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This might sound bigoted, racist, and homophobic but...


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…whenever someone prefaces a statement with, “This might sound racist…” you know to brace yourself for a racist statement.  But I look at a LOT or books over the course of my day.  Naturally, one notices trends and patterns, real and imagined, as one examines large numbers of books over time.

One trend I've noticed, for example, is a surge in interest in Children's books.  This is a great trend because there has been so much discussion on the lack of diversity in children's literature, that it actually crowded out discussion about the great literature that exists.

Another trend I noticed is that corporate publishing seems to be veering even further way from publishing novels of interest to garden variety African American males.  The classic refrain is that Black men don't read, but Black men would read if they were, at least initially, exposed to literature that spoke to their experiences.

Mainstream publishers seem to be fixated on novleist that are written by formerly incarcerated, gay, biracial, non-American Black (British, Caribbean, African) writers.  Name a popular novelist, with a book that was published in the last year, that does not fit into one or more of these categories.

I could name some writers myself, but as you think of the make authors that win awards, that are covered by corporate media or pushed by mainstream publishers, I think you find the categories I listed are disproportionately represented.  

Most Black American men fall outside the categories mentioned. This is a large demographic that is largely ignored.

This does not mane that a writer in these categories can not write for a broad audience.  They can and they do, but if straight, American born, Black male writers are not getting published or actively promoted there are subjects, which appear to male readers that will more likely to be overlooked and marginalized. 

Now is that bigoted or just a valid observation?

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A valid observation.  I also think black female writers ought to venture into genres like The Hunger Games, the Twilight and Divergent series, fantasy and horror books that feature feisty young women as their heroines. A black Harry Potter type could even be introduced for younger black readers.  Too bad. I'm old and tired or I'd consider doing this. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

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An author who read this post told me he has written three YA novel to appeal to this demographic, but he gets no promotion from his publisher.  I was completely unaware of the books myself and I like to think I have a relationship with his publisher.  

There is a class of writers, who publisher will publish, but the publisher depends completely on the author using their own platforms to promote their books. Typically these writers will use social media to accomplish which as it own limitations.  The most sophisticated of these authors will also have a website, but again they too do very little to promote their own websites and invest most of their energy maximizing their social media platform.

The lack of publishers advertising and promoting these books, the authors focus on social media, as well as the lack of booksellers interested in highlighting books for Black men, and other factors all contribute to a lack of awareness of these titles.  The lack of awareness leads some to believe there is a lack of interest or demand.

While many groups contend with this issue; it seems particularly true for Black men and boys.  

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