I was honored to be invited to the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) Fantastic Fall Conference last weekend. They hosted their first ever #WeNeedDiverseBooks Reception, featuring 15 authors who are PoC and/or have written diverse books of all kinds. They also provided a highly visible table in the vendor room so booksellers and publishers could come find out about the campaign.
Back row (l to r): Robin Talley, Ryan Graudin, Ellen Oh. Front row (l to r): Justina Ireland, L.R. Giles, Kat Yeh, Renée Ahdieh.
This was one of the best events I’ve participated in. The reception was styled in a kind of “Speed Dating” format: Authors sat at small tables with their books and booksellers mingled and stopped to chat. There was a lot of enthusiasm and interest in #WeNeedDiverseBooks and our work, and it was great to meet so many people who own and run the independent bookstores we love and rely on. It’s also always wonderful to hang out with other authors and meet in real life after interacting online. Thanks so much to team members Ellen Oh, Aisha Saeed, Lamar Giles, I.W. Gregorio, Meg Medina, Renée Ahdieh, and Caroline Richmond for making me a part of it.
This was especially exciting for me because that night was the first time I saw advance copies of my new book, The Silence of Six! It looks really wonderful, and the awesome cover drew many people over to ask about it and get signed copies for their stores, kids, or themselves. Physical copies of the book are out in the world now! Thanks to my publisher, Adaptive Books, for getting books there in time.
It’s more than 1s and 0s and ideas in my head!
Despite my ongoing efforts to cull our bookshelves, I did come home with a few great books, and I encourage you to look for published and forthcoming work from the other attendees for a great selection of diverse titles and middle grade/young adult authors:
The Wrath and the Dawn — Renée Ahdieh
Fake ID — L.R. Giles
The Walled City — Ryan Graudin
None of the Above — I.W. Gregorio
Vengeance Bound — Justina Ireland
Control and Catalyst — Lydia Kang
Say What You Will — Cammie McGovern
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass (Best. Title. Ever.) — Meg Medina
Prophecy — Ellen Oh
The Only Thing to Fear — Caroline Tung Richmond
Written in the Stars — Aisha Saeed
Lies We Tell Ourselves — Robin Talley
Saving Baby Doe — Danette Vigilante
The Truth About Twinkie Pie — Kat Yeh
And of course, if you’d like to learn more about We Need Diverse Books and how to support the campaign:
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Some diverse books I nabbed at NAIBA