Straight White Women Run Publishing According to New Survey Electric Literature January 27, 2016 Scuttlebutt 14 Comments Last year, Booker-winning author Marlon James caused a stir in the literary world when he suggested that writers of color have to pander to white women to get published. Although many other writers of color publicly agreed with James, he was the target of several rebuttals. However, a new survey of the publishing industry by Lee & Low shows James might have been right all along. The survey looked at 70 publishers in the US and Canada, including three of the Big 5 (Hachette, Penguin Random House, and Macmillain) as well as many smaller publishers. The survey revealed that the publishing industry is overall 79% white, 78% women, and 88% straight. Even at the executive level, straight white women accounted for the majority of positions and at the editorial level a huge 84% of desks belong to white women. Via: TakePart.com Via: TakePart.com The overwhelming whiteness of publishing has been a major subject in the literary world with campaigns such as #WeNeedDiverseBooks seeing to highlight the lack of books by and about people of color. Hannah Ehrlich at Lee & Low Books noted that “just because you are a woman, that doesn’t make you an expert in the marginalization that people of color face or people with disabilities face. Do not assume that because women are successful or are in positions of power that that means that that success or power will automatically be offered out or shared with other marginalized groups.” 14 Responses Ginger Meurer January 28, 2016 Fascinating breakdown. I hope to see another on who is out there buying books and reading books. I suspect the pie charts may be similar. Reply Sarah Gerber January 28, 2016 Are you actually implying that black people don’t read? Reply Seth January 29, 2016 I doubt that’s what was intended. Minorities are by definition in the minority, and publishers want to make money so focus on the largest market, white women. Not saying that’s how it should be, but that’s how it is. Martin R. January 29, 2016 Yes. Yes of course. That’s what she’s saying. That’s exactly what she’s saying. She’s saying black people don’t read. I think it’s clear. She’s saying that. Implying it. And we all agree. That’s right, all of us white people. We all think people who aren’t white don’t read. Okay? That’s it. You got us. You got us! And we’re not sorry! We didn’t mean for it to get out, but Ginger screwed up, she let the cat out of the bag. There’s nothing to do now but admit it–– White people love inadvertent racial implications! Love them! And we’re not sorry! Ginger January 29, 2016 I was thinking more of the gender breakdown than race. Lincoln Michel January 29, 2016 I doubt it. Black women are among the most active readers per capita, yet very few are in the industry according to this survey. Reply Amy Peterson January 28, 2016 I would love to know how the statistics on the sexual orientation were gathered… Reply Lincoln Michel January 28, 2016 It was a self-reported survey I believe. Reply Rah! Rah! Roundup - WEIRD SISTER January 29, 2016 […] & Low’s 2015 Diversity Baseline Survey results showed, essentially, that straight white women run the publishing industry: it’s 79% white, 78% women, and 88% […] Reply Mini Link Roundup: Snobbery & Diversity in Publishing – KELLY READS BOOKS January 30, 2016 […] Electric Lit published this summary of Lee & Low’s publishing diversity survey results. Their methods are reported […] Reply Link of Possible Relevance, Part 11 | jaydinitto.com January 30, 2016 […] Straight White Women Run Publishing According to New Survey – Hat tip to Mike Duran for this. If something is a certain way, you can bet someone else will have a problem with it. Surprise…someone does. I am not one of those people. […] Reply Morgan January 31, 2016 I wish they would add class background and ask people where they went to college. We really need to talk about how only the wealthy can buy into this industry. Reply Meet the creator of #WellReadBlackGirl & her awesome bookclub of Black Girl Magic - February 25, 2016 […] industry is overall 79% white, 78% women, and 88% straight. (You can view the survey results here.) White editors should be keenly aware of personal biases that might hinder their ability to assist […] Reply Monday News: A singular bookstore, 50 Shades lawsuit damages, and the whiteness of publishing – Michiko Katsu March 12, 2016 […] Straight White Women Run Publishing According to New Survey?- Newsflash: white-dominated traditional publishing is doing a shitty job of fostering diversity in published books (and, it seems, in publishing houses themselves): […] Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.