17 wishes I have about books, publishing and the bookish community // I’m older now??

I AM NOW THE AGE OF MORE YA PROTAGONISTS. YAY ME.

(I mean I already was, given I was 16 but now I’m… wait for it…. SEVENTEEN. 17. What a game-changer!! It’s not like I’m a 5 year-old on the inside)

Now, I was going to make this post more light-hearted but I really want to talk more about the issues I’m passionate about, especially if we’re going to talk about birthday wishes!! ❀️ SO LET’S GO.

Birthday genies, if you’re out there……… πŸ˜‰

1. More intersectional representation in books!

I love the influx in LGBT+ books, in books with POC, disabilities, or mental illness, but I also desperately want intersectional identities represented as well! I JUST WANT ALL THE REPRESENTATION EVERYWHERE OK.

And I fully acknowledge these books might already be out there, and I haven’t been looking in the right places! But currently, I still don’t see as many as I want in mainstream YA (although there are a ton out there that I absolutely can’t wait to read!) and I WANT MORE. I will always want more.

2. More books that focus on friendships!

I love me a good romance, don’t get me wrong! I don’t have one of my own, so I LIVE through others ok πŸ˜‚ But at the same time, I want to read more books that reflect… well, me! And many other teens! We don’t all find romantic love at the smol age of 16-17-18–and not all of us want to!–and instead FRIENDSHIPS are such an important part of our lives. (Of everyone’s lives, ofc!)

Friendships just hold so much more complexity? They are the people you can tell anything to, the people who you turn to for support and encouragement and to talk to. The people whose betrayal would honestly be just as (if not more, tbh) emotionally destructive as a romantic relationship–because you trust and love them so freaking much!!

Let me just say; the amount of unconditional love and trust I hold for my friends?? YOUR FAVES COULD NEVER. πŸ€·πŸ½β€β™€οΈ

(And yes, I am 150% talking about my blogging friends, you know who you are and I LOVE YOU)

3. Less sexist fantasy!

I want more books where WOMEN run the world, okay. None of that “girls can’t fight or rule the kingdom” business or worlds where men can treat women horribly and get away with it because “that’s just how things are” and “boys will be boys”?

No, thank you. We have enough of that in our own world?? If you’re creating a whole new world anyway, WHY WOULD YOU NOT. Create problems with economics! Politics! But get rid of sexism, PLEASE.

4. More “casual” diverse books!

In this context, I mean books featuring diverse characters, that aren’t necessarily entirely focused on that diverse aspect? If that makes sense? Just characters, you know… LIVING THEIR LIVES. Although I love the books that focus specifically on certain issues that arise as a marginalized teen (like THUG, Love Hate & Other Filters etc) which are so so important, I also just want to see them LIVING. Going to school, dealing with friendship or romantic problems, applying to universities, family drama?? There are so many of these books ft. allocishet characters so now it’s our turn thank you!!

I also wanted to shout out Fadwa’s post that talked about how we are more than our marginalizations! Everything she said was so beautifully expressed and SPOT ON.

5. More fooood

(Can you tell I’m hungry right now??)

But seriously!! Food does so much!! It tells you about culture! About the characters! Socio-economic status! Establishes atmosphere! Setting! Might make you want to eat the book! All the good stuff!

It always kills me when characters leave their plate half empty or don’t eat (if the food is good, at least) 😩 TELL US WHAT THEY’RE EATING OK.

I have so many more items of things I want to see in books, so look out for another post sometime!! I KNOW WHAT I WANT OK (only sometimes πŸ˜‚)

6. Publishers!! Giving!! More!! Opportunities to!! Marginalized!! Authors!!/People!!

Whenever someone says that there needs to be more diverse authors… I’m like NOPE, publishers need to PUBLISH more diverse authors. Because they’re out there!! Writing!! Amazing, ownvoices/diverse books!! But they need the publishers to hear them!!

And I want to see publishers choose to put out more stories about diverse characters BY diverse authors (regardless of whether another author has written something similar)!! It’s frustrating, sometimes, to see book deals for non own-voices authors writing about a foreign culture, knowing that publishing often will then reject other (own-voices) authors writing about that culture? Does that make sense? I hate how many publishing companies has made it so that if they already have one ‘type’ of book, they might not publish any more following that type of narrative. It pits authors against each other and is just not fair!

