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Who is Publishing Diverse Books Best?

Abstract

Small independent publishers are frequently lauded as the bastions of diversity while the Big Five are vilified as the primary contributors to the overwhelming whiteness of book publishing—yet no statistical data has been offered to support either claim. Moreover, the overall percentages of authors of color have remained the same year after year (Low in Where is the diversity in publishing? The 2015 diversity baseline survey results. Lee and Low (blog), 2016). The following study is a comparison of the Big Five publishers and small independent publishers with respect to author diversity. As social media outlets are now claiming to change the landscape of publishing by making diverse books more accessible to readers, data was sourced from an independent, reader-driven list to determine which publishers—if any—are promoting authors of color and whether their books are making it into the hands of readers.

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Correspondence to Gloria Mulvihill.

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Shea, N., Mulvihill, G., La Bianca, V. et al. Who is Publishing Diverse Books Best?. Pub Res Q 34, 207–217 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-018-9573-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12109-018-9573-4

Keywords

  • Authors of color
  • Big Five
  • Diversity
  • Goodreads
  • Independent publishers