(Trad) Publishing seeks to address industry’s lack of diversity (again)

Publishing seeks to address industry’s lack of diversity

Sarah Shaffi in The Bookseller (

The publishing industry needs to improve the diversity of its staff and open itself up to writers of all backgrounds if it is to increase the range of its output, publishers have told The Bookseller.

Statistics, partly compiled by The Bookseller, show that of the thousands of titles published in 2016 in the UK, only a small minority—fewer than 100—were by British authors of a non-white background. But publishers have argued there is now a serious commitment to widening that representation, with one suggesting the industry was in “the process of a very dramatic transition”.

The Bookseller this week publishes a range of first-person accounts written by senior publishing executives from diverse backgrounds, in the first such initiative to focus on the “rich line of brilliant BAME publishers”, in the words of HarperCollins non-fiction publisher Natalie Jerome, who suggested the feature. The essays—by people such as Batsford publishing director Tina Persaud, Tamarind founder Verna Wilkins, and HarperCollins general counsel Simon Dowson-Collins—reveal the realities of working in a predominantly white environment, and the disappointment of not being able to materially increase the output from British black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) authors.

Want to find some great diverse indie titles? You’re at the right place.

Read more here.

Photo Mania: Comic Arts Brooklyn 2016

Do We Really Need to Innovate the Reading Experience?

Reading a book used to be considered a fairly straightforward experience.

You opened the book (it was a print book) and you started reading.

Today we have ebooks and audiobooks, which, to varying degrees, have changed our reading experiences. With an ebook, we can read that same print book on our phones, on our computers, on our tablets or on our e-reader devices. And with digital audiobooks, we can now listen on our phones to someone else read the text from that print book.

I hear a lot of talk about how ebooks didn’t innovate enough, or how ebooks are unsatisfactory—that they’re stuck in this “print-under-glass” model that offers nothing new to the reading experience.

I also hear about companies, both within and outside of traditional publishing, that are trying to change the reading experience, be it through new platforms or apps that bring in other forms of media or break a book down into smaller segments.

Maybe I’m a bit naive, but my question is, why?

New start-up hopes to revolutionize interaction between audience, readers + publishing industry

Launching November 14, publishing startup, Leafless, is looking to revolutionize the way independent authors, readers and industry professionals interact to find exceptional books.

Through Leafless, authors can provide free copies of e-books to new readers in exchange for feedback and reviews. Readers then have a limited number of opportunities to nominate the books for publication, which requires the reader to write a 250-word review. Highly nominated books are distributed globally as self-published titles while Leafless collects sales, demographics and pricing data. Agents and publishers can evaluate this data to consider books for traditional publication, giving both authors and publishers the chance to make key gains in the industry. Once a book is picked up for publication, the nominators receive complimentary signed copies.

In addition to distributing e-books to readers and industry outlets, Leafless has a traditional, full-service publishing arm that will acquire books showing success on the platform. Leafless is beginning this process with two titles, the novel “Searching for Von Honningsbergs” by Rowena Wiseman and the nonfiction title “From Garage to Greatness” by Eric Mathews. For more information, visit http://www.leafless.pub/.