Ayesha Curry wears many hats as an entrepreneur, mother, wife, producer, chef, host and author. However, after noticing disparities between women of color and their white counterparts as writers, she decided to throw in another hat: book publishing.
In an exclusive interview, Curry said Forbes that she recently struck a deal with upstart book publishing company Zando to publish books under the Sweet July Books imprint, or the publishing trade name. Founded in 2020, Zando specializes in partnering with influential creators and organizations to discover and release titles under their own imprints. Her list of partners includes Lena Waithe, John Legend, Sarah Jessica Parker and Atlantic.
Curry said her posts would focus on four Fs: faith, family, food and female empowerment. Sweet July Books has entered into a revenue-sharing agreement with Zando, but the companies declined to disclose the terms. And she will focus on giving writers of color a platform in an industry where 76% of editorial staff, reviewers and literary staff are white, according to a study.
“It’s crazy and it certainly ignites a fire in me,” Curry said. Forbes in a telephone interview. “I think that was also what was exciting for us in this partnership with Zando, it was the possibility of changing these measurements even if it is a little.
Molly Stern, CEO of Zando, has worked in the publishing industry for more than 20 years, including as a senior executive at Crown Publishing Group where she worked on titles such as Michelle Obama’s memoir. Become. Stern founded the company in the months following the 2020 murder of George Floyd, as protests against racial inequality affected sectors such as the publishing industry.
Stern said she’s had a front-row seat to some of those inequities — like seeing publishing houses hire a black editor, but there were “50 people behind them who [were] not a diverse set of hands touching a book,” she said.
“One of the things that I thought was really important was to build a business that reflects the world as it is, and that’s diverse,” Stern said. “It’s about highlighting and empowering a wide range of people, which required independence.”
For Stern, partnering with Curry was a no-brainer. The content she plans to bring to the publishing house under the self-help genre is different from the content the company currently has, which consists of fiction, young adult, and mystery books. Stern said Curry’s ability to “communicate the things he cares about in a very entrepreneurial and powerful way” makes Curry a dream partner for Zando.
Sweet July Books is the newest addition to the Sweet July brand. The company, which started as a quarterly magazine, has branched out into various businesses. It sells home decor items, kitchenware, clothing and beauty products through its online and in-person store and has a monthly lifestyle product subscription service.
According to Curry, the name Sweet July has sentimental value because many significant events take place during the month, such as her wedding anniversary to four-time NBA champion Stephen Curry and the birthdays of their three children.
As the leader of Sweet July Books, Curry plans to be active in the publishing process, from the acquisition stage through to release and marketing. The plan is to release about four books a year, emphasizing quality over quantity.
“The goal here is really to tell quality, meaningful stories,” Curry said. “Things that are going to make you feel good or maybe you won’t feel good at all, but you’re going to come out of it feeling amazing because you’ve learned something, or you’ve broken through the pages of some of these books that we are going to publish.