UK publisher launches new imprint to address lack of diversity in books

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Sarah Biddlecombe

The lack of diversity in publishing is no secret.

Last year, statistics showed that there were fewer than 100 books written by British authors from a non-white background published in the UK – a number that seems even smaller when compared to thousands of books published in total.

And unsurprisingly this disparity filters into the bestseller charts, with just one of 2016’s top 100 titles penned by a British author from an ethnic minority background (The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro). 

But now the publishing industry is finally vowing to address this imbalance – and one major publisher is even launching a new imprint dedicated entirely to inclusivity.

Called Dialogue Books, the new imprint will be part of the Little, Brown Book Group (owned by publishing giants Hachette) and is set to launch this summer.

Less than 100 books written by non-white British authors were published last year

Less than 100 books written by non-white British authors were published last year

Outlining Dialogue’s mission in a statement, Hachette said the new imprint would “source, nurture and publish writing talent – and reach audiences – from areas currently under-represented or not covered by the mainstream publishing industry”.

This will include authors from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, the LGBTQI+ community and also those with disabilities, sourced through live events, specialist scouts and community outreach.

The new imprint will be led by Sharmaine Lovegrove, who in 2015 co-founded Dialogue Scouting, the first UK-based book to film and television scouting consultancy.

Speaking to The Bookseller, Lovegrove said, “My aim is to uncover and publish a variety of fresh, distinctive and diverse voices across all genres for an inclusive and wide-ranging readership.”

The imprint aims to publish four to six titles in its first year, with both fiction and non-fiction books set to make an appearance.

We can’t wait to add them to our reading list.

Images: iStock


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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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