Working in children’s publishing is one of the most exciting places to be, with endless authors, illustrators and stories to discover. Take a look at the best children’s books from 2017, a year that needed voices of opposition, and you find rebels, stories in which characters stand up for what they believe in, and others who transcend into other worlds to fight the bad guys!
On the business side of publishing, and the heroes working to put books on shelves, the story is less inspiring.
KNIGHTS OF was born out of a passion for children’s publishing, and a desire to do something differently, to move away from the status quo and commit to facing some of the problems in the industry, independently.
We’re an inclusive publisher – it’s what drives the majority of our decisions – we’re here to make books for everyone, by everyone. It’s not a ground-breaking idea, but a look at the makeup of our shared industry tells you that there is a lack of diversity.
We hope to be a part of changing that: by making commercial children’s books that have been edited, produced, designed, marketed and publicised by as many people, from as many different backgrounds as possible. That definitely means people from many cultural/ethnic backgrounds and abilities, but also means people from broader economic and social backgrounds.
All of the initiatives are aimed at lowering potential barriers to entry. Anyone can send us a message, at any time and get a reply straight away. Our submissions / application process is an open live chat – that reaches everyone at KNIGHTS OF. Pitching a book, enquiring about work or looking to help fund an idea, the right person picks up the chat and we go from there!
#BooksMadeBetter is another of the ways that we’re creating space. Home to opinion pieces, articles or book reviews, it is a community hub. You’ll find award winning and debut authors and illustrators next to publishers, booksellers, librarians, podcast hosts and cultural commentators: all talking children’s books.
The community around #BooksMadeBetter has come together in its first few weeks to launch a Book Club – choosing a book and buying copies to be sent to libraries, communities and readers across the UK and Ireland.
For us at Knights Of, we want to prove that there’s not only a market for inclusive books, but for a better industry. We hope to demystify publishing, make it accessible for creators and anyone interested in working with us.
When it comes to 2018, our first books will be hitting bookshelves, we’ll have more surprise announcements and there’ll be more great interviews, reviews and articles on #BooksMadeBetter (booksmadebetter.com) We’re not giving away much here, are we? We will soon, we promise.
YouTube: Knights Of (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxj0wHFCCYa2giA7gjOWXWA/)
This guest blog was provided by Aimee from Knights Of, and the views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the FCBG.