Open Discussion – The Importance of Advocacy

Happy Saturday, friends!!

I’m so glad you’ve decided to take time out of your busy schedule to stop by Diversity. We really appreciate your support in making this blog great!

I’m excited to delve into this week’s topic: “Open Discussion – The Importance of Advocacy.”

One of the goals of our blog is to share with avid readers the availability of ethnically diverse Christian fiction. There are authors who write the fiction. Readers who want the fiction. Yet, how can we make a greater impact?

Is it as simple as reading diverse books?

Having authors who write them?

To make a global change, we have to band together. In the comments, share some ways we can advocate for diverse books and what you plan to do. 🙂

Written by Toni Shiloh


6 thoughts on “Open Discussion – The Importance of Advocacy

  1. Now here’s a question I don’t know the answer to! All I’ve been doing so far is sharing posts from this blog and with other diverse books/movies/TV that look interesting or that I’ve read. I have also explained to people what Latino Christian fiction is and talked a little about needing more diversity in Christian fiction. Apart from that, I haven’t done much but I am open to ideas!!! Let’s get the word out, people!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Blog. Review. Share on Facebook. I have a review blog and I tag each book with a variety of subject headings to make it easier for people to search for an author or genre. I was thinking about adding a multicultural tag…but since visiting the blog, I like the word diversity better because it can incorporate disability themes as well. So I need to go back and do that.

    I think actually purchasing books (or recommending your library to) is important. Sales are what will ultimately convince publishers to make the leap into accepting more diverse novels. Also, sending a short email to a publisher telling them how much you loved a certain book and appreciated the diverse characters — even setting. I think that would go a long way to encouraging them to deliver the kind of books we are eager to read.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. All great tips! I like what you said about the publisher. I know a lot of authors who write diverse fiction went Indie because publishers didn’t want to pursue that track. How can we change that?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My efforts are much like Kav’s! I blog (or have blogged and continue to share the posts 😀 ) about diversity in Christian Fiction, and I share other blogs and articles on the subject when I find them; I’m intentional about searching for ethnically diverse books to procure and review on my blog, Goodreads, retailers, etc.; I share my reviews on social media; and I have Diversity as a featured subject on my blog, and Multicultural as a genre category for books and films I read or watch.

    With that said, I don’t automatically read, praise, or recommend a book just because it’s diverse. If it doesn’t seem like something I’d personally enjoy or would feel good about recommending, I don’t read it, and if I do read and review a diverse book, it gets the same, honest treatment as any other book I read and review.

    Though I’m not waiting or particularly depending on the well-known traditional, Christian publishers to catch up in the area of diversity (it’s easier for me to find diverse ChristFic books from indie authors and some smaller presses), I do keep my eyes open for diverse ChristFic from the bigger publishing houses.

    Through a fellow author’s blog, I was fortunate to have some dialogue with a representative from one of the big houses about one of their diverse books. While I wasn’t silent (either in my book review or in dialogue with the publisher rep) about my concern about the book possibly perpetuating a widespread, negative stereotype and relegation for people of color, I was also honest in my praise of the book. If and when such houses publish more diverse books, I intend to express my thoughts on the books with the publishers, whether it’s through emails, blogs, or what have you.

    Publishing houses are businesses, and I figure they’re ultimately going to do what they feel is best for their bottom line. But I think the more vocal readers are about diverse ChristFic books, the more publishers will take notice. And by “vocal,” I mean–hey, readers’ money talks, readers’ reviews talk, readers’ emails and letters talk…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s interesting that you had some dialogue with a rep from a big publishing house. I really think that’s the way to go. And I agree, I’m not reading and reviewing a book I am not interested in no matter the ethnicity of the characters. My problem is that I don’t read ebooks and most indie books are in ebook format. If they are in paperback as well, they aren’t available in my country or are super expensive so I’m really relying on publishers to step up and deliver fiction that reflects the diverse world we live in.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, indeed. While ebooks have become a lifesaver for countless authors and readers (I myself highly prefer print books but give into ebooks–sometimes–for the convenience and cost-effectiveness 😀 ), I think that ebook-only publishing can create challenges, particularly when it’s “Amazon Kindle”-only publishing. I hear tell that indie books get left out of statistics that way, especially since the books don’t always have ISBNs attached to them. Hence, different statistics and reports don’t always give an accurate reflection of what books people are really buying and reading and where reader demand may really be.

        Even as an indie, I’m personally not a big fan of ebook-only publishing for a number of reasons, and I try to make my books available as wide as possible so places like Book Depository can pick them up. Not a perfect solution–and not meant to be an advertisement!–but free worldwide shipping there can come in handy.

        All that to say, there are certainly accessibility and distribution challenges in indie publishing. Still, the publishing landscape has changed rather quickly over the past few years. It wasn’t long ago at all that many a ChristFic author like me would likely still be unpublished, if it weren’t for the new platforms open to a wider range of authors. It may not take long before further changes make indie books even more accessible on a wider scale. I’m hoping!

        And, gee, I’m not trying to be all book-business-ish here, but I think I’ve seen with my own eyes how traditional publishers have taken a cue or two from what’s been happening with indie books, from trad-pubs starting to offer some of their ebooks for free to encouraging some of their novel writers to try writing some novellas. (Although neither “free books” nor novellas are a new thing, not at all, but that’s a whole different subject.) I think trad-pubs may be more aware of how things are changing than I once figured, and hopefully awareness will help both traditional and indie ChristFic publishing to advance.

        Liked by 1 person

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