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?
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:
- Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
- Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
- The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
- Smash It! by Francina Simone
- The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
- The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson
- Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
- The Summer of Everything by Julian Winters
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.
Call Number: Curated Black Lit Book Box (I cannot recommend this company enough)
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