Number 3, good old number 3. Bet y’all are wondering what the hell I’m going to complain about today and this is something that’s only recently begun getting under my skin.
When publishing doesn’t send ARCs to the population the book was meant for. I feel like I’ve complained about this before and I know other’s have but it still pisses me off to no end.
Diverse books are being put out every day, right? Awesome but those diverse books always seems to fall in the hands of, well, the wrong people I guess.
On some level, I can get giving books to your usual popular bloggers to help get the hype going around it but you know what also gets the hype going around books? Giving it to the people it was written for or populations represented in the book.
If a book is written by a black author with a black MC then it should go to black reviewers. If a book is written by an asexual person with an asexual MC then it should go to asexual people.
However, even more than giving own voice books to own voice readers, I maintain that if an allo author writes an ace spec character, if a hetero author is writing is queer relationship, if a white author is writing a POC character, a Christian author a Muslim character, and so one, IT NEED TO GO TO THOSE POPULATIONS and I feel like that’s where publishing fails.
It irks me to NO end to when an author writes something that they haven’t experienced and those books don’t go to the population represented in the damn book. PUBLISHING WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! There are multiple accessible lists for publishing of teen reviewers, of diverse reviewers why aren’t those books going to them!
I think it is absolutely wonderful that a lot of authors are trying to write different experiences but I’m also of the belief that FUCK IT authors writing outside their own experiences can really fuck up the experiences of others.
So, even if you still get queer or POC or disabled or more sensitivity readers it still needs to be given to the populations repped in the book in its ARC form!
If people are worried about the rep that’s going to be released into the world because an author who isn’t like them wrote ABOUT THEM then you need to give it to those people to clear.
At least multiple people who can speak for that experience!
If people are worried about the rep that a book is putting out there then the BEST thing that can happen to that book is giving it to the represented population to read, make a decision, and if the book is good and not harmful PROMOTE IT!
I shit you not if I see a book that has ace rep written by an allo author and it hasn’t been given to any ace spec reviewers I’m not going to touch that shit till it is. I don’t care about sensitivity readers. They’re only one part of a much larger population.
Marginalized populations aren’t a monolith and publish has to realize that with books written by outsiders the best course of action is giving that book to people who can adequately speak for the representation.
I literally hate it soooooo much when people write outside their experiences and then publishing makes it like a fucking goal to NOT give it to the population that was WRITTEN ABOUT!
You can’t just have a white author writing about POC experiences and then NOT give it to POC readers?! That’s off the damn charts sketchy?
You can’t just be an allocishet author writing about queer experiences and NOT give the books to queer people?
Not to mention THIS IS HOW TOXIC BOOKS GET RELEASED AND THEM WE BLACK LIST THEM!
I’ve heard before (I don’t know if this is true but I’m pretty sure it is) that if you catch mistakes in the ARC phase THEY CAN STILL BE FIXED! If you write outside your lane and give the book to the people you wrote about and they say “Hey, this is really offensive” you could still go back and change that but by giving it to a shit ton of people who are no where near the population written in the book you’re taking the serious chance that there are going to be direly harmful mistakes and people are going to boycott the book because of it.
And when I say give it to multiple reviewers I don’t mean “Oh, this is a book written about pansexual people. Of all one hundred ARCs being distributed, I’m going to give two to pansexual reviewers!”
Okay, no. If there are about a hundred ARCs going to reviewers over half of them should be going to the represented population.
A book with a Spanish MC? Over half of those ARCs better be going to Spanish reviewers. A book with an MC with an ED? Over half of those ARCs need to go to people who’ve had EDs.
And if the book is written about, say, a demiromantic, demisexual character and there’s only a handful of reviewers that can be found who are both demiromantic and demisexual, send it to other ace spec reviewers, because I’m going to trust other ace spec people ten times more to review a book about people on the ace spec than I ever would an allo reviewer.
And I still vote that authors should be willing to do this as well. I know authors get a handful of their own ARCs and I maintain that they should also want these ARCs to go to the represented populations. If they’re too nervous to give them to X population then that is concerning beyond belief and people are already going to be wary of your book.
GIVE IT TO THE PEOPLE YOU WROTE ABOUT.
GIVE THESE BOOKS TO THE PEOPLE THEY WERE WRITTEN ABOUT!
I’m not saying those are the ONLY PEOPLE who have to receive them but they should be, without a doubt, the majority of the people receiving the books.
There should not be a question of “does X population overarchingly have this book or did more go to Y population?” It should be “X population most definitely has been given the majority of these books to review and Y population has received less”.
Remember: the BEST publicity a book can get is from the people the book was written FOR.
Especially if that author wrote outside their experiences.
Sure, maybe four, maybe five of those popular bloggers said: “This book is great!” But the second someone from X population says differently? The second they say “this book has problems, this book is harmful.”? People will either back off or make sure to spread the word so no one else touches that book.
So, yes. I get VERY upset when I see books written about or for certain populations not in the hands of those people. When white reviewers wave around ARCs they got with POC MCs or I see a known allocishet with a queer ARC I get so annoyed.
Fuck, I get annoyed just having them myself. That’s when I try to earn enough money to get them to teens or marginalized reviewers who deserve them because shit, I’m glad I have it but I’m not who it was meant for and at the end of the day my review isn’t going to mean as much as a review from someone who can identify with the characters and the experiences.
That’s just how life works.
Well, okay, that’s all for this post. Check back later for more content and thank you so much for reading!