We need diverse romance. But Pocket Books didn't think so last year.Here's the details:
Now, let's look at the lines where Pocket said readers could find black romance. Atria.
Atria is a very diverse line. Zane's imprint Strebor Books is published under this line. You can find women's fiction, erotic, urban fiction, urban fantasy and non fiction under Atria. But I'm still looking for romance.
Romance, especially African American and Multicultural Romance, is never given the respect it deserves.
Seressia Glass @seressia @seressia that's why the Pocket spotlight was distressing for many. Not knocking Atria, but they are litfic and urban fic, not romanceWhy is it that publishers have a problem with black people, hell brown people, or people who don't have blue eyes and blond hair, falling in love? The door has been opened for a few black romance writers. A small number.
And when a major publisher says we don't have the need to publish diverse romance, how are writers of romance novels that reflect America supposed to respond?
Do we white wash our characters, just to get a deal? Do we fight for spots on the publishing calendar of the few publishers who buy our work but fail to market it?
Pocket Books offered an open letter to RWA:
We write to clarify a misunderstanding that has arisen out of the Spotlight on Pocket Books panel at the 2015 RWA Conference. Unfortunately the panel, and subsequent communications between Pocket and RWA leadership, may have left RWA members with an incorrect impression regarding our commitment to publishing diverse authors.What I'd like to know is, has Pocket Books offered a contract to a POC.
Let us be clear: at Pocket Books we are, and always have been, committed to publishing diverse authors. Our publishing list, which includes both established and rising authors of diverse background, reflects this commitment, and we are proud of our efforts-to-date in this field. We would like to reassure you that all our editors and staff, to a person, embraces our important role in encouraging diversity in publishing: we understand that our acquisitions and publishing must continue to give voice to multi-cultural authors and satisfy the needs of an increasingly diverse and changing readership.
We regret any confusion that may have arisen out of the panel last summer. Pocket Books has for decades enjoyed and valued our relationship with the Romance Writers of America, and we fully support RWA’s Code of Ethics and efforts to encourage diversity in publishing in the romance field. We look forward to more dialogue with RWA on this important issue, and to continuing to publish great books by romance writers of all backgrounds.
Louise Burke (on behalf of the staff of Pocket Books)