15 June 2020

Diversity by default

 "I read your Submissions page and had one question. What do you mean, diversity by default?"

Glad you asked.

It's our philosophy that no matter how fantastical the setting, the characters in a book should reflect the real world. (That's also why we ask for fully rounded characters with their own motivations and struggles. A good book makes you believe in its characters, love or hate them, laugh and cry with them, and root for them to succeed or fail. In short, it makes you feel. And it's impossible to feel anything for someone who doesn't seem real.)

Diversity has become something of a buzzword in publishing, but we aren't interested in diversity because it will make us money. (We're the smallest of small presses. We probably aren't going to make any money.) No, we want diversity because diversity is real. People are not all the same, and that's what makes them interesting.

Not only that, but books teach us empathy. If we only ever read books about the same kinds of people, and those people are like us, that tells us that only people like us are worth writing books about. If we only ever read books about the same kinds of people, and those people are not like us, that tells us that we are lesser. But no one is lesser. Everyone deserves to have their story told. Everyone deserves to see themselves in the characters they read about.

We want to see diversity by default in the books we publish. We want characters of different gender, race, sexuality and disability, not as a plot point but because that's who they are. A microcosm of the whole world, not just a narrow window on it.

We'd like to see a time when no one needs to comment on the diversity of a book any more, because publishing as a whole is fully reflective of the spectrum of human experience. But until then, at least in our tiny corner of the industry, it's diversity by default.