news

Publisher to drop gendered book titles

2016-01-31
Buster Books - an imprint of the Michael O'Mara publishing house - has announced it will no longer gear books towards boys and girls exclusively. The publisher previously produced titles including The Gorgeous Girls' Colouring Book, The Brilliant Boys' Colouring Book, The Girls' Book of Glamour and The Boys' Book of Adventure. The change is in part because of pressure from the Let Books Be Books campaign, started in 2014 by parents who feel that gendered titles can be divisive and limiting. In addition to promoting outdated gender stereotypes, many parents complain that books for girls are too frivolous - glamourising dresses and princesses, and not encouraging them towards real life activities and careers. 61nWbUTz3sL On their website, Let Books Be Books state their goals, saying, "Children are listening, and take seriously the messages they receive from books, from toys, from marketing and the adults around them. "Do we really want them to believe that certain things are off-limits for them because of their gender? They’re not ‘getting it wrong’ if a girl likes robots, or if a boy wants to doodle flowers." The group have already had success with other publishers like Ladybird Books, and companies like Paperchase, but this move from Buster Books is particularly important, because of their high number of explicitly gendered titles. In a tweet sent out this week, the publisher announced their intentions to drop gendered titles altogether. It's a big jump for the publisher, who have stated in the past that they can expect a gendered title to sell up to three times as many copies as one without categorisation. Nevertheless, their news this week was met with praise on social media from campaigners, and authors themselves. More stories Calls for UK passports to be gender neutral Pope praises LGBT kids book banned by Venice Mayor