Phoebe Robinson Amplifies Diverse Voices With New Book Imprint
Phoebe Robinson / Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Instead of just complaining about the lack of diversity in publishing, comedian and actress Phoebe Robinson, one half of 2 Dope Queens, has partnered with Plume to launch an imprint.

The New York Times best-selling author teamed up with the respected publishing house to create Tiny Reparations Books, an imprint focused on fiction, nonfiction and essay collections that “highlight and amply unique and diverse voices.” Tiny Reparations Books promises to be all about publishing honest and humorous work that pushes the current conversation forward. 

That’s something Robinson, who’s also an actress and podcaster, knows a lot about. Her books, You Can’t Touch My Hair and Everything’s Trash, But It’s Okay, offer Robinson’s hot takes on dating, feminism and intersectionality, beauty standards, casting calls and money problems.

OSLO, NORWAY – APRIL 11: (From left) Michelle Obama and Phoebe Richardson held a conversation about Michelle Obama’s book, Becoming, at Oslo Spektrum on April 11, 2019, in Oslo, Norway. (Photo: Per Ole Hagen/Redferns)

“We all know there is a lack of diversity in publishing. Tiny Reparations Books recognizes that the publishing landscape isn’t going to change until the actual work starts behind the scenes,” said Robinson via press release. “I am thrilled to partner with Plume to help take this important step. And I look forward to bringing a wide range of voices to Plume and helping to push the boundaries of publishing.”

The self-proclaimed bibliophile gave a shout-out to Plume on Instagram, saying they were the only folks who didn’t pass on You Can’t Touch My Hair in 2015 or say that it was “too niche” or that “no one wants to read an essay collection by a Black woman.”

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😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭 SWIPE RIGHT AFTER READING AND CLICKING LINK IN BIO AND FOLLOWING BOOK IMPRINT INSTAGRAM HANDLE @tinyrepbooks ****** Listen, y’all! When I say this was always the goal, I mean it. I’ve been a bibliophile ever since I was a little kid in Cleveland, OH, writing and dreaming up stories and thoughts in my head. So when I met my lit agent @bobsinthecity in 2015 after blogging for several years, my Type A ass was like, “Bet! I know what I wanna do for like the next 20 years.” And establishing myself as an author was key in getting to the next goal of publishing others. ⠀ So I’m thrilled to be teaming up with @plume_books & @penguinrandomhouse yet again – who, by the way, were the ONLY people, in 2015, that wanted my first book “You Can’t Touch My Hair” as all the others passed on it because they said it’s too niche/no one wants to read an essay collection by a black woman/this is not relatable/no one outside of the US would read a book like this. Well, guess what? They did. The book sold and because a NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER. People related to it. And folks in the UK, Africa, and more read it. But the amount of rejection and non-believers motivated me even more to one day launch and imprint because if I can be a haven for queer and POCs authors where they won’t experience yet a demoralizing no, then I will have succeeded. So let’s fuck up some shit together! Cannot wait to get started and publish a boatload of incredible books. ⠀ In closing: if people don’t get what you’re trying to do, especially if you’re a black woman, fuck ‘em. They’re too small and scared to handle you. Keep it moving and let them read about you. 🤷🏽‍♀️ #TinyRepartions #TinyRepBooks

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While the funny woman is new to publishing, she’s no stranger to coming up with irresistible content, including turning her hit podcast, 2 Dope Queens (with Jessica Williams), into eight one-hour specials for HBO. She’s since moved on to creating and hosting a new podcast, Black Frasier, which is an interview-advice hybrid show.

The Cleveland native’s next book, Six Feet Apart, will be released fall 2021 on Plume/Dutton. Six Feet Apart is the same vein as her previous works, except this time the Ibiza actress covers damaging narratives, stereotypes and her love life with “British Baekoff.”

Hear Robinson and Williams speak on the Yes, Girl! podcast about how they turned their podcast into an HBO series.

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