Book Creator

Publishing of Children's Books

by Philip Dagostino [Kim ES]

Pages 2 and 3 of 9

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Diversity!
in children's literature
By Philip D'Agostino
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The Truth
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"books published about people of color and First/Native Nations people are disproportionately low, and books by members of these groups are even lower in number" (Flax 2018, p. 1)
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"Other groups, including people with queer identities, those with disabilities, and members of minority religions, also go underrepresented." (Flax 2018, p.1)
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Publishers have attempted to respond to this imbalance.

Independent publishers have emerged to fill the void, and larger houses have also responded with specialized groups and teams, also known as "imprints."

A resource list follows.
Diverse Publishers
a list
Just Us Books. https://justusbooks.com/ (Black children's books exclusively.)

The Feminist Press. https://www.feministpress.org/ (Ignite movements and social transformation.)

Lee & Low Books. https://www.leeandlow.com/ (The largest publisher of multicultural books in US.)

Groundwood Books. https://houseofanansi.com/ (Subsidiary of House of Anansi Press, a Canadian company focused on publishing books for and about children that are underrepresented.)

Highwater Press. https://www.portageandmainpress.com/HighWater-Press (Diverse Canadian publisher.)

Annick Press. https://www.annickpress.com/ (Diverse Canadian publisher.)

The RoadRunner Press. https://www.theroadrunnerpress.com/ (US publisher committed to discovering the voice of the American West and Native Americans.

Cinco Puntos Press. Now an image of Lee & Low, https://www.leeandlow.com/imprints/cinco-puntos-press, which focuses on publishing authors and stories from Texas near the Mexican boarder.

Interlude Press. https://interludepress.com/ (Publisher of Young Adult LGBTQ general and romantic fiction.)
MORE IMPRINTS
more publishers
Duet - The YA imprint of Interlude Press focused on LGBTQ representation. https://store.interludepress.com/collections/duet

Flamingo Rampant - https://www.flamingorampant.com/ Focuses on feminist, racially-diverse, LGBTQ positive
children’s books.

Seven Stories Press - https://www.sevenstories.com/ Focused on breaking the status quo.

Creston Books - https://www.crestonbooks.co/ Focuses on broad diversity.

Amistad - http://amistad.hc.com/ Focuses on Aftrican-American representation.

Saalam Reads - http://salaamreads.com/ Focuses on religious diversity.

Kokila - https://global.penguinrandomhouse.com/tag/kokila/ Focuses on valuing YA and children place in society.

Rick Riordan Presents -http://rickriordan.com/2017/04/rick-riordan-presents/ Focuses on publishing middle grade authors.

Denene Millner Books - https://www.agatepublishing.com/blog//introducing-denene-millner-books Publishes African-American authors for children.
PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
root cause
Despite the progress that has been made with the emergence of independent socially focused publishers, and imprints created or acquired by the large publishing houses in response to social justice demands, world literature still grossly underrepresents minority groups.

Why?

One theory is that the root cause of the lack of diverse literature in the world lies in the personnel of the publishing firms themselves.

"Roughly 80 percent of the children’s book world—authors and illustrators, editors, execs, marketers, and reviewers—is white." (Slater 2016, p.1)

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Diverse Books Don't Sell!
Greatest Risk
Although 77% of children's books buyers are white (Slater 2016), the revenue from publishing diverse literature will help correct the problem. This revenue stream is much more complex than the previous simple statistic, and it is growing as the world continues to become increasingly diverse. "Hispanics, for example, were 27 percent more likely than the average American bookworm to take home a kids’ book." (Slater 2016, p.3)
"The biggest threat to literary diversity, says author Christine Taylor-Butler, is the 'feeling that it is okay to destroy people on social media.'" (Slater 2016, p.4)

The profits will be there if the risks of being socially cancelled does not deter the authors, publishers, districts, and teacher from embracing socially diverse literature that might not be perfect.
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THE SOLUTION
The solution to fill the gap of diverse literature in the world today lies within the publishing companies themselves, and the profits associated with diverse literature.

Decision makers within publishing must represent the diverse nature of their customer base. Early authors and publishers with good intent, must avoid unjust punishment for cultural mistakes in their work. Finally, the readers of the world have to buy the literature, and vote with their wallets.
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