First things first: if you missed it this weekend, a group of us announced our participation in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks initiative, which is scheduled to happen THIS WEEK, starting May 1st. Please go read this post about it! Also, please go follow the Tumblr! We're already picking up steam, and the project has already been shared by Malinda Lo, Laurie Halse Anderson, Rick Riordan, John Green, and so many more authors, agents, and publishers who are showing their support. We would LOVE for you to join us!
Now, here's an announcement on a related project I've been cooking up with Kaye M.!
We've been hinting at a big summer summer project for a while now and holding out on you while we figured out the grand scope and some finer details. You've been waiting patiently, so here's a post that will hopefully shed some light on exactly what we're doing.
Introducing... Kidlit Revolution!
|Photo Credit: Pratham Books via Compfight cc|
This is a grand-scale project that intends to take all the words and ideas we've all been throwing around about diversity and turn them into real, tangible action. Kidlit Revolution is about building community, supporting authors who are diverse and are writing diversely, and creating serious ripples in the marketplace that can't be ignored. How will we do that?
Kidlit Revolution will act as a central hub for changing the industry through getting the word out about diverse books that don't have a lot of extra marketing support, but we're not going to stop there. Instead of simply reviewing and talking about these books and then moving on to the next, we're going to present a united front to make something happen for these books.
This is how it will work:
- Every week, we're going to feature an innovative, diverse kidlit or YA book that isn't receiving the most effective marketing support. We'll tell you about the selection, the author, and other pertinent information.
- Every day for that week, we will initiate a specific call to action intended to help that book succeed. For example: buy the book, write a review, read the book, share the book, ask your library to stock the book, pre-order the book, contact the publisher to say you want to see more like that book, etc.
- We will also spearhead more ambitious projects intended to affect the industry, such as requests to split the YA Best Seller List into hardcover and paperback books so it becomes less skewed.
This is a very, very simplified version of what we're planning, but it gives you the overview. The primary takeaway is that we are uniting with a common goal to create real change. By creating focused, tangible goals instead of spreading ourselves thin with generalized "awareness" campaigns, we're going to make something happen.
We can't do this alone! The success of this project will rest with the community we build. If enough of us band together to take a stand, we CAN change the industry. We CAN prove that these books can succeed with the right backing. We CAN make sure every kid sees themselves in the pages of a book. We will need the support of people at ALL levels, from readers to publishers.
No matter what happens, we will keep pushing, because these books deserve to be seen.
There are a million more questions to answer and a million more details to hammer out, and we're hard at work building a supportive team of people who will hopefully be able to tackle these challenges. We know that when it comes to the business side, money is going to be what speaks loudest, and we're taking that into account. Our biggest hurdle right now is building a community that's united and powerful enough to make this ambitious idea into a reality. We're going to need a lot of people, but we have faith!
What can you do to help?
Pledge to support this project in whatever capacity you can. Spread the word. Help us make connections with the right people as we build momentum. Be willing to put aside ego and give the floor to others. Dedicate yourself to making real, lasting, positive change in the industry we all love.
This is going to be big. Welcome to the Kidlit Revolution, launching this summer!