Like everything in life, when something becomes more mainstream, people start using it as a marketing ploy. The same thing has happened to the #ownvoices movement in the publishing industry:
We Need Diverse Books announced that it will no longer refer to books using the term #OwnVoices. Instead, they will use “specific descriptions that authors use for themselves and their characters whenever possible (for example “Korean American author” or “autistic protagonist”). They write in the release that the hashtag was originally created “for readers to recommend books by authors who openly shared the diverse identity of their main characters,” but has since become a “catch all marketing term” and caused problems with its vagueness.
To be honest, I actually think this is a good thing, because I did find it hard to know what #ownvoices always meant – unless you knew a lot about the author, you didn’t know what their “own voices” hashtag referred to. I think this will make it easier to understand a book and the author.
What do you think? Did you pay attention to #ownvoices before?