In an effort to support amazing authors of culinary books who are people of color, we’ve put together a virtual bookshelf on Bookshop. We prefer Bookshop to Amazon. They’re an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. We can certainly get behind that! We will be updating the bookshelf on an ongoing basis as we discover more books, and would love recommendations.
Suggestions on How to Use the Bookshelf
- See a book you like? Purchase directly from a POC-owned bookstore! That way your full purchase is best guaranteed to support a POC author and a POC-owned business. Huzzah! Many are offering online or phone purchase these days for pick-up or delivery. In Los Angeles, for example, Eso Won Books, which is Black-owned, and Now Serving LA, which is Filipinx-owned are great options. DC’s Mahogany Books which is Black-owned, also has a selection of cookbooks online by Black authors for purchase. And since June, there have been plenty of lists circulating online for Black-owned bookstores you can reference.
- Purchase directly from a local independent bookstore. There are great independent bookstores in nearly every community if you just look, many with online purchasing options. By purchasing from an independent bookstore, you help them keep their doors open. And with your purchase, you’re letting them know with your dollars that you value POC authorship and encouraging them to keep these books in stock.
- If you purchase online through Bookshop, pick a specific bookstore to support. We’d suggest, of course, that you select a POC-owned bookstore; there’s a bunch affiliated with Bookshop including Loyalty Books and Solid State Books in DC. And you can buy a book that is not on their “shelf,” if they have one themselves, and still support them as long as you select them. If you want to find a specific bookstore to support, you can find one on Bookshop’s map and they’ll receive the full profit off your order (not exactly sure how much the “full profit” is, hence the other options just to be sure!). Otherwise, your order will contribute to an earnings pool that will be evenly distributed among independent bookstores (even those that don’t use Bookshop).
And out of transparency, the only way we were able to share a virtual bookshelf with you through Bookshop, and avoid Amazon wishlists, was to become an affiliate. Bookshop supports anyone who advocates for books through their affiliate program, which pays a 10% commission on every sale, and gives a matching 10% to independent bookstores. So if you’re making a purchase from our bookshelf, make sure that you select a bookstore to support before checking out! You’re able to see who you’re supporting because their name will show up in the top left-hand corner of the website. But, if we happen to end up with funds because something goes wrong, know that we are just planning to use them towards website and maintenance fees for our self-funded, WOC-run brunch blog.
Lastly, this bookshelf took long hours over several days to put together. We did our best to research every author to try to identify them as they identify (and note, identities are complex and often intersect!). We were also dismayed by the struggle that it was to populate a fulsome and varied bookshelf of culinary books by POC authors, sometimes even for cultural foods. Be sure to read up on inequities in the publishing industry and #WhatPublishingPaidMe.
Need a cocktail, stat!