Let's Talk Bookish; How To Promote Diversity In Book Blogging and Publishing
It's Friday, which means it's time for a new Let's Talk Bookish post, courtesy of Literary Lion and Eternity Books. The theme of the week was how to promote diversity in book blogging and publishing.
If one is a bit creative, I think it could be a bunch of different ways. That said, I often feel that the Norwegian publishers are a bit "slow" to publish diverse books, if they publish them at all. Aside from a very small handful of non-western bestselling authors, I rarely see any non-white authors (or diverse authors in general) prominently displayed, whether it's in newsletters, in bookstores or what-not. If we're going to read diverse books, they need to be published and for that matter, promoted so much that people know they exist. Not that there's anything wrong with Jo Nesbø and Lucinda Riley, but come on, there's tons of authors out there that could be displayed and/or deserve to be on the bestselling lists.
In some cases, there's also the issue of either outdated or not relevant books. That's something I once noticed when I worked at a bookshop and a genderfluid person came in and asked for books about, you guessed it, gender fluidity. The closest thing the shop had, was three vaguely outdated books about being trans and they were more aimed at health care professionals and not the LGBT+ community. Fair to say I cringed and apologized about the lack of literature, coming up with suggestions where they could look instead in terms of reading material. As I'm bi myself, I found the experience a bit embarrassing, truth be told.
Being bi is also the reason why I try having in the back of my head reading diverse books and/or authors, as I know representation matters and I recently talked about the lack of LGBT+ books in Norway while growing up. I'm currently hosting the 2021 Diversity Reading Challenge to urge people, and myself, to read more diverse books, and last year I even had a few themed months, such as Black History Month and Women's History Month on my blog. I still blog about diverse books, whether it's reviews, using books for prompts at memes such as Top Ten Tuesday and in general mention/talk about diverse books when it fits. Next year I also plan to only review books that fits within a diverse theme, either by author or chracters, such as LGBT+ or BIPOC, feminist themes and so on, just to prove a point that it is possible to read diverse in a big way. The books are out there, they just need to be discovered and read.