The second topic focuses on diversity in books and the publishing industry. Whose voices do we hear? Whose voices do we need more of? Where do we find representation lacking and what can we as bloggers do to address that? What about negative or stereotypical representation? 

Using digital formats and self-publishing becomes easier every year. And authors are taking advantage of that. I think the voices are out there. It is up to readers to find them, if they are truly interested in seeking them out. It’s also up to readers to recognize diversity in books even when it is less than obvious.

That said, traditional publishing has made some strides toward diversifying its offerings. Woman authors no longer have to use male pseudonyms (George Eliot, George Sand, Currer Bell) in order to be published or taken seriously.

I think one of the issues that is overlooked is the lack of diversity within a genre. It’s one thing to try to include authors of different types in a catalog but what about within the realm of the type of book? Why are spy and lawyer novels usually written by middle-aged men and unreliable narrator domestic thrillers by women? Why are serious biographies by old men and romance novels by women?

Of course, this is a generalization — these are just some of the examples that come to mind. But there are probably some cracking good spy novel writers out there who are young women in another country.

I’ve noticed that the YA area has been including titles for lots of different interests. The teenagers represented in their pages are more realistic than ever and allow readers to find someone who is “like them.”

As a bloggers and reviewers, we can make sure we champion these authors and their characters. We can even go so far as to make note of it in an email to the publicist when we send in our link. The more positive feedback the publisher receives (and the more books that sell), will help pave the way for even more diverse ideas.
Errata Corrige #2234, 2013. Vintage book, inks, nails on wood panel; cm 130×110. Private Collection. {via}


4 thoughts on “ARMCHAIR BEA 16: Diversity in publishing”

  1. I think one of the issues that is overlooked is the lack of diversity within a genre. — Good point and excellent examples.

  2. I love this post 🙂 I also love the art 🙂 You’re right, the more we as readers and bloggers seek out, buy and review more diverse books, the more publishers will print. Buyers create the demand, after all. All publishers do is supply it. If we all get behind some little known authors, things might start to change.

    Looking forward to seeing you around ArmchairBEA! 🙂

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