Aged 24, I was in Paris for a job interview. I got there from Manchester clinging to my brother on the back of his BMW Tourer motorbike. We stopped in Paris’s Arab Quarter. I found a great bunch of people, great community there. Then on through the banking quarter. I was struck by how in the central Paris banking zone there was not one black face around. And in Paris Central back then, the only black faces I saw were serving in take aways or manning the crepes stalls. Switch to the UK and the near present. In UK football, for a long time all the management was white. The publishing industry too, has lacked diversity in its upper echelons. The same has been true of academia where there are currently 50 Black Professors out of about 14,000.
When the gatekeepers are predominantly white, the question naturally arises how best does a writer with a black aesthetic get published? There is the self-publishing route. There is the ‘set up an independent press’ route and there is the ‘keep knocking/battering at the door of the mainstream press’ route. Does the advent of e-books change all that? Is e-publishing the golden key? -Pete Kalu
Twitter version: ‘me’ publishing? ‘we’ publishing? or ‘e’ publishing? Does game-changing technology part the sea for Black and Asian writers?