Dear Book Publishers, Authors and the Publishing Industry in General,
A free software program has recently made it possible to create two new kinds of books that have a huge commercial potential. First, let's have a quick look at two sample books:
The first sample shows Chapter 1 of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in English, with diacritics added to show pronunciation, and is intended for children learning to read (Grades K-3). The second sample shows the same story in both Chinese and diacritically marked English, and is intended for Chinese people learning English. To understand the diacritics used in these books, the reader only needs to learn a one-page scheme, like this:
Now we'll show you several reasons why making such books is profitable, and how to get started with this new technology—PIE (Phonetically Intuitive English).
Reason 1. Significant Positive Feedback
The free technology, PIE, has received positive comments from the US Department of Education, literacy and ESL experts, parents and users, and been covered by PCWorld and a number of other US and international media outlets. The Department of Education recommended that the project be forwarded to local education authorities for consideration. PIE was also invited to National Education Association Exposition 2013 (coinciding with NEA's 150th annual meeting) and got very positive feedback from educators nationwide.
Book publishers and authors can certainly put these positive comments on such books to increase the books' credibility.
Reason 2. Proven Market Success
In China, similar phonetic annotation known as "pinyin" is a must-have in books for children learning to read. See  for a photo of such a book where pinyin is printed above every Chinese character, telling young readers their pronunciation.
A similar story happened in Western history. Alexander the Great quickly conquered many new territories and his scholars invented diacritics for his Empire's language, Ancient Greek, enabling new citizens to learn it quickly.
Reason 3. Novelty as a Market Teaser
As such diacritically marked books are a first for English-speaking countries, potential buyers would be intrigued to buy them at least because of their desire to try them out.
Reason 4. Big Buyers
Literacy is a major concern in K-12 education, and school districts can be big buyers of such diacritically marked books for every K-3 student. We're informing America's top 100 school districts of this new way of teaching literacy, and are starting to receive positive feedback from them.
Reason 5. Flexibility for Different Reader Levels
The software can generate diacritics in three modes: Full, Lite and Extra Lite. Each successive mode shows fewer diacritics for more advanced readers. See  for screenshots of the three modes.
Reason 6. Benefits for Children Learning to Read
Traditionally, teachers use "phonics" as a method to teach children to read. Phonics is the pronunciation rules of English, such as the "vowel + consonant + e" pattern as in "take", "eve", "nice", "mode" and "cute". But such rules can be confusing. For example, "ea" has a wide range of diverse pronunciations in "speak", "steak", "bread", "Korea", "reality" and "create". In contrast, PIE directly shows every word's pronunciation, enabling students to start enjoying the pleasure of reading right away.
Also, this new method is supposed to dramatically reduce the total time to achieve basic literacy from 4 years (Grades K-3) to much shorter.
Reason 7. Benefits for International Learners of English
For a person who learns English as a second language, knowing a word's correct pronunciation actually has two benefits. The first benefit, obviously, is the fact itself—the learner can now pronounce the word correctly in speaking, and recognize it correctly in listening. The second benefit, not so obviously, is that pronunciation is actually the best mnemonic to help memorize a word's spelling as well—it's how native speakers learn a word: first pronunciation, and then spelling.
Reason 8. Source Texts Abound
PIE can convert ANY English text to the diacritically marked form, which means you can turn any work from the world's treasure trove of literature into a diacritically marked book, tapping on established market interest in well-known literary works.
Reason 9. Low Creation Costs
Converting a normal English text to the diacritically marked form is a fully automatic process, so it costs almost nothing to create such books.
How to Get Started
So you're interested and want to learn more? Follow these steps.
Step 1: Learn more about this free technology at its official website:
Step 2: Try out the technology in your Chrome web browser:
Step 3: Try out toolkits that help you create such books:
The Phonetically Intuitive English Project
Disclaimer: This message is not affiliated with nor endorsed by the U.S. Department of Education. The content of any information posted herein does not reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Education.