7. Having more marginalized people working behind the scenes!

I don’t actually know much about this in terms of actual numbers and evidence, so if there ARE in fact a ton who do correct me, but I would bet there is still a very large number of publishing establishments primarily led by non-diverse people?? I’m not saying those people don’t deserve their position though, just that more diverse people deserve those same positions!!

It would help so much in so many aspects? Whether it’s editing, sensitivity reading, people working on book covers (and giving us more beautifully diverse ones πŸ‘€), EVERYTHING. Just give us equal opportunities, thanks!

(Have I overused the use of exasperated exclamation marks already??)

8. Sending ARCs to ownvoices reviewers!

I know there are so many logistics to sending ARCs to book bloggers and influencers and such, but it’s just so SAD to see some ARCs fall into people who don’t give a crap (eyes people selling them online)? I totally get how many ARCs are sent to those with high followings (or just generally people in the US,,,,,, but that’s another story) but I personally want to see publishers make more of an effort to send more ARCs of diverse books to readers who might be able to see themselves in the representation!

Ownvoices reviews are so freaking important!!!

I’m not even speaking about myself here, because I’m just a smol new blogger, but in general! Reviews from ownvoices readers are so important.

9. More opportunities for international bloggers? Pretty please?

I live in Canada, so I recognize that I’m still very privileged! I just want everyone to have so many more opportunities, when they’re not in the US; to be a part of blog tours, to get ARCs, to get EVERYTHING ok. πŸ˜…

DO check out Marie’s post about supporting international book bloggers!! Because they’re so important!! ❀ 

10. Switching cover style mid-series

I can never buy the first book in a series without reservation* because I AM TERRIFIED the cover style for the next books will change and I WILL CRY.

This happened with Flame in the Mist? I had the first one, which is beautiful, and then they redesigned the first and second before/after the release of the second book, BUT they didn’t release a cover for the second book (Smoke in the Sun) which matched the first original cover!!

I CRY.

*Funnily enough, I just bought myself Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan earlier today πŸ˜… I LOVED IT and I couldn’t resistttt

11. More boosting marginalized voices!

If someone of a marginalized community is speaking about something that affects their community… PLEASE don’t speak over them!! Retweet them! Link their post! Let them speak for themselves about issues that concern them, and give them more opportunities to do so!!

There are too many instances where our voices are drowned out in everyday circumstances, we deserve to be heard! ❀

12. More boosting of teen voices!

I’ve noticed the YA book blogging community is largely made of adults, which is great, but amidst that, the voices of teen bloggers can often get lost? Of course here are many teen bloggers that I know of and admire so much (like Taasia, Ilsa, May, Dezzy and so many more!), but so many popular voices in the community are adults, and in a space that should be friendly and open to teen voices, I fear that it’s kind of intimidating to speak out sometimes, that what we have to say isn’t always seen as being as important as what older bloggers do.

13. Book shaming has got to go?

LET PEOPLE READ WHAT THEY WANT TO READ THANKS. It kills me to see this happen! If you like to read classics! Good for you! If you like fan fiction? Great! If you like graphic novels! amazing!

I stan YOU AND YOUR READING PREFERENCES!! πŸ’ͺ Anyone else can fight me.

14. Ending reader-superiority syndrome

PSA: We’re not better than non-readers because we read!! (and vice versa, they’re not better than us because they don’t lmao)

As a reader, it bothers me to no end when people act like that just because they read, they’re smarter or better than people who don’t. (Younger me did this and ughhh how I wish I could change the past.) Because people have different interests!!

Will I try to convince you that reading is amazing and you should read? Yes! Will I judge you if you prefer sports or music? Heck no. Let people love what they want to loveeee.

15. Audiobook shaming?? Needs?? to?? STOP??

It’s 2019 and y’all, this should not be a thing. I know some non-blogging friends of mine who like reading but who shame on audiobooks and… well. They haven’t spoken down on audiobooks since? πŸ˜›

I totally understand if you think audiobooks aren’t your cup of tea, it doesn’t work for everyone (though, I used to say the same thing, and I do recommend giving them another shot; sometimes the narrator might not be for you, or you may have been too distracted when using them, but I digress) BUT that doesn’t give anyone the right to claim it’s “not reading” or some other bullshit like that.

