The book publishing industry should become less London Centric according to a group of independent fiction publishers from across northern England.
The group, The Northern Fiction Alliance, which includes Manchester based Comma Press say in an open letter to the Bookseller that
“The book world is changing. And despite being notoriously slow-moving, the last few years have seen the industry take a long, hard look at itself, and question how it can better reflect its readers and society. Various pledges have been made and initiatives set up. Yet, again, and again, industry reports have shown us how white, middle-class and London-centric our industry still is, both in terms of workforce and the range of writers being supported and published. The lessons from these findings are clear: if you don’t have a diverse workforce or product, sooner or later you will disappear.”
They add that by moving away from traditional publishing centres, together we can reshape and redefine the current literary landscape asking how much talent do we lose because, for a lot of people, London is too expensive, too far away, or, frankly, too chaotic to move to?
“What message do we send and what narrative do we build when entry to this industry relies so heavily on insider networks and the wealth within one’s background?.”