And now for the news!
Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically regarding publishing trends within the publishing industry, and their implications for all authors!
From our neighbors in the still-snowy northlands comes this heartwarming story of Rahma Mohamed, who aims to reshape the publishing landscape by boosting diversity in representation. Her reason? As a Canadian of Somali descent and a mother, Mohamed was motivated by a moment two years ago in which her daughter, then only four years old, saw an Elsa costume (replete with golden hair and light skin) and “pleaded with her mother to buy it so she would look ‘beautiful.'” With little representation of people of color, much less African-American Muslims, in children’s literature it can be extremely difficult for children to find themselves in mainstream children’s literature (from picture books through young adult literature) and identify with the characters. Mohamed has set out, by way of self-publishing her own children’s book, to help tip the balance towards a more diverse, inclusive, and joyful publishing industry. This trend towards diversification and representation isn’t new–it made serious gains over the last five years–but every author who chooses to tackle this thorny issue is, like Mohamed, pushing us further in the right direction. This article comes to us by way of Kashmala Fida of Edmonton’s The Star.
We’ve written about Rupi Kaur before here on Self Publishing Advisor, the self-publishing poet of great Instagram fame who swept North America and the world with her book, milk and honey, which was first released in 2014 and gained serious notoriety in 2016. milk and honey was, after blockbuster success, picked up for a reprint by a traditional publishing house, but the backstory to this book is a celebration of the independent, artistic soul of self-publishing. As Katherine Diaz Villegas of ScadConnector hints at in the title of her article (which is in many ways a nuanced review of the book itself), the Internet’s obsession with Kaur may have as much to do with where we are in this cultural moment as it does with Kaur’s actual content, which is moving in and of itself. Writes Villegas, “Kaur is an authentic and important voice to women, especially those in their teenage years or any transition period. She writes about serious themes of life, love, sex, femininity, oppression, growth and culture. Yet, she writes them in a way that includes self-reflection and acceptance, showcasing strength as she stands up for who she is.” If those lines sounds familiar, it may be because of the national Women’s March which took place recently or the heavy press surrounding the #MeToo and #NeverAgain movements online. Whatever your stance on matters like those Kaur writes about, it’s clear that we are now in a time and place where conversations about them are going mainstream. And self-publishing has in no small part enabled us to get there, by allowing authors with out-of-the-mainstream ideas to publish and reach wider audiences than ever before … and to, perhaps, fuel new movements.
As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry.This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.