Posted in Books, Real Life

How to Support Black Authors

Black lives matter.

Black art matters.

Black careers matter.

As a bookish community, let’s put our energy toward supporting Black authors.

How, you ask?

I made a list.

1. Buy books by Black authors

Book sales directly affect a Black author’s career.

Want to show publishing you support Black voices?

Buy books by Black authors.

Force brand-new books into backorder (like y’all did with the 2 June 2 Release Day books!)

Demand additional printings with your wallet.

Note: when purchasing a book, please consider buying from one of the following non-Amazon options:

 (To my international readers: Book Depository is probably your best bet.)

2. Preorder books by Black authors

Publishing has a habit of not hyping Black authors, blaming lack of sales on said authors, and refusing to publish more books by ANY Black authors because of poor sales.

How can you combat this irritating tendency?

PREORDER BOOKS.

Twitter user @acrimsondaisy put it this way: preordering books shows publishers “that you have faith in these books BEFOREHAND.”

Preorders boost sales and build hype.

You can MAKE books bestsellers by preordering.

Some books you can preorder now:

 

3. Request books by Black authors

Book buying can get very expensive very quickly.

Thank goodness for libraries!

If you’re excited about a book by a Black author, request it from your local library. THE LIBRARY WILL ORDER IT AT NO COST TO YOU.

Requests like these diversify your library’s collection, boost Black voices, and give others opportunities to read Black authors.

 

4. Borrow books by Black authors

Your local library is a great resource for borrowing brand-new books.

In addition, try hitting up friends and acquaintances with large book collections.

A few months ago, I borrowed Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates from my pastor.

In college, I used to borrow books from teachers and professors I knew well.

If you know people with access to books by Black authors, ASK.

 

5. Hype books by Black authors

Books can be expensive. Libraries can be slow. Friends can be flaky.

In the face of these things, hype is still free.

Wherever you are, hype books by Black authors.

Blog about them.

Tell your friends about them.

Share links to purchase sites and preorder campaigns.

If you read a book and loved it, write a review on Amazon or Goodreads.

Excitement is contagious.

Resources

17 New YA Books by Black Authors to Support – Now and Always

23 Phenomenal Young Adult Books By Black Authors From The First Half Of 2020

21 Exceptional And Unputdownable YA Books To Read During Pride

Call Number: Curated Black Lit Book Box (I cannot recommend this company enough)

Book recommendations

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I Don’t Want to Die Poor by Michael Arcenaux

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon

The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardino Evaristo

Author:

She/her. Lover of cheese and performative angst. I love to call out, complain, overreact, analyze, and reimagine. This site contains the fruit of that labor.

7 thoughts on “How to Support Black Authors

    1. Sorry, I didn’t mean to come off as blase… I really do appreciate the point-out about pre-ordering, because I almost never pre-order books. You made a really good point about how publishers don’t advertise/hype books by POC, and pre-ordering helps build up some of that steam.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I almost never do either, because I didn’t see the point! But now that I see how it affects sales, I want to do it more often.
        Also, no worries, I got your sarcasm. The Year of the Witching looks gorgeous and fancy and terrifying.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. preordering these books is so important!! thank you for that reminder ❤ i'm super excited to read a bunch of books by Black authors this month and i'll definitely be sure to continue beyond june! i'm happy to see you use your blog as a platform for this ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I never realized how much preordering plays into sales, so I’m glad I know now!
      Have you seen the #blackoutbestsellerlist hashtag on Twitter? I’m trying to figure out which books I want to prioritize! There are so many good ones!
      I’m not sure what else to do, so I hope blogging about BLM helps!

      Liked by 1 person

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