Where the Happily Ever Afters Are Always In Color

 How We Can Make Diverse Romance Lit and Authors More Successful

The call for diversity across media is nothing new. Inclusion of people of color, people with disabilities, fiction incorporating characters who practice a variety religions and the inclusions of members of the LGBTQIA community (and wherever any and all of these things may intersect) and even people with a clear difference of body type has been the topic of conversation for generations. On social media, there has been a renewed push for more diversity in gaming, film (I’m looking at you Disney/Marvel) and all genres of fiction.

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“Hey there. Whatcha reading?”

The Romance fiction community is right there too, discussing ways mainstream romance publishing can make an active move to do more. Well Romance Peeps, why not make a real push in the coming days at the 2015 Romance Writers of America Conference (#RWA15) July 22-25, in wonderful New York City.Here are a few ways we can really make all these hashtags matter.

AUTHORS AND READERS:

BUY a book by an author of color/LGBTQ author at the at the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. Hit your faves, but take a minute to talk to someone new. Then…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you just bought. So many people are one click buyers on facebook and twitter. Those one-clicks go a long way. Trust me.

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Now I know I have stacks of unread books. It’s something us book nerds are known for. We hoard the dang things, but at the very, very least, if you know you wont get to it, that book can be gifted to a friend, family member or your local library, but before you give those unread books a new life…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you plan to pass along. Share the love!

On a budget? Make a list of authors who are new to you and when you get home, purchase their books as your budget allows. And in the meantime…

TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the book you plan to buy. Share the love! A lot of people underestimate how far talking about a book or an author can go. You might be exposing someone to the book love of their life.

Now, I have to whisper to the Agents/Editors/Pub Reps in the audience. Talk to us, mingle with us. I know the nature of these things involve meeting new clients/speak with existing clients, but at the end of the day we are all a community. You might not want to rep some of these authors now, but you might if you get to know us. Maybe the person chicken comes before the book egg? You know what I mean.

Creating a space for diverse books and authors is going to take a new approach and I think if we all give it the ole college try while we’re in the same room we’ll be taking a step in the right direction.

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Just this morning I picked up IRONIC by, new to me author, Harper Miller

Not attending #RWA15? Why not start now! Here are a list of places where you can find diverse romance and other fiction. Click some links, read some blurbs, or just close your eyes and pick something new. All of our favorites were once new to too. Think of all the new favorites you could find by just giving some new books/authors a chance. And even if you just end up doing some browsing, TWEET/FACEBOOK/TUMBLR/PINTEREST the books you’re thinking about buying. Share the love! Together, we can do it. Happy Reading!
Romance Novels In Color – Reviewing Diverse Romance Fiction

Saris and Stories – Coverage Romance and Women’s Fiction by Indian Women

Around the World in 80 Books – Reviewing Diverse fiction

WOCInRomance – Covering Romance Novels written by Women of Color

Sistahs On the Shelf – Covering Lesbian/Bisexual Romance by Black Women

Rainbow Book Reviews – Reviewing LGBTQIA Literature

Have more blogs/review sites to add to this list? Please leave a comment below.

 

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6 Comments

  1. guinevere says:

    I totally loved this post! While my sister and I have been reviewing US, fantasy and sci fi on my Twinja book reviews blog , we just started a new book blog dedicated to romance called Rebellious Cupid and our focus like always is multicultural romance. Hope you can check out our reviews. It’s new but we read and review romance so fast lol.

  2. P. J. DEAN says:

    Good to see you young’uns are heading the charge. Most WOC are too concerned with “playing fair.” Personally, I’m tired. Playing fair? Funny, because how can one “play fair” when the rules change every five minutes and sorta never included one? My solution? A whole new bunch of editors are needed at the Big 5 if they are the doors to be broken through, and most importantly, a whole new shift in the “mindset” of the “mainstream” reader. The diversity angle has to become commonplace, second nature, and not seen as that “special” book the mainstream reader deigns to pick up AFTER they’ve exhausted their pile of go-to writers . That’s gonna take a bit of time but that’s the only way to roll.

  3. Reese Ryan says:

    Love that you offered practical ways to take action on this movement. Great post!

  4. Meoskop says:

    I wish attendees of panels would ask which AoC or black authors were approached to be on all white panels. People often build panels from their friends and stop – just making sure you have diverse panels for every topic, not just “diversity” panels is a statement of committment.

  5. […] Rebekah Weatherspoon has a great post on helping diversify romance. […]

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