A friend recently hired several sensitivity readers to review his YA novel, which features characters of diverse ethnicities. He’s about to get on the query-go-round and wants to make sure the book won’t be found insensitive to those minorities.
This is becoming increasingly important to the publishing industry. Books that feature characters of a different race or ability than the writer are often subject to online vitriol. If the Twitterverse finds a book has “insensitive” content, the book may be headed for the pulping machine. Even after publication, an expensive ad campaign, and distribution to bookstores. That’s a pricey proposition for the publisher, and a tragedy for the author.
A horror story from a few years ago involved an Asian YA writer who wrote a fantasy novel that portrayed Asian-type people who were enslaved. The Twitterverse, not known for its education, deemed the book racist. Apparently Twitter believed slavery only…
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