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US report finds only 7.8% of romance titles by people of colour

In the US, romance-specialist bookstore The Ripped Bodice has published a report on the racial diversity of romance publishing in 2016, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The report found that 7.8% of romance books released by leading publishers in 2016 were written by people of colour. Half of the 20 publishers surveyed had fewer than five percent of their books authored by people of colour, and only three publishers had at least 10% of their books authored by people of colour.

The report co-authors and owners of The Ripped Bodice, Leah and Bea Koch, said they were motivated to conduct the study ‘because they often found themselves short of options when customers come in looking for traditionally published books by authors of color’.

‘We have found it difficult to continue the conversation about diversity in romance without hard data,’ said the Kochs. ‘For many years the common refrain from publishers has been “we’re working on it.” Every year we will track industry growth and see if that promise rings true.’

All of the publishers were invited to contribute statistics to the study. More than half engaged directly, with the missing data gathered from publisher and distributor websites.

 

Category: International news