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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Publishing Celebrates Pride

By Megan Whitlock


In 2022, the American Library Association reported that over half of the most challenged books put forward for book bans have LGBTQIA+ themes. From book bans to increasingly hostile politics towards the LGBTQIA+ community, it has never been more important for publishers to ensure all identities are fairly and prominently represented in mainstream literature. With this in mind, here is how some of the major players in publishing are celebrating and ensuring diverse representation during Pride month 2023.


For the fourth year in a row, Hachette’s Pride Network (@HachettePride on Twitter) partnered with Waterstones Piccadilly for their annual Pride in Writing event. Taking place on 6 June, the event hosted a range of LGBTQIA+ authors speaking on two panels: Chosen Families and New Masculinities. Featured authors included Liv Little (Rosewater) and Harry Taylor (A Trans Man Walks Into A Gay Bar) amongst many others, and the panels were chaired by author Justin Myers (The Last Romeo, The Fake-Up).


Meanwhile, HarperCollins have continued their #PrideOnEveryPage social media campaign, including providing free, downloadable social media graphics and poster resources for libraries and schools via Harper Stacks. The campaign flags their range of LGBTQIA+ stories directed at children, and the resources promote a message of inclusivity to be displayed in schools and libraries.


On the other hand, Penguin Random House are continuing in their action against a Florida School District, where they are suing (in collaboration with parents and authors) on the grounds of free speech after a series of bans on LGBTQIA+ books. The complaint alleges that “in every decision to remove a book, the School District has sided with a challenger expressing openly discriminatory bases for challenge, overruling the recommendations of review committees at the school and district levels.” You can find a full coverage of this story on our website.


In spite of adversity, the popularity of LGBTQIA+ books has never been higher. Numerous reports have observed a surge in purchases of books with LGBTQIA+ characters and themes in recent years, with one report from market research company Circana suggesting that 6.1 million LGBTQIA+ fiction books were sold between May 2022 and May 2023, an 11% increase on the previous year and over 170% increase from pre-pandemic times. From indie publishers to the big five, it is crucial that publishers substantially support their LGBTQIA+ creators to ensure that fair representation only continues to grow.

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