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netmouse: (smiling over laptop)
Because of the nature of my smoffing, my participation in fandom is not always very visible, but it continues. I am proud to have been part of the bidcom for the next North American Science Fiction Convention.

Early this year I had to ratchet that participation way down due to other things in life, but I was still the person holding the webhosting account where the website was, so last week Pablo contacted me about helping move the website to being under a new domain name, in case we won. I already had a busy week coming up --Rosie's 6th birthday, my sister coming to visit, painting and cleaning yet to do in the new house to get ready, but there is family, and there is familia de corazon, so I stayed up late friday night completing the migration to http://northamericon17.com

I'd never migrated a Wordpress install to a new URL before. For Detcon1 we just created a new site from scratch. Thankfully Dreamhost had a page of instructions, and I'd gotten the 'this info takes time to propogate' steps done earlier. I hit a couple snags, but their online chat accessible support folk were terrific, and I got it done. Just a small cog in the wheel, but it's still nice to do my part.

I'm very pleased the convention is going to Puerto Rico and I'm proud of our guests of honor. It was both a disapointing yet also cool moment to realize we had to take Nalo Hopkinson off the long list of prospective GoHs because *she was already a Worldcon Guest of Honor* for next year. Go Helsinki. :) Despite that, our Guest list is really rockin' and I know it will be a great con.

Pablo and I are also hoping this will be a good opportunity to finally get the Latin American Fan Fund rolling, so if you're interested in helping with that, please let me know.
netmouse: (dancing)
Reading Jim Hines' usual sort of sensible statements about Fandom's issues recruiting PoC, a question occurred to me.

Do the SFF Publishers market their work to non-white communities?

I mean, as a conrunner and especially as the diversity facilitator for Detcon1 I am currently investing time in the question of how we can get the word out in Detroit about our con. we are finding that the young people in the city know about and attend comic cons, but many of them don't even know science fiction conventions exist. What's the big difference? Well, obviously there aren't as many white fans walking around insisting you're not a fan if you haven't pubbed your ish and can't quote Heinlein extensively. But also? Comic cons ADVERTISE. They get billboards. TV Ads. Newspaper ads. Flyers and posters in comics shops. Stuff like that.

So we're looking at options to do some of those things. Making lists of local schools and stores where we could drop flyers.

The more I find out about independent bookstores and comics shops in Detroit, and the more I learn how many black people read SFF and listen to afro-futurist music, the more I wonder if SFF publishers are marketing to these people. Are they sending SFF authors into our cities where there are large non-white populations, to let them know there is stuff in this genre for them, and the genre welcomes them to the community?

I helped out at a couple big promotional events in Chicago, back when I was assisting Neil Gaiman. One was on the near north side, and one was in a southwestern white suburb. Neither were in the urban center nor anywhere near the large black population center of Chicago. I imagine the large chain bookstores may avoid those areas for the same reasons the white suburbanites do. But there are libraries and civic centers and other venues.

Beyond the white-washing of covers and whatnot, do publicity teams treat black and hispanic and other minority populations as potential readers? Or are they geographically ghettoized so they would have to travel outside their communities to meet most SFF authors?

(Noting that in many places, both small towns and large cities in the US, we are quite racially segregated.)

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