Gabrielle Union Says Some Bookstores Have Been Hiding Her Memoir “In Carts In The Back”
Being a Black author isn’t easy. It’s hard to be taken, and in turn, have your stories taken seriously. But one would assume that if you’re a celebrity Black author, your name could make things a lot easier. However, Gabrielle Union has found out that that’s not the case.
In a new interview with the New York Times, the 45-year-old actress and author of the New York Times bestseller We’re Going to Need More Wine: Stories That Are Funny, Complicated, and True said that she found out after the book was released that some book stores (where in particular wasn’t shared) weren’t putting her work out on the sales floor. It took readers and fans to flood one in particular with complaints to get them to actually promote her work in the same way they do others by more accomplished writers in the literary field. The Being Mary Jane star had to find out who these booksellers were, whether actual brick and mortar stores or airport sellers, and do something about it:
According to HarperCollins, Ms. Union’s publisher, her book is now in its fourth print run and has over 100,000 copies in print. It spent three weeks on The New York Times nonfiction best-seller list. But she has felt that navigating the book world as a black woman is not a simple task. (One 2015 study of 40 publishers and review journals found that nearly 80 percent of those who worked in publishing were white.)
Ms. Union said that in her tour, only certain airports displayed the book, and that she had heard from readers that they had asked for it in certain cities, only to find it was still in stacks on the floor or in carts in the back. “So I started asking people to tell me what stores this was happening in. You don’t want to alienate booksellers,” Ms. Union said, “but where’s my book?”
One store, she said, began promoting her book only after the store was deluged by a Facebook campaign.
As for her own efforts though, Union said that she didn’t think she had the chance to visit enough stores and cities, but if possible, she would like to do another leg of her book tour.
To know that people wouldn’t put her book out to be seen and given a chance like others, is unfortunate, but not surprising. Still, it says a lot that even despite such actions, the book went on to become a bestseller.