Just no.

16. Less hate, more love!

I haven’t had an issue with this myself, and I’ve never heard of any issues in the blogging community specifically in WordPress (the blogging community has seriously been the LOVELIEST), but other bookish areas like Twitter or GR? THE NEGATIVITY UGH. Especially with people with larger followings (but obviously there can be nasty people everywhere); it’s just so sad, and the world has enough hate as it is!!

If you don’t like someone’s posts, videos, tweets or reviews, unfollow them! Turn away, find someone you DO like! DON’T comment or subtweet or troll them with negative or hate-filled comments, it’s just horrible. Go eat chocolate! Read a book! Take your anger out on the treadmill! Not on the lovely bloggers, book tubers, creators, readers online who are just sharing their thoughts. ❀

(And by “you” I don’t mean YOU, obviously, because you’ve all been lovely! But rather the people who are spreading negativity in the bookish communities. Just in case that needed to be clarified!)

17. More boosting backlist-titles!

This is actually one thanks to Dezzy, as she mentioned to me how there’s often a pressure to keep up with hyped titles in the bookish community! This is so true, and in all the hype, backlist titles are so easily forgotten sometimes? Which sucks because hyped, front list titles will change all the time, every year! It’s just as important to boost backlist titles, because there are so many amazing books that have released in previous years that don’t get as much love.

And what many forget is that backlist books are often way more accessible for readers who can’t buy all the new releases or whose libraries aren’t as immediately updated!

SO BOOST YOUR FAVOURITE BACKLIST TITLES!! And if you’re feeling the pressure of reading hyped books, just remember that there are still so many amazing books (that probably *were* hyped, just a year or two ago) that deserve your attention, and you should only read what you want to! ❀

Basically: MORE DIVERSITY EVERYWHERE PLEASE + DON’T ENGAGE IN SHAMING OTHERS FOR THEIR READING and BE NICE!!

I know this post was filled with so many things ahaha (I just really wanted to get to the number 17 πŸ‘€πŸ˜‚) but let me know what are some things you really want to see happen in books, blogging or publishing-wise??! MAYBE IF WE ALL WISH FOR IT, IT WILL COME TRUE???

Also, are there any other March babies out there?? πŸ‘€ When’s your birthday??! (If you made it to the end of this freakishly long post, what’s your favourite kind of cake??? 😍 I love basically all cake ngl, this year I got a Black Forest one! IT WAS DELICIOUS)

37 thoughts on “17 wishes I have about books, publishing and the bookish community // I’m older now??

  1. Happy birthday and congrats on being the dancing queen!!! πŸ˜€ ❀
    I LOVED this list and I completely agree with everything you said! I desperately want more books that focus more on friendship than romance, and I definitely wouldn't say no to books with food πŸ˜‰ And you're completely right that publishing needs to step it up in terms of diversity – in the US at least, a disturbingly high percentage of people working in publishing are white. I also love your point about boosting backlist titles, since that's something I always want to do but I worry that people will have moved on! But overall, fantastic post, and I hope your birthday is/was amazing! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahh thank you!! ❀
      I'm so glad to hear that! Omg yes, MORE FRIENDSHIPS PLEASE. Ahaha right? 😍 Yes, exactly! I'm relieved to hear I'm not imagining that, there is a serious lack of diverse people working behind the scenes in US publishing. 😭 Oh, I totally get that! But backlist titles are just as important ahh. πŸ’• Thank you so much!

      Like

  2. okay you (hopefully) already know how much i love this post (courtesy of my live reactions on twitter DM 😌) but i’m gonna leave a comment anyway!!

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY AGAIN, ALINEEEE πŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‚πŸ’– i love all these wishes and i hope every single one of them will come true someday (a girl can dream, right)!! you’re such a gem and you brighten up my day every day 😊 wonderful post as always!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw YOU’RE SO SWEET, I loved all of your live reactions 😭❀️❀️

      THANK YOUUUU ❀️❀️❀️ Yes yes yes absolutely, WE CAN ONLY HOPE and do our best to advocate for them ahh!You’re the light in my day, always πŸ₯°β€οΈ Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with every point made in this post and happy birthday! My birthday is in February (actually a pretty boring month to be born in imo, i’m sorry my fellow Feb babies). And yes, I don’t get why fantasy writers always have to write books where women have less rights. I guess that ties in with the fact that almost every fantasy nowadays is set in the medieval times and I don’t get it? magic can exist in any time period what the heck?? That’s why I’m so excited to read Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon!

