The Contributions of Small Presses to the Field of Multicultural Children's Books
AdvisorShort, Kathy G.
Committee ChairShort, Kathy G.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation studied the roles that small, independent publishing companies see themselves playing in the field of multicultural children's books, and the challenges and issues they face in publishing these books.Five independent presses located in the greater Southwest that publish multicultural children's books were selected to be interviewed, along with several authors and a bookstore owner. Interviews were conducted to learn about each company's mission and history; the audience for multicultural children's books and how these presses market to that audience; how the press selects authors and illustrators; why presses publish bilingual books; what the national trends are in children's book publishing; and what the future holds for multicultural children's books.Children's book publishing has changed over the past several decades, with publishing companies being bought up by conglomerates that require higher rates of return, resulting in publishers looking to create books as brands rather than as quality literature. A branded book could be written by a celebrity with an instantly recognizable name; feature an instantly recognizable character; or possess the potential for creating marketing tie-ins such as toys and movies. This trend has particularly affected multicultural children's books that generally appeal to a smaller market.Small publishing companies have continued to publish multicultural children's books and are recognized for the quality of these books. The major contributions these small presses make are that they- continue to seek out and publish new authors and illustrators from minority ethnic groups; - pay attention to the cultural backgrounds of the authors and illustrators they publish; - develop close relationships with educators who want books for children of color in their schools; - educate sellers and buyers about the benefits of multicultural children's books; - continue to publish bilingual books when national companies do not; - provide resources for literacy programs in their communities; and - serve as risk takers in the world of children's publishing.While national publishing companies may continue to follow the money, independent presses are committed to providing all children with quality literature.
Degree ProgramLanguage, Reading & Culture