As with the rest of the world, publishing is facing unparalleled market disruption. Bookshops and distributors are closing, reducing our incomes to near zero, and are not expected to re-open through the summer. The ability for us to maintain a market presence shrinks daily, and as diversity-led publishers we rely on word-of-mouth, festivals, librarians, teachers and booksellers to promote our titles. We are already seeing the little inclusive space we have won in the commercial market shrinking amidst this crisis. The presence of inclusive/diverse-led independent publishers are essential to the publishing ecosystem. It is crucial that we survive to continue representing our communities — and that is who we are turning to now, our communities.
This fund will support diversity-led inclusive independent publishers across the UK to weather the storm of the pandemic. In return for your much needed support, you can get great permanent discounts, exclusive swag, and support in realising your own writing dreams. Can you help?
Please give what you can to support our efforts and the efforts of others committed to producing inclusive literature. We’ll be splitting the proceeds of the fund, with 80% going to JACARANDA BOOKS and KNIGHTS OF and 20% to be split amongst other diversity-led indies administered by SPREAD THE WORD, giving independent publishers the financial capital to continue operating and develop new ways to connect with audiences and reach readers. Our goal is £100,000, but if we can reach above that, we will be able to make an even greater impact for our communities and the communities of our publishing peers.
“We are stronger when we work together.” #InclusiveIndies
As the impact of COVID-19 on sharing stories and making books becomes clearer, independent publishers KNIGHTS OF and JACARANDA BOOKS have partnered with SPREAD THE WORD to create a fund supporting independent, diverse publishing.
Independent publishers face extreme financial pressure over the next six months, with minority voices at the highest risk of being lost. The #InclusiveIndies campaign seeks to raise £100,000 for diversity-led independent publishers across the UK.
The INCLUSIVE INDIES fund will be administered by independent writing charity SPREAD THE WORD.
JACARANDA BOOKS is an independent publisher of award-winning fiction, non-fiction & YA. In 2019 Jacaranda Books was awarded the London Book Fair International Excellence Award for Inclusivity in Publishing, and in 2020 awarded the Small Press of the Year Regional Award for London.
KNIGHTS OF is an inclusive children’s publisher. Focussing on award winning commercial children’s fiction, KNIGHTS OF have published the 2020 BAFTA nominated KNIGHTS AND BIKES, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020 shortlisted HIGH-RISE MYSTERY by Sharna Jackson and 2019 Goodreads Book of the Year FOR EVERY ONE by Jason Reynolds.
SPREAD THE WORD is London’s writer development agency, a registered charity, and a National Portfolio client of Arts Council England (ACE). It is funded to help London’s writers make their mark on the page, the screen and in the world. Spread the Word also run the Young People’s Laureate for London programme, engaging London’s young people in poetry and the London Writers Awards, a year-long development programme for writers from communities currently under-represented in publishing.
The most recent data from the ALCS (Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society) and CLPE (Centre For Literacy In Primary Education) show 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. Statistics are so low for disability representation in UK publishing that they have not yet been accurately reported.
5% of published authors in the UK are people of colour
The 2015-17 Active Lives Survey revealed that the use of public libraries was more frequent among those identifying as BAME, with 48.8% of Black respondents having used a public library or library service in the twelve months prior to interview, compared to 33.3% of White British respondents. With the rapid closure of libraries, independent, inclusive publishers provide an essential service with events and physical spaces where Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups are happy to engage with literature and the arts.
Here's a breakdown of how the fund will be allocated between Jacaranda Books, Knights Of and other independent publishers in need of support.
Your support will help us and other indie publishers in the UK to survive this tough period.
- Please share this campaign with everyone you know, using #InclusiveIndies across social media
- Please follow us on social media for information about our progress and to stay informed about news and events, even after the pandemic restrictions are lifted
- Please feel free to reach out to us - your words of support keeps us going and it means so much to know why this campaign matters to you.
We are so grateful for your support!
Some media highlights celebrating the work of inclusive publishing across the UK and Ireland.