What if the children’s book industry changed tomorrow? And the number of books that actually reflect our communities was equitable with those of straight Euro Americans? What if I began getting calls that offered real advances and publicity for books with larger publishing houses? What if for some reason, after 20 years in the industry, I was known, valued, wanted for my experience? I’ll tell you. I’d take it. I’d be happy to support my family and my work and get my name out there. Come on change! I welcome you!!!
But I would not stop self-publishing.
I never intended to be in the children’s book industry. I initially entered the scene as an artist and an activist through Children’s Book Press. But after spending time with these books what I found was that real power lies at the heart of them. The more involved I became in creating children’s books the more I understood that. I understood the power it had for me personally to heal the experiences I had not only growing up but also as an adult, and by extension the power I got to share as my books circulated in my communities and the world.
Self-publishing stands on its own. It is about owning voice; stepping outside of historically oppressive systems to claim ownership of my perspective, my world as a working class, radical queer xicana and others like me; it is about modeling new ways of power rising and being shared, creating new systems that support us ALL equally.
ULTIMATELY SELF PUBLISHING IS ABOUT THE RECLAMATION OF STORYTELLING BY THE PEOPLE
IT’S ABOUT POWER
Our creative power is our own and it does not have to be tied to financial viability to heal and transform our communities. Our voice is for ourselves. It is us who must hear it and claim our stories so that we become whole. This is for me. This is for my family. My communities. My world. This is for you.
Voice is a revolution. My voice. YOUR VOICE. My revolution. YOURS. Traditional publishing will do whatever traditional publishing does. But we will endure. EVERYONE make books now! The power is OURS and it’s FREE!!! Let it rise…