ABA Booksellers Provide Tips on Strengthening Inclusivity and Diversity in Bookstores

Compiling a comprehensive list of suggestions provided by booksellers during discussions and forums, the American Booksellers Association presents tips for bookstores to strengthen their roles in their communities as inclusive places of diversity and dialogue. These tips were shared by a broad range of booksellers organized under six keywords: activism, community, diversity, empathy, outreach, and sanctuary. In the list below, suggestions in the category of diversity are provided.  For more information on the Bookstores - An Inclusive Place for Dialogue and Discovery document, click here.

DIVERSITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Display a world map featuring national and international authors and their books.
  • Highlight the deep backlist of authors from diverse backgrounds.
  • Educate yourself on how to reach a wider array of diverse applicants when hiring. When hiring and selling for diversity:
    • Send staff of color to school book fairs to represent the bookstore and the bookselling community.
    • Remember that cultural, physical, and economic factors may affect a person’s ability to be a bookseller.
    • Work to be aware of implicit biases.
  • Ask staff what they are reading as part of a monthly staff meeting. Encourage all staff to read diverse books, and expand your own reading as well.
  • Sell non-book items that reflect diverse cultures.
  • Talk with your sales reps about offering more diverse books. For other recommendations, follow diverse authors and bloggers on Twitter, check out We Need Diverse Books, and ask customers what they want to see in the store.
  • Participate in the Reading Without Walls challenge, started by National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang.
  • Use experts if you are running a discussion on diversity.
  • Have go-to books with diverse characters in all subjects, and if a diverse book doesn’t sell, KEEP TRYING.
  • Recommend diverse titles to all book clubs, as well as to teachers and schools. Host book talks featuring these titles.
  • Don’t forget small and university presses when looking for diverse books.
  • Start in-store projects to spark discussions and promote diversity. For instance, Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia, runs the Year of Kindness project, a book group that focuses on different marginalized groups each month.
  • Put diverse books in the hands of a non-diverse community by including these titles in every book list and display (no exceptions) and by hand-selling these books.
  • Know your school district demographics.

|    

The Walking Dead Volume 28 The Walking Dead Volume 28
Image Comics
In the aftermath of The Whisperer War--ALL IS LOST as Rick and all of Alexandria fight for survival against the largest horde of walkers they’ve ever faced. >>
Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting Critical Role: Tal'Dorei Campaign Setting
Green Ronin Publishing
Until now, the wondrous and dangerous lands of Tal'Dorei have been the sole stomping grounds of the show's adventuring company, Vox Machina. But now, you can explore these realms in a tome from the pen of Game Master Matt Mercer himself! >>
The Walking Dead: Here's Negan The Walking Dead: Here's Negan
Image Comics
Since his debut, the charismatic psychopath has antagonized Rick Grimes, murdered his friend with a baseball bat wrapped in barb wire (which he calls "Lucille"), and led the Saviors into war against Alexandria and the neighboring communities. But who was he before society broke down? >>
Monstress Volume 2: The Blood Monstress Volume 2: The Blood
Image Comics
Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900's Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power. >>
Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook Starfinder Roleplaying Game: Core Rulebook
Paizo
Blast off into a galaxy of adventure with the Starfinder Roleplaying Game! This massive 560-page hardcover rulebook is the essential centerpiece of the Starfinder Roleplaying Game, with rules for character creation, magic, gear, and more—everything you need to play Starfinder as either a player or Game Master! >>
Saga Volume 7 Saga Volume 7
Image Comics
From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. >>
Shovel Knight: Official Design Works Shovel Knight: Official Design Works
Udon Entertainment
This epic tome ollects the fun and original artwork behind this landmark title. Inside you’ll find key art, character concepts, enemy designs, sprite sheets, unused ideas, and an all-new Shovel Knight tribute art gallery. >>
Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47 Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide Volume 47
Gemstone Publishing
One of the most influential comic book artists ever, Jim Steranko, brings his compelling mastery of the art form to the cover of the book that has been the Bible of serious collectors, dealers and enthusiasts since 1970!  >>
Lighter Than My Shadow Lighter Than My Shadow
Lion Forge
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness. >>
Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio Bernie Wrightson: Art and Designs for the Gang of Seven Animation Studio
Hermes Press
Lighter Than My Shadow is a hand-drawn story of struggle and recovery, a trip into the black heart of a taboo illness, an exposure of those who are so weak as to prey on the weak, and an inspiration to anybody who believes in the human power to endure towards happiness. >>