Financial support sought as crisis hits minority publishers
As the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the publishing sector becomes clearer, trailblazing independent publishers JACARANDA BOOKS and KNIGHTS OF have partnered with SPREAD THE WORD to launch a crowdfund in support of independent, diverse publishing.
Independent publishers face extreme financial pressure over the coming months with minority voices at the highest risk of being lost. The campaign seeks to raise £100,000 for the two diversity-led independents with a percentage of funds being shared across independent publishers in the UK. The INCLUSIVE INDIES fund will be administered by independent writing charity SPREAD THE WORD.
Valerie Brandes, Founder and Publisher at Jacaranda Books, said of the campaign: Indies have continuously created inclusive spaces for underrepresented writers even as year-on-year we see the numbers reaching publication falling, while big publishing's overall output increases. Our presence therefore is essential to the publishing ecosystem.
The #Inclusiveindies fund marks the start of our combined efforts to continue this vital work for the betterment of us all in the publishing world.
Aimée Felone, Publisher at Knights Of, said of the campaign: Independent publishers have been at the heart of inclusive stories for decades, driving and pushing for commercial representation in an industry that has too often meant our stories are overlooked. The #InclusiveIndies fund is vital to ensuring that our shared work can survive this crisis and come out strong and together at the other end.
Inclusive publishers play a key role in providing safe spaces for members of minority groups to gather and engage in the arts.
The most recent census by the ALCS (Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society) and CLPE (Centre For Literacy In Primary Education) revealed that only 5% of published authors in the UK were people of colour and less than 4% of children’s books in the UK feature a protagonist of colour.
With the rapid closure of libraries, independent, inclusive publishers like Jacaranda Books and Knights Of provide an essential service with events and physical spaces where Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are happy to engage with literature and arts.
“We are stronger when we band together” #InclusiveIndies
The full campaign is available at: www.inclusiveindies.co.uk
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