The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Diversity Grants Announced

diversity-logo.pngThe BA is delighted to announce the launch of an innovative Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants Project for BA members.  The deadline for the second tranche of grants was 28th February 2019.

The BA Board in 2018 dedicated an unprecedented £50,000 to create a launchpad to innovative thinking, and ultimately enable real tangible change over the next two years in diversity and inclusiveness in bookselling across the UK and Ireland.
 
The Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants (DIG) Project will offer £50,000 over two years to bookshops to help you deliver practical initiatives to increase inclusivity in your shop or in your community. The emphasis is on making a tangible difference and improving engagement with under-represented communities.
 
The idea had its genesis at last year’s BA Conference, following the presentation by author and equality campaigner Kit de Waal, who has greeted the Diversity & Inclusiveness Grants Project with enthusiasm: “[this is] an excellent response to the issue of inclusion in the book industry.  It all looks brilliant and I’m sure will do really well. It’s a very exciting concept and one I’m sure will ultimately make a huge difference to booksellers and readers around the country.”
 
The grants will be awarded by a panel invited by the BA to oversee the grant selections – comprising:
 
  • Nic Bottomley, BA President
  • Cathy Rentzenbrink, author and former head of Quick Reads
  • Uli Lennart, manager of Gay’s the Word Bookshop in London
  • Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Hachette’s new inclusive imprint Dialogue Books

Creating Inclusive Bookshops

View and download our Guide to Creating Inclusive Bookshops below:

 
The Guide aims to inspire booksellers with information on the work going on in the bookselling sector, and to start the conversation about diversity and inclusion in bookshops.  Many bookshops are already very active in this area, and we would love to hear from any booksellers with projects or ideas in this arena.  If you have suggestions for additions to the Guide please do email meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk 

Diversity & Inclusiveness in Bookselling is increasingly important in what can feel like a fractured world, and the BA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace of its own, and to helping BA members create their own diverse and inclusive bookshops.  We will be using this page to share resources with you from a range of sources, and are delighted to share the following video recording of our Creating An Inclusive Bookshop seminar at London Book Fair 2017, featuring author Nikesh Shukla, and booksellers Tamara Macfarlane (Tales on Moon Lane) and John Newman (Newham Bookshop).

                                                                     

BA Diversity & Inclusiveness Policy

The BA is committed to improving diversity and inclusiveness in the bookselling sector, both in the workplace, and in the range of books on bookshop shelves.

The BA is committed to helping booksellers to create diverse and inclusive workplaces, to serve diverse and minority communities with relevant book titles, help and information and to foster a welcoming environment for all customers, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, sexuality, socio-economic background, age or faith.  Bookshops should be welcoming spaces for all who love books and offering welcome to all creates a richer environment for all.

Moreover, the BA is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace of its own, and to always consider matters of diversity in all our public and trade facing activities, including (but not limited to) appointing booksellers to our own governing bodies, appointing speakers on panels, using photographs on print and online materials and in the language we use in our communications.

We understand the wide-ranging nature of the term diversity as including:
  • Ethnicity
  • Race/heritage/culture
  • Disability
  • Sexuality
  • Gender
  • Gender Identity
  • Socio-economic background
  • Age
  • Faith

Resources & Information

Book Trust have given us a list of publishers with good diversity and inclusiveness lists  - it's not exhaustive, and if you have suggestions for publishers to add, please let us know and email meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk 

Children’s Publishers with diverse lists
 
New Frontier – www.newfrontierpublishing.co.uk
 Alanna – www.alannabooks.com
 Lantana – www.lantanapublishing.com
 Tiny Owl – www.tinyowl.co.uk
 Otter-Barry – www.otterbarrybooks.com
 Gecko Press – www.geckopress.com
 Curious Fox – www.bouncemarketing.co.uk/publisher/curiousfox
 Barefoot Books – www.barefootbooks.com
 Child’s Play – www.childs-play.com
Carrie Morris, Chair of the Children's Bookselling Group, and owner of Booka Bookshop in Oswestry, recommends a Child's Play list of useful titles 

Book Trust are a great source of inspiration and book lists if you are keen to look beyond your normal stock range - they have a keen eye for representation, diversity and inclusiveness in their book choices.

Here’s a link to Book Trust reviews https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/new-books-we-love/ 
Books about refugees https://www.booktrust.org.uk/booklists/b/books-about-refugees-and-asylum-seekers/
Disability https://www.booktrust.org.uk/booklists/b/bookmark2014/
LGBT https://www.booktrust.org.uk/booklists/l/lgbt-teen/
 
Book Trust Bookfinder also has reviews https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books/bookfinder/

Also recommended - The Guardian 50 best culturally diverse books
https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2014/oct/13/50-best-culturally-diverse-childrens-books
 
And for interest, an article about a writer who sold her books at black hair conventions https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2016/jun/06/diversity-black-girls-can-be-princesses-too-mylo-freeman 


For information on diversity and equality legislation in the Equality Act, you can find it all here 

If you are interested in finding out more about organizations in the Diversity & Inclusiveness arena, including First Story (who take writers into underprivileged schools), Inclusive Minds (who help create children's books that meet the needs of all readers, including those from minority groups), Letterbox Library (who specialise in selling books that celebrate inclusion, diversity and equality), Creative Access (who place interns within the creative industries), Arts Emergency (who mentor young people from underprivileged backgrounds), a good place to start is a booklet  produced by the Publishers Association,  

You could also look at Business In the Community website, which has lots of useful advice, and a handy pocket guide to talking about race. 

If you are interested in finding out more about the economic case for Diversity & Inclusiveness, publisher Chris McCrudden has created a thought-provoking presentation.

Publishers with active diversity projects for staff have shared those on the PA's website - you can see some of them here 

If you have ideas for materials and resources you would like to see in this section, or questions on this area, in the first instance please contact Meryl.halls@booksellers.org.uk