Diversity is a huge topic in publishing
Diversity is what makes books more realistic, more educational, and just better. Its a crucial element in writing a story that is fully developed. Many campaigns have been started in an effort to publish more diverse books. As the publishing world progresses into a more modern world, writers and readers hope to see more diversity in best sellers, as well as all books, in publishing.
This week I have been thinking about Diversity and the representation of diversity in publishing. Some of this was sparked by the campaign of an 11 year old girl who was searching for books that showed people of her
race as the main characters in books.
I was talking with my writing buddy recently over my characters and I made the comment that none of my main characters were the same color as me. I always saw them as mixed race though I never made a point of
describing them as such. As my writing buddy hears and critiques my writing first… the fact that the characters were mixed race was news to her. This sparked a conversation about whether to info dump character information. (NO)
Here in very multi cultural NZ, the loss of many of our NZ publishing offices to Australia has always concerned writers here. It widens the ditch that our distinctive Maori/Pasifica stories have to hurdle over to get published.
You’ve dodged the sham agent and got your diverse story polished, what can you do next on your publishing journey? You need an Author Business plan. This one is a comprehensive lists of things to think about on your way to establishing your author business.
In the Craft Section,
In the Marketing Section,
The last memory I have of the late, great Dame Katerina Mataira (Ngati Porou) was the speech where she didn’t mince any words to the publishing establishment. ‘Where are our Maori books? ‘The market is too small’
they said. So I have to do it myself.’ She went on to write, publish and sell in all genres across the board at over 70 years of age. “You have a niche product. No one will publish you. Get out there and do it yourself.”
About Maureen Crisp
Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.