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Tools to Support Your Book Publishing DEI Efforts

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by Brooke Warner and Stephanie Carter

Brooke Warner

Stephanie Carter

IBPA has launched a resource center that lists information for advancing DEI initiatives within the independent book publishing community.

As part of its commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within its membership, leadership, policies, practices, and publications, IBPA has launched an online resource center, which lists information and resources for advancing DEI initiatives within the independent book publishing community.

Commissioned by the IBPA DEI Task Force and developed by IBPA Advocacy Committee members Stephanie Carter (Teleion Books) and Brooke Warner (She Writes Press), IBPA’s Resources for Advancing Your Company’s DEI Initiatives was developed to help IBPA members be intentional about integrating DEI initiatives in their own companies. The resources
provide support to publishers with:

  • Defining DEI terms
  • Understanding the current state of diversity in the United States publishing industry
  • Hiring diverse staff, finding diverse contractors, or offering DEI training
  • Publishing more diverse authors
  • Understanding why sensitivity to language and sensitivity edits matter and identifying best practices
  • Reaching a more diverse readership
  • Developing an organization’s DEI statement and plan
  • Increasing individual and companywide understandings of inherent bias associated with racism, gender inequality, ableism, and ageism

Resources for Advancing Your Company’s DEI Initiatives is one way the IBPA DEI Task Force aims to achieve its goal of enhancing diversity and promoting equitable participation within the association and the profession of independent publishing. This goal, along with four others, is described in IBPA’s DEI Priorities, Goals, & Strategic Initiatives: 2020-2021, an in-progress strategic plan launched by the DEI Task Force on July 1, 2020. You can read it here.

IBPA is committed to working with other publishing organizations to advance DEI initiatives and enhance its Resources for Advancing Your Company’s DEI Initiatives. April Powers, chief equity and inclusion officer for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and moderator of the keynote panel at IBPA Publishing University 2021, confirmed the need for collaboration in an emailed statement to the IBPA Advocacy Committee. She wrote, “The EI (equity and inclusion) movement, which should have been extended to publishing long ago, clearly cannot move forward with the efforts of a few organizations alone. It will take the entire village to make the progress we desperately need to see in the industry that we love so much.”

Freely available to all, IBPA’s new resource center supports DEI advancement in the broader publishing community, as well as within IBPA membership. IBPA’s “Resources for Advancing Your Company’s DEI Initiatives” is not a static tool for success. IBPA members with resources they’d like added to the list are invited to email the IBPA DEI Task Force at dei_taskforce@ibpa-online.org.

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