Spread the Word has partnered with trailblazing independent publishers Jacaranda Books and Knights Of to launch a crowdfund in support of independent, diverse publishing.
Independent publishers face extreme financial pressure over the coming months with minority voices at the highest risk of being lost. The campaign seeks to raise £100,000 for the two diversity led independents, and inclusive independent publishers in the UK. The Inclusive Indies fund will be administered by Spread the Word.
Knights Of and Jacaranda Books are a critical part of the UK’s literature and publishing ecosystem–from discovering and nurturing debut writers through to creating new markets and readers. They are often at the forefront of taking risks with their titles alongside creating change in the industry.
Aimée Felone, Publisher at Knights Of said: “Independent publishers have been at the heart of inclusive stories for decades, driving and pushing for commercial representation in an industry that has too often meant our stories are overlooked. The #InclusiveIndies fund is vital to ensuring that our shared work can survive this crisis and come out strong and together at the other end.”
Valerie Brandes, Founder and Publisher at Jacaranda Books, said: “Indies have continuously created inclusive spaces for underrepresented writers even as year-on-year we see the numbers reaching publication falling, while big publishing’s overall output increases. Our presence therefore is essential to the publishing ecosystem. The #Inclusiveindies fund marks the start of our combined efforts to continue this vital work for the betterment of us all in the publishing world.”
Ruth Harrison, Director at Spread the Word, said: “Spread the Word is committed to ensuring that talented writers from all backgrounds are nurtured and published. Our survey with The Bookseller shows that independent presses have been critically affected by the impact of Covid-19. Jacaranda Books and Knights Of are two pioneering publishers who publish exciting, talented, necessary voices and without them the publishing landscape would be less exciting and less diverse. Their contribution and impact on writers and readers cannot be underestimated. We are dedicated to supporting these two great publishers, and the innovative people behind them.”
Inclusive publishers play a key role in taking risks that more mainstream publishers aren’t willing to take. With the rapid closure of libraries, independent, inclusive publishers like Jacaranda Books and Knights Of provide an essential service with events and physical spaces where Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are happy to engage with literature and arts.
The most recent census by the ALCS (Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society) and CLPE (Centre For Literacy In Primary Education) revealed that only 5% of published authors in the UK were people of colour and less than 4% of children’s books in the UK feature a protagonist of colour.
“We are stronger when we band together” #InclusiveIndies
The full campaign is available at: www.inclusiveindies.co.uk
Published 7 May 2020