Lots of organisations have been posting statements about how they intend to be better at supporting people of colour, and in particular Black people, in the future. Many of those, I suspect, will prove to be PR exercises, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that I haven’t yet said anything about Wizard’s Tower, so here we go.
None of the novels we publish are by people of colour. Nor, to my knowledge, are there any stories by people of colour in any of the anthologies that we publish. There are people of colour in the non-fiction parts of Adventure Rocketship, for which we have the ebook rights. I’m very pleased about that because the book is about the intersection between science fiction and music.
I would very much like to publish more work by people of colour, but when someone, anyone, comes to me and inquires about getting published my first reaction is always to ask them if they are sure, and can they not get a better deal with someone else. There are plenty of very talented people of colour out there, and they should be getting published by mainstream publishers, not having to resort to a tiny outfit like mine.
I will note that I have one anthology of translated fiction in publication, and have another two hopefully forthcoming this year. That’s something else that is a hard sell with bigger publishers, but I’m always happy to look at.
I try to do the LGBT+ stuff too. Lyda, of course, is a lesbian. Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion II has three stories by trans people in it. If you have books that bigger publishers won’t touch because of queer content, do come to me. Ditto any other marginalised theme.
It is embarassing not to have any writers of colour on our books. All I can say is that it is not by design. Given the way that publishing works, a whole bunch of the writers of colour who are being taken on by the big companies right now will get dropped after a couple of books. If that happens to you, do come to me for future projects, because rescuing mid-list writers who have been dumped is what Wizard’s Tower was set up to do. If you are not published yet, keep an eye on any anthology projects we might announce, but have ambition. You can crack professional markets. Go for it!