The Best Way to Promote Diverse Books (IMO)

In a society where internet is king and social media is prolific, you would think that the best way to promote diverse books would be obvious. Lots of people and organisations do it this way– We Need Diverse Books has an indiegogo campaign going on at the moment, bloggers talk about diverse titles in hopes of getting people to support and encourage diverse literature and here I am on WordPress and munching on butter cookies pretty much doing the same thing.

But is that the best way to promote diverse books?

Maybe. You might have a bigger reach in terms of audience, but how many people are actually going out there to borrow or buy these titles? Probably a disappointing few.

So my 2 cents? Start small. People don’t achieve world domination in a day and I’m not optimistic enough to think I can influence more than half a dozen people into thinking anything (actually, even six people is verging on optimistic).

Get out there and talk to your friends and family about books you love. Personally, I’m much more likely to read something based on a personal recommendation from a friend because I trust their judgment enough to give it a go. Do the same for diverse titles that you like- Read it, talk about it and pass it on.

Will it become a bestseller because you told everyone in your friend circle to read it? Probably not (unless you’re a mega celebrity and people take your word as law).

But even if it influences just one person’s thought on a topic or shows another different perspective, at least you have made a contribution and that counts for something.

So dear readers, have you ever successfully convinced a friend or family member to read a book you love? Was it well received?*

Till next time,

Not Another Mary Sue

* And isn’t it crushing when you ask them if they enjoyed it when they’re done and they say it was “ok”? Well do you know what else is ok? Me not talking to you for the next few hours. (This is not at all from personal experience…)

What’s this all about?

“Not Another Mary Sue” is an initiative that is exactly like what it sounds like.

Confused? Don’t be. Simply put, NAMS (catchy acronym, I know) is a campaign to abolish, eradicate, put a stop to encourage young adult readers and naysayers who don’t see the value in YA books to read diverse characters who kick fictional ass*.

And by diverse, I mean characters from different backgrounds, whether that be cultural, different sexuality or the portrayal of disabilities (I’m sure there’s more, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it).

So where did this brain child come from? Well, first of all I can’t really take credit. There’s loads of other ‘Diversity in YA’ type campaigns out there (there really is, that’s an actual name of a site. Check it out.) and there’s an undeniable amount of rage going on about the lack of diversity in fiction on Tumblr alone. Other than that though, I guess the reason why I started this is my own frustration with the lack diversity in what I read. It’s the same thing repeated over and over again in YA books (not all books, obviously) – heroine who everybody loves for no fathomable reason who saves the day with flaws that are not actual flaws (being clumsy is not a flaw when it’s endearing guys).

I don’t know about you guys but I want to read something that real people can relate to. I want to read about experiences that no mater how dystopian or supernatural, is still identifiable on a human level (even if they’re a bloodthirsty vampire). And more importantly, I want to read good books that have characters that are not always black and white but a thousand different shades of grey (not 50 shades though) who make me think beyond my own little bubble.

Still with me? Or do you think I’m a little crazy?

Either way, give NAMS a little love on my other sites. Or you can argue with me, that’s okay too as long as you’re not trolling me and you actually have a point to make.**

Thanks for bothering to read all this and I hope to hear from you soon!

– Love NAMS (did that make you a little sick? I’m sorry, I promise to never sign off with that again***)

* Fictional ass-kicking is not guaranteed.

** Although trolls traditionally belong under a bridge, I understand they now lurk in the depths of the internet. Sorry to restrict your freedom and all that, but go elsewhere please.

*** There is no promise.