Inspired by Ursula K Le Guin’s speech at the 2014 National Book Awards, I’m happy to announce that Dragonfly.eco will be hosting a new Indie Corner, which will freely promote well-written and engaging ecologically oriented novels and short stories that have been self-published or published through small independent presses. Ursula’s speech included the following:
Books aren’t just commodities; the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art. Very often in our art, the art of words.
I’ve thought about this speech for years and have been curious about the gatekeeping of authors and books that become successful. I’ve worried about black and other people of color’s voices not mattering in the ecoliterature field, and have questioned the amount of money paid by bigger publishers for reviews and places on best-seller lists–not to mention the sometimes high costs of entering a book for an award or the controversy surrounding some book awards. That’s not to say that successful novelists write terrible stories (they usually don’t) or that they shouldn’t be able to make a living as a writer but that, like Ursula said, the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. When we overlook stories because of small or absent marketing budgets, we miss out as readers. While there might be thousands of authors writing eco-fiction, if bigger media is constantly talking about just a handful, it becomes repetitive and freshness is lost. If there’s any small part I can do to tackle this problem, it would be to take monetary motives out promotion (which has always been the case here at Dragonfly).
The stories I’ll feature here have to have some notability. They must:
- Have at least ten positive ratings on a site like Goodreads or Amazon, and/or be noticed in the media.
- Be well-written and without grammatical errors.
- Be interesting, engaging, and have a professional-looking cover.
Authors who are interested in having a spotlight here may e-mail me. Indie Corner will spotlight an author every few weeks.