Monday, April 28, 2014

Viva la Kidlit Revolution!

It is heartening to see all the discussions about diversity recently, be it the BookCon shenanigans (spoiler if you haven't been following along: they are NOT good shenanigans and we at YA Interrobang have already announced our refusal to cover it while attending BEA) or talk about new steps forward and new initiatives to keep this drive going.

Already, the lovely Ellen Oh has gotten the ball going with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, which will launch this week. Check out the post on it, and the Tumblr, for more information on getting involved!

But on to the main point of this post: my friend Steph and I have been dropping little tantalizing hints for you guys about a major project that we were scheming up. We wanted all this talk about diversity to be channeled into action that could very well shake up the industry's deeply-set prejudices and internalized racism.

With that in mind, today we are introducing Kidlit Revolution!

As you can see, Steph has done an amazing job of summing up what we've set out to do in her intro post, but I'll do a quick recap for the sake of my readers here.

Kidlit Revolution aims to be a driving force for actual change within the publishing industry, by focusing attention and support on diverse books that may not be getting the buzz they need from publishers. However, this won't be done through a few reviews or separate posts.

The whole goal of Kidlit Revolution is - well, revolution.

We want to pose a unified front.

This is us right now. Except we aren't exactly Pixar characters. And we aren't cooking.

Steph's outlined the steps we're planning on, so I'll just drop those here:

  1. "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."
  2. "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"
  3. "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."
There is a lot more to it than that, but the gist is, "We want change, so we're going to band together to promote that change." Steph and I are aware that the two of us cannot carry this through alone. We are going to need you, our community, to make this project a reality and a success.

So what can you do to help?

Glad you asked, lovely people. Please, if you want to support us, let us know. Pledge to spread the word, to keep an eye out for what we might need and fill the gaps for us if you can. Help us get in touch with the people we need to know about to make bigger connections and form a community that can make differences at large.

The project will launch this summer, so keep an eye out for more updates! I'm so excited to go into this with Steph, who is one of my favorites on here and has been for some time, and also to hear your responses and thoughts!

Viva la revolution!


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