Ryland Peters & Small imprint Dog n Bone is publishing The Little Book of Pride, written by its own marketing manager, Lewis Laney.
Dog n Bone will publish The Little Book of Pride on 12th May, ahead of World Pride Month in June and in time for the 50th anniversary of the 1970 Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade.
The Little Book of Pride offers "a concise look at everything you need to know about Pride, revealing the history, the key people involved, the best Pride events around the world, inspirational quotes from famous queers, Pride facts and a fun Pride survival guide". Publisher Cindy Richards, who signed world rights, said not only is it a "unique and clever book" that tells the history of Pride and the LGBTQ+ journey but it does so "with compassion and humour".
Laney has worked in illustrated publishing for around 12 years and is passionate about LGBTQ+ history and culture. He started writing queer literature as a teenager and frequently works with local establishments to provide spaces for queer meet-ups.
Responsible for the idea for the book himself, Laney said he thought a digestible gift book about Pride would be a great way to bring the subject to a whole new audience.
"It was just an idea I had," he told The Bookseller. "I'm active in the community and organise events and I thought it would be nice if people knew more about the history of Pride. Obviously there was so much around last year, because it was the 50th anniversary of the riot. It highlighted things a lot of people don't know, and I told the publisher that I thought it could make a good little gift book if [the same information] was made really accessible. What is out there is very big, almost academic. There was a huge tome that came out last year for Pride. I wanted to make it easier and more digestible."
Of penning the book himself, Laney said the gift book publisher had been "so on board with it" and he'd been flattered by the immediate trust placed in him to do the job. It took him around 6 months to write, working on it outside of work hours, a good chunk of which while sofa-surfing waiting for a house purchase to go through. He will now also be working on the marketing for the book with his colleagues ahead of its publication in May, with plans to engage with influential communities online and secondary schools and colleges to do talks for Pride month.
"There wasn't anything this pickupable and digestible when I was a teenager," Laney said. "It's really colourful, the illustrations are wonderful and it's pocket-sized. I'm keen for it to reach a younger market, to know more about the history of the queer community and Pride."