A #Wewantdiversebooks guerilla campaign concept

We Need Diverse Books is an amazing campaign that’s trying to change the publishing industry. They want more diversity in children’s books so that more kids can see themselves reflected in the stories they read, and more kids can see their diverse realities reflected in the books they love. Make sure to check out the We Need Diverse Books website for the full story on why diversity in books is absolutely crucial.

But it’s important for publishers’ audiences to say that it’s not just that we need diverse books, but that we want them. Particularly that we want to spend our money on them, if only they would deliver the goods. I developed a concept for a sister campaign, building on the work that they’ve done, but specifically targeting publishers’ shoppers to get involved.

An argument that’s often thrown around is that multicultural books don’t sell, and that that’s what’s stopping the publishing industry from giving us a more diverse range to shop from. This concept aims to dispell that myth, and to let publishers know in a language that they understand: sales, money and profits.

The guerilla campaign concept

I want to buy diverse books.

Now I just need you to publish them.

The guerilla campaign would simultaneously raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s books, and inspire shoppers to become activists.

Stage 1

Print a variety of more diverse slip-covers of top-selling children’s books including:

  • campaign information
  • an ask to let publishers know you want to buy diverse books
  • popping yellow paper that catches the eye

For example this one based on the popular Harry Potter series:


Stage 2

Slip the covers around children’s books in bookstores around the country to reach the shoppers who in turn can help us get through to the publishers.

Each cover asks the shopper to either get in touch with a specific publisher over social media, or to cut off the slip on the end of the cover with the publisher’s address on it and a note that pledges to buy diverse books if they were only being published.

Just an idea…

This remains just an idea, so visit https://diversebooks.org/ to see how you can get involved with supporting their work or find resources to use to support the cause.

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