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In a Scholastic blog called, “14 Readers Tell Us Why Diverse Books Are Important,” Kelsey W. says, “That is the power of a diverse book:  You can change everything for one kid, and you create empathy in 100 more.”  




In publishing, we have the honor of creating the books that people read, so how do we create books that build respect and create empathy for diverse people and cultures?


Date: May 15,2019, 5:45 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Location: Chronicle Books, 680 2nd Street, San Francisco (near Montgomery Street BART station)


In this panel, we will be talking about inclusion throughout the entire process of creating a book: from the initial acquisition, through production, cover art, and finally marketing the title.  We hope to take the opportunity to explore the world of the book and identify solid, tangible ways to begin building a more diverse, inclusive book process for publishers. The topics are likely to include:
•    How to connect with diverse authors
•    How to make sure the content of your books appeals to the widest audience
•    How to create covers that represent diverse audiences
•    How to find inclusiveness in all designs
•    How to create marketing materials that appeal to the most diverse audiences
•    How to market books for the greatest reach
•    How to reach diverse markets in new and exciting ways

After all, we all deserve to see ourselves in books, and books are a perfect medium to teach us about others and the world around us. The more inclusive and diverse we make our books through thoughtful content, design, and marketing, the better the world will be for all.



Please join us for a panel discussion with top experts.






Rochon Perry, CEO, Cedar Grove Publishing


























Bridget Watson Payne, Chronicle Books












Sara Christian, New Harbinger












Nita Ybarra, Graphic Designer, NYDesign/SF





















Erin Heath, Praxis Continuing Education and Training







Moderated by: Kelly Peterson, Chair of Education and Professional Development, Bay Area Women in Publishing

Bridget is Executive Editor of art publishing at Chronicle Books, where she helps coordinate the Diversity and Inclusion Group. She’s on the board of Bay Area Women in Publishing and is a senior mentor for Representation Matters. With over fifteen years’ experience in publishing, she has collaborated with hundreds of authors to make their book ideas a beautiful reality. She is also an artist and the author of several books. Bridget has taught on CreativeLive, at the ICON Conference, Handcraft Studio School, and elsewhere; spoken at the San Francisco Writers’ Conference and the California Library Association, among others; and been featured on KTVU San Francisco, Minnesota Public Radio, Publisher’s Weekly, Shondaland, Women Who Draw, and more. She is also the founder of Open Studio, a shared work, learning, and retails space in San Francisco.


Sara Christian is senior designer at New Harbinger Publications for almost 12 years and an active illustrator. She was published with a collection of artists by Gestalten, Berlin, Germany. She makes art concentrated on color and texture in her Oakland studio and has shown throughout the bay and Los Angeles.

Her experience in designing and illustrating has made her aware of representing all humans and appreciate cultural diversity. 


An award-winning marketing and media professional, Rochon Perry is Co-Founder (along with her partner Beverly Taylor) of Inkbaby Intermedia, LLC, which consists of Cedar Grove Publishing (book company) and Articulate Fish Media Group (digital marketing and media). With the tagline Every Book is Somebody's Story, Cedar Grove Publishing's books celebrate diversity and being true to yourself while overcoming adversity to achieve success.


She has been an Art Director for a local San Francisco television station, worked on the White House Access to Capital for Small Business campaign, Bishop Desmond Tutu's first tour upon his release from prison, and launched marketing strategies for independent comic book companies and non-profits.


Rochon is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Bay Area Women In Publishing, Institute for Comic Studies, Bay Area Independent Book Publishers Association and Northern California Independent Booksellers and the Association and the Children's Book Council. She is the recipient of several awards, including the American Federation Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA). You can check out the books at,  and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


Erin Heath has been working with content for more than 10 years in publishing, education, and consulting. She has two fine arts degrees and works as a Brand Marketing Manager for a continuing education provider for psychologists, a sister company of New Harbinger Publications. In her spare time she’s either road cycling or creating mixed-media art. She lives in Oakland.


Nita Ybarra has been in the publishing industry for 30+ years. Specializing in cover and book design, her goal is always to provide her clients with beautiful and meaningful design solutions, along with excellent typography. From trade publishers, small and large to university presses of multiple genres; spirituality/religion, body/mind/spirit, lifestyle/food, history, memoirs, and academia. Beyond her love for books, Nita also enjoys designing logos, branding, packaging, and websites. 

She has been an adjunct instructor at the Academy of Art University for 18+ years, passing on her knowledge and passion of typography to undergraduate and graduate level students.

You can view a sampling of her work at

Kelly Peterson is Director of Client Services at INscribe Digital, and brings 20 years of marketing and merchandising experience to her current role, helping major trade publishers, university presses, independent publishers, agents and authors maximize their eBook sales and marketing efforts at the major retailers. Prior to INscribe, Kelly worked at Borders Group, Inc. for 14 years, initially at Waldenbooks and later running the eBook program. Kelly currently chairs BAWiP's Education Committee. She is also a board member of Independent Book Publishers' Association, and serves on the Member Benefits Committee. She sees every nominated Oscar film annually (58 last year alone!) and is always ready with a book or movie recommendation.  She believes each of us have the ability to change the world.

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