    I love food too, but that’s beside the point–food is an incredible gateway to other cultures!! And I’m definitely guilty of thinking that I’m better than non-readers, and I’m still trying to unlearn it until now, so thank you for that reminder! Happy birthday again, and I hope you enjoy being the same age as most YA protagonists !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad to hear that, and thank you! ❀️ Ahaha you have Valentine’s Day I guess? πŸ˜‚ Right?? And yes, so true!! Fantasy does not have to be set in medieval times at all. I wish more of them took advantage of having magic in different time periods, that would be so cool! Ohh yes for sure, I absolutely can’t wait to read that one omg. 😍

      EXACTLY! Food tells us so much about culture and even characters, it’s so underrated. And I totally get that! It can be a hard trap not to fall into, being a reader is just so awesome haha. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜Œ Thank you!! πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy 17th Birthday, Aline!!! I love you so much and I hope you had or are having a great dayy ❀ Thank you for being such an amazing friend and a wonderful person and just existing in general 😍😩 One day I will come to Canada/you will come to Singapore. One day!! ❀

    Honestly I agree with this list so much!! I want all of these things to happen too, and they are so so important!! I want to see all the intersectional representation and some great friendships (especially platonic ones between people of different genders!!) Also international access and just more recognition of marginalized and international influencers as a whole … a big fat YES. I’m just honestly nodding my head at everything you said because it’s so important and you’re just so so eloquent?? Like howwww, teach me queen 😩🀧

    And thank you for shouting me out, haha! You’re the sweetest and you just made my day 😍 Once again, ily bb and hope you have an amazing year being 17!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOUUU!! πŸ’žπŸ’ž I love youuuu and you too omg, you’re such an incredible person!! AND YES FOR SURE πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ

      Right?!!! I want allllllll the intersectional relationships and all types of friendships 😍 Omg right?? It’s so important. AHH STOP you’re too kind 😩❀️❀️

      I love you and your blog and your voice is so important!! πŸ’ž thank youuu 😘😘

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday to you!! *dance party and cake party* (Black Forest sounds delicious) ❀ I hope you had a wonderful day!!!

    And this post is AMAZING. I was shouting YES to every point. I would love to see more diversity in every type book because there is no reason why they shouldn't be included so I want to see it!!
    Also yes friendships are important and at many points in my life have been the most important relationships which on occasion involved fall outs and making up but mostly laughs and food. And YES woman can rule the world!!
    And publishing needs to be more diverse too and give everyone the chance to publish there book. And I think #ownvoices reviewers are so important and would be great to see more of that in the book community.
    I loved every point and you worded it amazingly. Wonderful post ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! 😘❀️ (It totally is omg 😍😍)

      YAY I’m so glad you agree!! Diversity should be EVERYWHERE ah!! And omg yes friendships have been constant throughout my whole life, with different people, and they mean so much to me?!? 😭😍 AND YES πŸ’ͺπŸ’ͺ
      For sure!! There is still so much progress to be made in publishing omg.
      Yes yes! I want all of the ownvoices reviews ❀️
      Aaah thank you, that means so much to me!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree, I’m not sure about how publishing works on the inside but from the outside the impression I’m getting is that it’s not very diverse.
    And intersectionality is so needed. While books representing intersectional identities exist, I feel like they still don’t get as much hype.
    Something I really want to see more of are books that take place in non-English-speaking countries written by people who live/have lived there or have cultural ties with that country (…I’m tired of Americans who write about my country when they know nothing about it.)
    And happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Right?? πŸ€”πŸ˜¬ It definitely doesn’t.
      Yes!! They do exist, but they don’t seem to get as much attention as they need and deserve aahh. 😦
      Oh my gosh so true!! I didn’t think of that, I totally agree. It doesn’t do the country justice and can just be perpetuating stereotypes? Sigh.
      Thank you! πŸ’ž

