I love being a children’s writer and I enjoy being part of a growing diverse literary world. As I child who loved to read, I never saw children like me or children that had a Hispanic/Latino surnames like mine in the books at our school. That absence felt wrong. I remember questioning why none of the books included kids like me or my friends. Because I loved books so much, the exclusion felt like a betrayal and it lit a fire in me to become a children’s author.
To date, I’ve written several children’s books with Latinx main characters including the junior novelizations for Disney’s award-winning films, Coco and Encanto. My next children’s book, The Cursed Moon, will be released by Scholastic on September 5, 2023. Once again, it’s a children’s novel that features a Latinx main character. Yay!
I’m grateful for my life as a children’s author and I’m happy to say I’ve seen a lot of progress in the publishing world as far a diversity goes, but there is still more work to do. Therefore, I’m always touched when people ask me, “Is there something I can do beyond buying your book to support you and other diverse authors?”
If you believe, like me, that having diverse stories in the classroom or in your home is important, here are TEN simple ways you can support and amplify diverse authors.
1) Buy our books!
This is obvious but needs saying. Buy diverse books as gifts for your children, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc…Buy diverse books to donate to a local schools, churches, shelters. Special tip: If you can, please buy our books at the pre-order stage. Buying diverse books at the preorder stage, sends a big message to the publishing industry that our stories are in high demand.
Preorder The Cursed Moon Today!
2) Write a Review for a Diverse Author’s Book
How many times have you bought a product based on its reviews? I know I have. Reviews work! Book reviews are no different. The brief book reviews readers provide on Amazon or on Goodreads go a long way to supporting a diverse author’s book. Remember, it doesn’t have to be a long wordy review. Have fun with it. Get your child in the act and have them help you draft the book review. Best advice: Keep it simple, honest, and glowing!
3) Start a Children’s Book Club Featuring Diverse Authors’ Books
Many schools, churches and local bookstores will have book clubs available. Start one that focuses on diverse and multicultural books. If you’re already part of a book club, make a point to include diverse stories as part of your book selection. Your book club pals will have the chance to explore new voices and stories that they may have never selected on his/her own. Be the one that helps them to discover the latest children’s books by Celia Perez or David Bowles or my latest scary book The Cursed Moon!
See my partial list of recommended diverse Latinx stories
4) Plan an Author Visit at Your Child’s School
Like me, most children’s authors conduct on-site and virtual school visits. Author visits are an excellent way to inspire young readers and reluctant readers in your school to embrace reading. Keep in mind, there will be an author fee, but if you plan and budget in advance, an author visit is possible for your school. Learn how to book an author visit with me
5) Spread the Word for Diverse Voices on Social Media
If you’ve bought a diverse author’s book or checked it out from the library, snap a picture of it for your social media sites with a brief comment. Extra tip: Be sure to tag the author. See sample image below by one of my amigas who’s also an educator.
6) Attend a Diverse Authors Book Signing!
Every children’s author plans a book launch for a new book. I’ll be planning one for my new children’s novel, The Cursed Moon, this September 2023. Stay tuned! For diverse authors, book signings are tough. We don’t receive the same attention and marketing dollars as other mainstream authors. A long line of customers sends a crucial message to booksellers that diverse voices matter to our community. Extra tip: Be sure to snap a picture with the author or their book and post it on your social media page.
7) Book an Author for Your Company’s Event!
Does your company need a speaker for Hispanic Heritage Month or Women’s History Month? Many diverse children’s authors are available for these types of events. Please note, that all authors charge for speaking events. Check your event budget and plan in advance. Special tip: Include a book giveaway for your company’s employees!
8) Check Out Diverse Books at the Library
If you visit your local public library often like I do there are some ways to show diverse book love: check out books by diverse authors. If you see a favorite diverse author’s book on a shelf, snap a picture and share it on Instagram or whatever social media site you prefer (Extra tip: be sure to tag the library and the author). If I don’t find a particular diverse book I want to read, I request that the library order it. All of this helps to support diverse authors like me!
9) Feature Diverse Authors on Your Podcast or Blog
It seems like everyone has a podcast and blog today. Do you have one? If so, invite a diverse author to participate on your podcast or blog. Please be sure to invite the author in advance and provide them plenty of time to prepare. Most authors, like me, are happy to participate especially if they have a new novel being released.
Check out a blog post Book Love
10) Commit to Supporting Diverse Authors For The Rest of Your Life!
Yes, I said “the rest of your life.” Please don’t relegate us or our books to certain months. Keep enjoying our books all year long! And brainstorm new ways to get the message out about the importance of diverse voices and stories.
Finally, I hope these TEN simple examples of how to support diverse authors helped. If you can think of any other ideas on how to support diverse authors, please share. Finally, thank you for speaking up and speaking out for diverse authors and our books. Happy Reading!
Gene T. Chavez, Ed.D. says
Great suggestions, Angela! I look forward to hosting you at the Kansas City Museum this Fall, 2023. GTChavez
Angela Cervantes says
Yes! I can’t wait. 🙂