Signing more diverse authors

    Posted by Charlotte Ashlock

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    I volunteered to research the Editorial aspect of the following Diversity benchmark:

    Products and Services Development: Gauges the organization’s recognition of the diversity of its customer base and its effectiveness in designing and delivering products and services to current and future customers. 

    I interpret this as

    A) signing more diverse authors 

    B) creating books with inherent appeal to more diverse customers.

    Initial brainstorming:

    • Editorial staff can attend events and conferences where more diversity is represented.  (Please suggest events and conferences to me.)   Attending events and conferences is one major strategy we have for searching for authors.
    • Network more consciously and aggressively with the diverse authors & community members we currently know, in search of authors.
    • Work more aggressively with authors to eliminate jargon and academic terminology from their manuscripts.  

    Please add new ideas and give me implementation suggestions for my current ideas.  

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    Replies

    Julie O'Mara
    Julie O'Mara
    October 29, 2014

    I'd like to see some discussion about item B) above.  This is tricky.  One reaction I have is that most "diverse" customers will want to read the same books as "non diverse" customers.  And FYI, the English language and terminology is just awful in describing "diverse."  At any rate I think B) is less important than outreach to a more diverse group of customers.  However, there may need to be some editorial work done to ensure that all BK books appeal to an inclusive audience and that they are missing assumptions about class, other stereotypes and so forth.  Very interested in other opinions on this.

    In terms of conferences to attend I know there's a Black MBA Group that could be good potential purchasers.  Everyone -- let's get a good list going here.

    Charlotte Ashlock
    Charlotte Ashlock
    October 29, 2014

    Thanks Julie!  I think dense jargon and excessive academic terminology excludes 95% of everyone ever.  That's why I feel passionate about minimizing it. 

    Johanna Vondeling
    Johanna Vondeling
    October 29, 2014

    Please keep thinking about ways BK can sustainably publish authors from outside the US.  I'd love to see some proposals that address that angle in particular.  Note that the "Building a Global BK Community" group is also focusing on this issue as part of its focus on the Asia-Pacific region--we can probably help each other here.

    Charlotte Ashlock
    Charlotte Ashlock
    October 29, 2014

    What about partnerships between US and foreign authors?   You'd sign up "buddies" who have related books.   US author promotes their book and book of their foreign buddy at same time.    Foreign author promotes their book and book of their US buddy.  Everybody wins with the buddy system.  

    Johanna Vondeling
    Johanna Vondeling
    October 29, 2014

    Like it!

    Charlotte Ashlock
    Charlotte Ashlock
    December 6, 2014

    To be honest, this comment is just to test and make sure the new website is working, not to further the discussion....