1. Buy their books! This is the biggest one. Support comes in many forms, but cold hard cash is still king. You can find tons of resources around regarding whose putting out great #ownvoices YA, but goodreads is a good place to start. You can also check out this list from Teen Vogue.
  2. Request their books from the library. If you can’t buy, you can conscript your local library to buy and they’ll usually buy multiple copies. It proves that their is an audience for that kind of literature in your community.
  3. Shake down publishers at conferences. This is my favorite to do, personally. If you’re at a book convention make sure to ask the convention workers at your favorite publishing booths for their ownvoices options. If they don’t have any, call them on it ask why not. If they have to look under the table for it and it’s not on display, ask why not. If it’s in the catalog but not on display, again, ask why not. The workers are not like Barnes and Noble employees. They usually have pull at their publishing houses or have direct contact with someone who does.
  4. Request #ownvoices titles at your local bookstore. Online is fine, but asking in real life shows a need to those working and stocking the floor.
  5. Ask for #ownvoices recommendations from your local bookstore. If they don’t have any or can’t show you any, then ask why not. They might not be aware that their collection is inadequate or that their own knowledge is inadequate.
  6. Leave a review on multiple platforms. Good reviews don’t just let other people whether or not the book is good, it also helps the book ranking on online sites so that the book can be found in the mentions of other more mainstream titles.
  7. Take a picture! Use the visual aids, people! Instagram has millions of followers for a reason. Try these hashtags #bookstagram #shelfie #diversebooks #instabook #amreading
  8. Follow the author. A good social media presence is sometimes seen as a good indicator when a publisher is judging whether or not to work with an author. A sizable online presence can only help your favorite author.
  9. Tag the publishers. If you liked a book or you’re wondering where all the #ownvoices titles are, be sure to tag the publishing house when you’re discussing the issue on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. It may be the closest you ever get to a gatekeeper.
  10. Share the wealth. Is there a high school library in your town that could use a few new books? Of course, there is. Call the librarian and ask if they’ve got a copy of The Education of Margot Sanchez, or Shadowshaper, or American Street. If they don’t then you can remedy that pretty easily.

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