The Publishing Post
Our Favourite Bookish Socials
By Jane Link, Shaniah Shields, Leanne Francis, Jia Wen Ho
This issue, we will be bringing you some more of our favourite bookish socials, but we’ll also be looking at a whole new medium: the infamous booktok! These producers work extremely hard to consistently post high quality content, offering a great way to explore what is happening in the literary industry. From James Murua’s critically acclaimed African and Black literature blog to international bestseller Kat Cho’s TikTok recommendations, this issue of The Publishing Post celebrates some of the best BIPOC book content producers working today.
James Murua Literary - Archiving African and Black Literature
Started in 2013, James Murua Literary is about “giving visibility to African writers rarely covered by the mainstream African media”. Ancillary projects include a literary podcast and YouTube channel. This blog boasts a whopping 2,100 posts and 17,000 subscribers, making it the leading blog in the African and Black literature blogosphere.
African Book Addict! - Books From Africa and the Diaspora
Ghanaian-American Darkowaa blogs about Black literature! The blog name, African Book Addict!, is a double-entendre. Darkowaa is both an African who is a book addict and a reader who is addicted to books by writers of African descent. Darkwoaa currently lives in Accra, Ghana.
One of my favourite posts is this collage of all her favourite book covers, because we all know whoever said to ‘not judge a book by its cover’ does not know the first thing about publishing. Another favourite is this comprehensive list of black-authored books out in 2021.
If you have a bookstagram account, you need to be following all of these amazing accounts that highlight the importance of diversifying your shelves!
Dani over at @thunderbirdwomanreads likes to primarily read Indigenous literature and she even co-runs an Indigenous Book Club – The Erin and Dani Book Club, with a 2021 theme of memoirs.
Jo-Lee over at @joleemichele is an advocate for diversifying your shelf and can be found reading fantasy books. She has also recently created Satisfaction, a book box which features science fiction and fantasy novels written by authors of colour. The boxes will launch this summer!
Danzi, @danzibooks, is a Jamaican bookstagrammer and her feed is all things bright and beautiful. From the stunning book covers of the YA and adult fantasy books she reads, to the amazing beach views, her page is guaranteed to give you some fantastic recommendations.
I also had to shoutout Cayla @BookItQueen – her account uplifts BIPOC voices and writers, is full of fun and relatable bookish reels, she also highlights some really important issues that are very topical.
There are lots of bookish people on Booktube with book hauls, recommendations and rants. Here are some of my favourites which you should check out!
A witty and thoughtful channel full of interesting book reviews and musings on representation in books (such as ‘Should white authors write non-white characters?’). Cindy also hosts Asian Readathon starting in May. It is a month-long event dedicated to reading books with Asian protagonists or written by Asian authors.
Akhmal Aiman is Bruneian, with a beautiful collection of books, he shares insightful opinions
about the books he has read. There are book hauls, bookish talks and also two 24-hour readathons. If you are going through a book slump or just looking for some reading tips, you can start with this video.
There is so much to watch on Chanelle’s channel. She talks about US/UK book cover comparisons, her favourite books of 2020 and ranking tropes in books and movies. Her latest video titled ‘The Book Haul We All Needed’ is here.
With over 7.7 billion views on the #booktok hashtag alone, TikTok has become a fantastic way to showcase, review, and diversify literature. If you, like me, have found yourself endlessly scrolling TikTok over the past year, why not add these booktokers to your feed?
Mika Auguste, or @mikapaprikaaa on TikTok, creates snappy, relatable book content, sharing her favourite YA reads and books by Black authors.
Nisha Sharma, who runs @nishawrites, shares her favourite YA and romance novels, with a focus on South Asian representation. She is also the author of critically acclaimed YA novel My So-Called Bollywood Life and other contemporary adult romances.
Farah, from @farahxreads, films bookshop vlogs, reviews, and recommends novels by BIPOC authors. Her account is full of fantastic recommendations.
Kat Cho, also known as @katchowrites, is an international bestselling author who documents her writing process and recommends books by Asian authors. Her work is set to appear in the Grimoire of Grave Fates, published by Delacorte Press.