As a writer and reader based in Southeast Asia, I’ve been pondering the term “diversity” — at least, in the context of it’s use on the Internet.
First, it’s focused on the Western publishing industry. Filipino publishers publish Filipino-authored works for example (although our publishing industry has different issues of diversity). The same goes for publishers in Malaysia, China, South Africa, etc. I do think it’s important to focus on the Western publishing industry, because it’s usually a one-way street: books from the Philippines rarely go out of the Philippines, but books from the US or the UK gets distributed around the world. A novel like Moxyland by Lauren Beukes, published by both Jacana Media in South Africa and Angry Robot Books in the US/UK, is the exception to the norm. And in my case here in the Philippines, there are some Filipino books that might not have been picked up by a local publisher if it weren’t acquired by a US/UK publisher first. And for all the talk about diversity in the US publishing industry, we have conversations like the ones mentioned by Jennifer Pan & Sarah McCarry. [Read more…]