Collage of The Free People's Village, The Last Cuentista, Everything Sad Is Untrue, and Control Freaks.

Award-Winning Indie Publisher Hosts Auction To Stay Open Amid Book Bans Targeting POC, LGBTQ+ Youth Lit

Award-winning indie publisher Levine Querido is hosting an auction to stay open as book banning takes a toll on publishers. Unfortunately, Levine Querido is exactly the type of publisher most likely to be badly impacted by the rise of book banning across the United States. This isn’t only because it’s an independent publisher with less support and resources than major publishers like HarperCollins or Penguin Random House. It also has to do with the kinds of books LQ specializes in, which feature marginalized writers and artists.

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Levine Querido has done a fantastic job in diversifying literature primarily for young adult readers, though it also offers children’s books and recently published its first adult novel. The publisher has introduced works from many POC and LGBTQ+ authors. Meanwhile, it has proven that there is an audience for these voices and stories. LQ published Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri in 2020, which went on to earn the Michael L. Printz Award, considered the highest literary honor in the YA genre. LQ has also worked with award-winning writers like Markus Zusak, Nahoko Uehashi, Daniella Carmi, and Donna Barba Higuera.

Unfortunately, the kind of books Levine Querido publishes are those most frequently attacked by book bans. While these bans claim to target books that are inappropriate or contain sexual content, the real goal is to continue to silence marginalized writers who deal with topics like race and sexuality. You know, subjects that make bigots uncomfortable. However, Levine Querido isn’t about to give up, despite book banning being at an all-time high.

Levine Querido hosts an auction to combat book bans

Book banners constantly tout the phrase “go woke, go broke,” expressing a cruel desire to financially ruin anyone with differing viewpoints. However, Levine Querido refuses to let them do this with the launch of the #Friends4LevineQuerido auction. The auction began on September 3 and runs through the 13. The company is raising money because book bans have caused a significant drop in sales. In order to be able to keep doing what it’s doing, LQ launched an auction.

For the auction, Levine Querido began accepting a wide variety of donations, resulting in over 300 authors, agents, and colleagues donating services or items to the cause. Authors are offering everything from signed books to school visits, portfolio reviews, and book dedications. Sim Kern, who wrote LQ’s first adult novel The Free People’s Village, is one of the writers offering author visits, as well as critiques of the first chapter of an aspiring writers’ manuscript. The publisher is going big with the auction, offering things that many writers and literary enthusiasts dream of having, like an hour with a literary agent.


A cool way to get access to #publishing professionals and fight #bookbans #bipocbooks #lgbtqbooks @Levine Querido #booktokfypfyp #foryoupagebooks #simkern

♬ Calm – Faneo sound

This is a very unique way to combat the impact of book banning, and it’s proving successful. In addition to receiving hundreds of donations for the auction, the publisher has raised $53,527.89 as of the writing of this article, which is over 70% of its goal. The fantastic response to this auction further proves that audiences care about these books. Furthermore, they’re not about to let book banners get away with driving good people out of business for no reason. This effort may save Levine Querido and inspire other indie publishers and booksellers to continue the fight against book banning.

(featured image: Levine Querido)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.