The campaign #WeNeedDiverseBooks is a call to publishers and writers to take a closer look at their audiences. The response from readers of all genres has been quite overwhelming. It started with BookCon, a readers convention in the US organized by Book Expo America.
The Los Angeles Times article in my Storify selection below tells us that the trouble began when it was pointed out that all 30 writers (and the one cat invited) were white.
That conversation then developed into a discussion about the characters in fiction also being mostly white, male or otherwise stereotypical models of the type we have mostly come to accept as heroes.
For my own part I’m a little over the sci-fi fantasy publishers who promote what Damien G. Walter describes as evidence of the long term commercial shaping by publishers that have turned fantasy writing in to a play-pit for adolescent white male power fantasies.
Hear, hear! There is of course an alternative. I don’t see this trend being quite so obvious in self-publishing. Indie books are much more diverse across all genres and will continue to be now that authors can bypass the constraints of the commercial publishing houses.