Muses Saga

Ways to produce sustainable books- A Publisher’s Guide- Part 3- Socially Conscious Books

Written by- Anjali Roongta


Do you wish to make a difference with your publishing house? Help make the world a better place for your children and grandchildren to live in? Yet you are feeling stuck. Sustainability has a social aspect that many big companies ignore behind the guise of recycled raw materials and plastic-free packaging. Here is how you can do better.

Ways to have a socially conscious organization and books:


  • Leveraging social media:


We all know the importance of raising awareness. One way to do that is to use social media. You can share the importance of sustainable and socially ethical publishing. Or you can share tips and best practices for authors, readers, and fellow publishers to see.


  • Industry standards and certifications:


Developing and promoting industry standards for sustainable publishing can encourage companies to adopt eco-friendly practices. This includes certifications. They ensure that all stakeholders are aware of the best practices. It promotes accountability as well.


  • Lead by example:


Publishers and authors can implement sustainable and socially ethical practices in their own businesses. This can serve as an example for others.


  • Collaboration:


You can consider collaborating with organizations and industry groups that promote sustainable practices. It can encourage wider adoption.


  • Encourage authors to write on meaningful topics:

From gender inequity to mental health, authors can use the power of their words to bring discourse.


  • Fair pay to workers at all levels of the organization:

Whether it is a freelancer, an intern, or any other worker, ensuring fair pay goes a long way for an ethical company. Say no to unpaid internships.


  • Source your raw materials ethically:

While going plastic-free is great, a sustainable company sources its materials from partners that pay workers ethically.


  • Support local and or or small printers:


Supporting local businesses helps both the environment and small companies just starting out.


  • Support new authors: New authors bring new ideas and new voices.

We understand that quality checks are important. So is publishing books that match a publishing house’s ethics. However, it is also important to try and publish authors who are new and not gate keep publishing. NotionPress’ self-publishing is a great example of that. Do remember good writing is always of good quality. Editors are a necessity.


  • Create jobs:

We understand that many small publishers cannot often afford to keep employees. Do try and hire people when possible, especially those from marginalized areas of society.


  • Use dyslexic-friendly fonts when possible:


When possible have either audio features or use fonts that people with dyslexia can read.


  • Be inclusive as an organization and use trigger warnings in your works:

Queer-friendly and inclusive should be the minimum for a sustainable organization. You can also have other forms of inclusivity. Sustainable organizations make sustainable books that are inclusive and have trigger warning for informed reading.


Does Muses_Saga do all this? Not at the moment. We are still figuring things out. we are trying to find sustainable partners. We use our advertising space to only promote sustainable products. We are trying. And so can you. Do remember though, healthy sustainability is a delicate balance and a learning curve. However, organizations have the most responsibility to be sustainable. What do you think? Let’s start a discourse in the comments below.

To find other ways to make a sustainable book, you can read our blogs on the same.

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