Blood Orange Press sees the beauty in our communities and our stories. We make books that recognize and affirm first nations and kids of color, and their power and potential in the world.
Blood Orange Press is an independent, moonlit one-woman children’s book publishing company. We engage friends and other experts in the community for advice, and sometimes contract them to help out. All the proceeds from our book sales are reinvested in the creation of new books. Our founder works for free.
As a kid, Janine Macbeth loved books — so much that she wanted to make them herself. But then she noticed that all the authors and illustrators of the books in her life were white. She would scour the shelves at the library looking for authors and illustrators like her, and when she came up empty handed over and over, her 7-year-old self finally came to the conclusion that people of color weren’t allowed to make children’s books.
As a college student, Janine learned how to put words to her experience – that invisibility is an injustice. She remembered her childhood dream, and realized that since publishing companies decide which stories become books, writing and illustrating alone wouldn’t solve the problem of invisibility. At that point Janine silently promised to start a publishing company – to correct invisibility by creating an institution that inherently values, respects, and celebrates the stories of historically marginalized communities.
Ten years, intense study and work in publishing, a career shift, and some turns in the road later (a.k.a. in 2011), Janine raised the money on Kickstarter to publish her first book, Oh, Oh, Baby Boy!. As she was designing the book, Janine came to the title page, where a book’s publisher is traditionally mentioned. The flame was relit. This book would be the first produced by the publishing company she’d dreamed of! Janine immediately started designing Blood Orange Press’s logo, and dropping it into the layouts. And that’s how Blood Orange Press was born.
We believe that children and adults of all ages should have access to stories that recognize and lift up their individual power, dignity, and beauty.
To be a literary home that recognizes, inspires, and strengthens diverse readers.
Diversity: We honor the many spectrums of racial, ethnic, gender, sexual, spiritual, economic, and experiential diversity.
First Voice: We support the creation and sharing of stories based on one’s own heritage, experience, and community of origin. We speak for no one but ourselves, knowing that self-representation is an act of power.
Awareness: We encourage reflection and growth from within.
Freedom from Judgement: We meet and accept people where they are.
Connection: We come from a place of love, recognizing the interconnectedness of all things.
Joy: We are visionary in that our efforts aim to expand good in the world.
Wellbeing: In all of our interactions, we value the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our partners, consumers, and selves.
We Welcome Your Involvement
Blood Orange Press is 110% the result of a passion and commitment to improving the representation of first nations and communities of color in the publishing industry. Initial seed funding was gathered from friends and family (old and new) through Kickstarter in 2011, and we’re launching a second fundraising campaign in September 2016. If this work resonates with you, please do share it via social media, and with your community. If you would like to get involved, have skills you’d like to share, ideas for helping us spread and grow this work, relationships that could advance our mission, or funds you would like to contribute, we welcome it all. Please contact janine (at) bloodorangepress.com.
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