Who are we? Who is Vox et Liber Publishing? That’s the big question for every new business. Who are these jokers and why should I give them attention/money/my undying love? The simple answer for us is we’re a publishing house. We publish quality stories in different formats whether that’s the written word or serial podcasts. It’s that simple.
The more complex answer explains why VeL was even thought up, to begin with. I, the founder, have been a writer and part of small press publishing for over ten years. Most of my days were spent reading and surrounding myself on all social media with everything to do with good stories.
Then the fire nation attacked. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.
Truthfully, I learned more about the imbalance of voices being published yearly. Everything is white, and straight, and male.
VeL was founded because we need to change the culture of publishing. This last year, or two, has been a big eye opener to many about how toxic the publishing culture has become, or maybe always was. We need to change the lack of representation. There are so many amazing stories being told by people who don’t fit into the current publishing mold that isn’t being published just for that reason. Both of these reasons are the fuel that fed VeL in the early days of creation. We are also aware there is still a lot we have to learn to publish stories for everyone but we are happy to learn it, either by experience or just by stopping to listen.
As a white woman, I subscribed to the notion that any new female character (and they were always white) was a win for all women, even BIPOC women. Except it’s not. Not really. Sure seeing more women in lead roles is good but if none of those women EVER look even remotely like the kids, teens, young adults consuming the media then they will start to feel like an other, an alien among the populous. I felt it when I saw nothing but skinny, perky, straight girls in the media. I am none of those things and never will be but at face value, I still had a lot of characters I could see myself in. I do not have to face micro transgressions about my race or straight up everyday racism. So, when I went to hide in the media to get away from the real world problems I had a sea of options. Many, many people don’t have that. Representation matters.
child human should be made to feel other and left out. We are a human race that cannot progress unless we progress together. Whether it be in the sciences or the arts.
When I and the staff at VeL say women, this means transwomen too. Trans women are women and trans men are men. End of story.
We’re not here to save anyone or to be a savior. We’re here to give a platform to good stories and especially good stories written by marginalized voices. As a reader, I would love to devour more books with fantasy elements taken from cultures other than Europe. I mean, I love some Tolkenite fantasy but let’s be honest, it’s grown very stagnant. It grew stagnant when it had no reason to. We have hundreds of cultures, modern and ancient, around the world to pull inspiration from but all you see over and over again are pale-skinned elves and knights fighting dragons. Hell, there’s even ANOTHER retelling of the Arthurian brand new on Netflix as we speak and yes, it’s on our to-watch list because we’re weak humans.
That’s why VeL was born. It was born from a want to make something we love better. To take the market back from the big 5’s tight clutches and give them a kick in the ass before making a point to expand the market. To expand it so everyone has a boatload of media they can see themselves in. Not just one or two token stories. Or being told to be satisfied with that one gay and/or BIPOC character that gets killed off halfway through for no reason.
That is also how we will be moving forward and in light of a lot that has come out in the publishing world this last month or so, we have specifically made a point to talk to our staff that no one gets a pass for bad behavior. No matter if an author becomes the next Steven King and makes our little publishing house explode, allowing our tiny staff the ability to buy gold toilets by the case, even that author will get dropped immediately.
We created this to start something better and we will fight to keep it that way.