Portland State University. Department of English
Publishers and publishing, Book industries and trade
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the publishing industry—in possession of predominately white authors, characters, and staff—must be in want of more diversity. At least, it should be such a truth because understanding is the first sentence of a much longer novel: the industry as a whole must be recast to represent all readers. From classic works to current bestsellers, there is an inherent need for not just more diverse books, but also an acceptance that the system requires more than just “surface level” solutions. This paper proposes four diverse modern retellings of Pride and Prejudice as a case study of the diverse retelling genre—set against the backdrop of a white-centered publishing industry—in order to reveal potential best practices for future inclusive re-imaginings. Analysis of the four Pride and Prejudice retellings revealed that there are ten potential best practices that can be applied to the genre as a whole. One half of the best practices focuses on the content of the books, while the other centers around marketing techniques. Each best practice comes with both analysis and support from industry trends and the case study. This paper also examines future diverse retellings currently in the works and how they have already applied the developed best practices, as well as why they are essential and successful in the current market. In its entirety, this paper concludes that diverse modern retellings sell because they marry both the past and present, with direct sights on a more inclusive future.
Boettcher, Hannah, "Pride, Prejudice, and Diversity: The Retelling Culture The Development and Analysis of Best Practices for Diverse Modern Re-imaginings of the Classics" (2021). Book Publishing Final Research Paper. 60.