      Liked by 1 person

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU AGAIN ALINE! I hope you had a day as amazing as you areπŸ’•πŸ’•
    I love this post SO much and all of your wishes are absolutely spot-on, I hope everything would come true haha. I’m all for FRIENDSHIPS, all the friendships in books, we need way more books focusing on friendships and even ONLY FRIENDSHIPS, it’s so important πŸ’• and food ugh I’m all for good food descriptions that make me hungry while I read haha.
    Thank you SO MUCH for sharing my post about international bloggers, this means so much and I obviously agree, more opportunities for intl bloggers would be a dream πŸ’•
    Happy birthday again!!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • AHH THANK YOU MARIE!!! You’re too kind 😭❀️❀️
      Yes yes!! If only. πŸ˜‚ Oh my gosh YES I would 100% just read books with only friendships, it’s just so amazing to see them in books 😭😍 Hahaha omg right??
      Yes!! There are so many amazing international bloggers (LIKE YOU 😍) who deserve all the opportunities but are so limited! 😭 We can only hope one day ahh πŸ’žπŸ’ž
      thank you!!

      Like

  8. ALL OF THIS.

    Also I’m trying reeeaaallly hard right now not to mention the fact that Radio Silence has a huge focus on friendships instead of romance… (I’m failing clearly)

    Aaaand I know I already wished you a happy birthday on twitter, but it feels like an important part of commenting on your birthday post, sooo… HAPPY BIRTHDAY (again) ALINE

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Happy birthday again Aline!!!! ✨ This is such a clever post, I LOVE IT. I wish all of these things would come true too. Also, as Iris said, Radio Silence DOES have a focus on the friendship between the two main characters as opposed to romance😁 hehe. Just your millionth reminder that you HAVE TO READ IT.

    Great post and I hope you had a wonderful birthday !! πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Aline, happy late birthday?!!?!!!! I hope you had an amazing day and enjoyed your Black Forest cake. To be honest, chocolate cake is the only kind of cake I’d have, because I’m picky like that. I do love a particular Brazilian recipe though, which is carrot cake with chocolate frosting: it’s ridiculously delicious, and I can not wait for my birthday so I can have it, hahah.
    All your wishes were amazing and I do hope they all get granted, honestly. Especially the one where people boost more backlist titles! I am not able to keep up with new releases, and I do feel a general pressure in the community to talk about ARCs and upcoming books more. But I also want to talk about that 2017 release that I didn’t get around to until now! (And how is 2017 already considered backlist titles? Like, it’s only been two years!)
    And I totally agree with you about how the idea that you’re better because you’re a reader needs to end. I feel like I also spent a whole chunk of my life feeling better because I was “different”; I’d rather be reading then talking to people; “fictional characters are my best friends”. Like, yeah, that’s true, but it doesn’t make me more edgy than other people who would rather have real life friends and conversations, lol. Sometimes, I really wish I could take back some things I said in the past, because I certainly hate the idea of shaming someone for having different interests nowadays.
    Again, I hope you had an amazing birthday! Wishing you a lot of great things for the upcoming year! πŸ’›

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU!! 😊❀️❀️ It was very good omg, I love it! Ahahah chocolate cake is DELICIOUS so I can’t blame you. Omg that sounds sooooo good I’m so jealous ahah 😍😍 (HAVE EXTRA CAKE FOR ME πŸ˜‚) When’s your birthday??
      Ahh I’m so glad you agree!! Oh yes oh my gosh, backlist titles really get overlooked and they deserve better 🀧 There’s only so many frontlist books and ARCs people can read, and so many amazing backlist ones that are just so much more accessible? 😩 Omg so true, 2017 feels like yesterday ahaha.
      HAHA exactly!! I was the same way loool, but it’s really not true πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Of course I’m biased because I love reading, but to someone else it might not be and that’s okay! Ahh totally know what you mean, same here. At least we’re more aware now, though! πŸ’žπŸ’ž
      Thank you so much, you’re the sweetest!! 😘❀️

      Like

  11. This is a brilliant post! And I agree with you! I try not to speak up and over the voices of those who are affected by things, instead I try and boost their voices by sharing etc. And I wish more did that.
    Also AUDIOBOOKS RULE so I love that you included that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! Ooh that’s such a good approach, there are so many underrated titles that don’t get much attention. ❀️ I agree, big name publishers definitely push certain titles, but I suppose it’s their job to do that! πŸ˜…

      Liked by 1 person

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