I’ve been noticing lately that the promotions that I get as a blogger/crazy reader-person for free books tend not to have a lot of diversity in the titles. I’m mostly a library user so maybe that’s why it took me so long to notice this. I either don’t pay these sites a lot of attention or I just don’t think they have what I’m interested in without noticing why that is.
This is what I see when I click on the fiction front page. No books with nonwhite protagonists on the cover. The Christmas Stocking book takes place when angels visit the shepherds in the Christmas story. The angels are super white, I see. No picture of the Middle Eastern family they are visiting on the cover.
Netgalley does have a Multicultural Interest page. That’s good, I guess, although I’m not sure why the books need to be segregated off in their own little community. As of this writing, there are 22 books on that page out of the thousands on Netgalley. Not good.
Blogging for Books
Another free books for bloggers site is Blogging for Books. Here’s their fiction front page.
Better. There is Nicola Yoon right up front. Lisa Yee has the Batgirl book. But adult fiction? Not much on offer. There is a Cuban author on the next page but when you click on it, there aren’t actually any copies of the book available. Once you get past this fiction page, there don’t appear to be any books by non-white authors available in any other category.
This is a much smaller site than Netgalley. They have a limited selection of books at any one time. I’m actually surprised and happy to see the ones I did.
This is a weekly email that points you towards discounted and free ebooks on Amazon. It tends to be mostly white authors. I don’t know if this is because these are the books they pick or if it is because it reflects what books are being discounted.
Kindle First is an email that Amazon Prime members get where you can chose one free ebook a month from a selection of categories. You pick the six categories that you are offered. I usually get at least one POC author in this group of six. I’m not sure what the algorithm for this is. Is it because I put Magical Realism on my choice of categories? Between that category and the literary fiction categories’ preference for translated books, there is a good chance for getting a POC author. I’ve gotten some good books from here. I have a translated Indonesian novel waiting to be read from this program.
But really, I’m excited for 1 out of 6? Is that really good odds when you think of the population of the world? Why don’t I get a Chinese writer in the Thriller category?
Do you have go-to sites for free books? Have you considered how diverse their selections are?