Diversity in Publishing: The More You Read, The More You Know
Over the past few years, diversity in the publishing industry has been a noteworthy debate. It has revolutionized the industry by drawing in several initiatives & campaigns like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices. Expansion in diversity simply means inclusion and positive representation. In like manner, diversity in publishing helps create a better community, unite groups and bridge differences ensuring that readers from every culture find their own reflection in books.
Role of diversity in the publishing industry
Characters of a book can belong to any culture, any region and offer value to it. Writing about diverse ‘quirky’ characters is one of the strongest contributors towards inclusion across every genre. The idea should advocate promoting diverse experiences such as LGBTQ, people of colour, etc. And these subject matters aren’t limited to a group, they are for everyone to read. Such is the power of reading and writing on diversity. The good news is that the emergence of self-publishing has led to a progressive change in this aspect. Marginalized authors finally are paving their way in the publishing community through this avenue. Diverse authors are now able to publish their work, unafraid of the traditional mass-market stereotypes and prejudices.
Just like writing, reading is an enriching experience for the audience. While POC authors pen down their firsthand experiences, the readers tend to feel connected too. The authors give a voice to their characters aligning with the minds of the readers. James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates, are both POC authors who address societal issues such as racism via their own experiences. A few must-read books under such genres are –
- We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Adiche: A series of author’s personal experiences that define feminism in this modern world.
- Becoming by Michelle Obama: An inspirational book for young readers.
- “I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness” by Austin Brown: About the construct of race and experiences of black people in America.
- The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna: An immersive young-adult, West African-inspired fantasy novel breaking the shackles of the society.
Readers are now moving towards every subgenre of work which is leading to filling the void of racial diversity and addressing real-time issues in today’s world. A diverse community of readers and writers should aim at elevating underrated authors as their nuances make each of their books distinctive and memorable. Writing about diversity enables an author’s mind to write about characters they truly resonate with. This helps his readers perceive and connect with communities around them. Authors thus value representation, embrace it and help make a change in society. It makes people aware of prevalent issues of society and act on them radically.
Therefore, diversity is an aspect that not only is inclusive of all cultures and representations but helps evolve and shape one’s mind around every concept. It is a boon for any culture that aims to create a safe and relatable environment for all cultures and people alike. Diverse books around romance, fantasy, race every individual can relate to while flipping through the pages. This can only happen when authors from diverse backgrounds tell their ‘slightly unconventional’ stories without any fear.