If you read romance and are active on Twitter, odds are you've heard a LOT about the struggles of diverse writers of romance. I actually have just recently become more active on Twitter, and this conversation is part of the reason.
Naima Simone wrote a very well-worded (and eye-opening) article about "Sales in the Diverse Books Movement". She draws some good attention to the comparison of sales for two of her books in the same series, one with a black cover model and the other with a white one. I was double interested in this article because just yesterday I bought the first book, Scoring With the Wrong Twin, because of a tweet Jenny Holiday posted a series of tweets that included a few diverse reads she's starting with to diversify her reading experience.
One thing I really appreciate about the article by Naima Simone is that she gives the reader a list of some authors to check out as a starting point to diversify your romance reading list, which I've included below. I've linked to each author's Amazon page in the below list to make it easy for you to check them out. ;) I've also noted if I've got any personal experience with reading any of these authors' works. I think the only way we're going to change the romance industry is for readers to "put your money where your mouth is," so I'm committing to reading at least 1 book each month by one of the below authors (or author or color not on this list), as well as making an effort to request ARCs by diverse authors from Edelweiss and NetGalley. I'm always a little leery of indie publishers because I've read some real stinkers (poorly written, poorly edited) so I tend to avoid them, but I see now that by doing that I'm likely missing out on some great reads as well!
If you have a great book or author you'd like to recommend, please let me know in the comments!
To help point us all in the right direction, here are a few authors of color and/or authors who write books with diverse characters that need your support:
- Nalini Singh
- Robin Covington
- Kit Rocha
- Sabrina Sol
- Alisha Rai I just bought Hurts to Love You and can't wait to read it! I'm a sucker for brother's best friend trope…
- Pintip Dunn
- Vanessa Riley
- Reese Ryan
- Alyssa Cole I rated A Princess in Theory 4 stars and really enjoyed it! You can read the review here. Bonus points for diversity in romance AND women in STEM!
- Beverly Jenkins I recently purchased Breathless, Forbidden, and Night Hawk by Ms. Jenkins, so watch for reviews of these books on my blog soon.
- Tif Marcelo
- Caridad Pineiro
- Berta Platas
- Julia Amante
- Tracey Livesay
- Melia Alexander Had to buy Driven to Temptation when I was looking up this author. Had to. Oh, Amazon 1-click, you get me into so much trouble…
- Theodora Taylor
- Stacy Reid Hooray for historical romances!
A few other of my own additions to Naima's list:
- Naima Simone herself. I'm looking forward to reading Scoring With the Wrong Twin
- Courtney Milan I loved The Countess Conspiracy, and look forward to reading more of her work. Historical ladies in STEM, yay!
- Sherry Thomas More historical romances, my romance subgenre of choice :)
- Alexis Daria Take the Lead looks especially interesting to me
- Ines Bautista-Yao
Remember to let me know in the comments if you have some more romance authors of color to recommend!