Susanne Horman, owner of the Robinsons Bookshop chain, gave her first interview to Andrew Bolt, following the vicious, wokist, left-wing attack on her sparked by a series of tweets. To be fully in the picture, one must see the tweets in full:
‘What’s missing from our bookshelves in store? Positive male lead characters of any age, any traditional nuclear family stories, kids picture books with just white kids on the cover, and in which no wheelchair, rainbow, or indigenous art, non-indig aus history.’
‘Books we don’t need: hate against white Australians, socialist agenda, equity over equality, diversity and inclusion (READ as anti-white exclusion) left wing govt propaganda. Basically the whole woke agenda that divides people. Not stocking any of these in 2024.’
‘So I am advocating for a substantial shift in the focus of Australian publishers to be in line with public opinion and requests for what is GOOD! We aren’t going to stock books that intend to cause harm and make Australians hate each other.’
From a sales and marketing point of view, this is a true analysis of the sorts of books publishers are releasing and of what’s lacking in the market. I spent most of my working life in the book industry – mainly with publishers. Susanne’s tweets are the sort of analysis sales and marketing people engage in daily. What’s selling? What’s not selling? What type of book is flooding the market? What gaps are there in the market?
I’ve been at sales meetings where the critical language is far more frank and colloquial than Susanne’s.
What really is the issue here, is the political control the wokist gatekeepers have on the book market. There have been instances in recent years where a publisher’s editorial staff has refused to work on a manuscript the publisher has contracted. One of Jordan Peterson’s book suffered that fate. The bookshops can be just as bad. Many US booksellers refused to stock Candace Owen’s book “Blackout: How Black America Can Make Its Second Escape from the Democrat Plantation.” Read the case HERE.
The problem here – an astonishing irony – is that the instruments of information dissemination (publishers and booksellers) are censoring themselves on the basis of ideology. I suppose when a nation’s educational establishments become unbending purveyors of rigid ideology, the publishers and booksellers will go the same way.
Andrew Bolt’s interview sadly shows a bookshop owner battered and bruised. She needs our support and we need to support a bookshop that remains true to its social function in a liberal democratic society.