When the fates first led me to Victorina Press, I had just finished the manuscript for my debut novel The Ardent Witness. And while I had no idea what would come of it, I knew that as a first time author of a piece I hoped to call literary fiction, publishing would be an uphill battle. One I might never win. So when I read about Consuelo Rivera-Fuentes, the founder and director of Victorina Press, and her mission of bibliodiversity, one dedicated to fighting against the confines of traditional publishing and its marginalisation of voices that don’t easily fit into the marketable package that most publishers look for, I realized that not only had I found a publisher I’d be proud to submit my manuscript to; I had also found a movement.
So, what does bibliodiversity mean? The term was originally used by a group of independent publishers in Chile and has since been adopted by the International Alliance of Independent Publishers. The core components of the ideology are set out in Susan Hawthorne’s book Bibliodiversity: A Manifesto for Independent Publishing but, in essence, bibliodiversity is way for independent publishers like Victorina Press to challenge the status quo. Something that seems to become more and more important in these increasingly divided times.
Personally I have always believed that art, in all of its forms, has the power to unite us precisely because it exposes us to points of view, experiences, entire worlds, that we might never discover otherwise. This in turn, hopefully, helps to create a more compassionate and empathetic world. That’s why the concept of bibliodiveristy is so important to me, but I decided to ask some of my fellow authors -
What led these authors to Victorina Press and, most importantly, what bibliodiversity means to them and to their work?