is the current Deputy Chairman of Haymarket Media Group and is also said to have dyslexia.
On the other scale and for other reasons the publishing company Barrington Stoke was set up in Edinburgh in 1996 by Patience Thomson the mother of Ben Thomson . Ben’s wife, Lucy, was also instrumental in the formation of this unique and innovative company. The creation of Barrington Stoke was in response to Ben being severely dyslexic with him encouraging his mother to get involved and to look at producing books for people with dyslexia due to his own experiences at school. From its inception, the main objective of Barrington Stoke has been to provide books that people with dyslexia could read and enjoy.
Barrington Stoke has been identified as a specialist publisher for struggling readers. It does acknowledge that for some people struggling to read can result in low self-esteem and, in some cases, depression. That is why it aims to cater for a wide variety of age group from children through to adulthood all the while being conscious of ability too.
Some people saw Barrington Stoke as catering to a very niche market. However, right from the beginning Barrington Stoke saw itself as some far more. It has had great success breaking the mould and developing into mainstream publication. It makes its books more accessible for people with dyslexia or people who struggle to read.
Ben Thomson retired as Chair of Barrington Stoke, however, his wife Lucy has taken over the reins. Ben firmly believes that Barrington Stoke has exceeded its original objectives by producing brilliant books and changes lives.