Queer Publishing: Where do we go from here?
Riptide's culture of racism, classism, and sexual harassment is deeply disappointing to me.
What might be some alternatives to working with publishing companies or self-publishing through Amazon? Both methods support Amazon, which I want to burn to the ground, and I don’t see any effective way to overcome systemic inequality except to burn all of it to the ground. The harm and hurt is coming from top positions, as exemplified by Riptide's garbage apology.
Here are some preliminary thoughts I have right now:
Form our own publishing company and do better (not an easy task, at all)
Some kind of co-opt/collective where we help each out and publish books on our own website, which is dedicated exclusively to queer voices and prioritizes POC writers. I don’t know the details yet, but here’s what I’m thinking:
Writers form a collective and contribute to each other’s projects. For example, I’m certified in copyediting, so I would edit books for free. Another writer might help design our website. Others might be beta readers, cover designers, formatters, promoters, sensitivity readers, etc. Authors give and receive help for free and keep 100% of their book royalties (maybe). I don’t know how translation and audio rights would work. I don’t know if this is remotely feasible. There would have to be some kind of accountability system to ensure authors are giving back as much help as they are receiving. The idea is that it’d be author-controlled, not support Amazon, give authors royalties, have minimal risk of going bankrupt (if we're contributing all labor except for our own writing for free) and create a community for queer and POC voices.
More potential details: Two websites, one where books are sold and one where writers put books together. The latter would have a forum where Author X, for example, could say, "I'm putting together a project and I need a proofreader." Certified copyeditor Author Y says, "Awesome, I can do that. I see you design book covers. I need one of those." Author X and Author Y complete their projects and upload them for sale onto Queer Book Website, bask in royalties.
It would be a horizontal organization dedicated to equity and community.
Can anyone expand on how #2 might work, or does anyone have other ideas? You can suggest literally anything. I’m opening up here and might look like an idiot.
Also feel free to comment or email me at email@example.com if you would like to continue receiving news about a potential co-opt or other venture.