I came across a blog that was talking about diversity in the publishing world.
Apparently a couple of years ago there were calls from readers for more diversity in books. It seems it was quite a big thing on social media, although I’m not sure how successful it was. The post I read, however, suggested that the lack of diversity might be more to do with the make-up of staff working for publishing houses, rather than authors themselves.
The figures were taken from a survey conducted by Lee and Row and showed that the majority of industry employees are female and that an even greater percentage of executives and editorial staff are white:
- 78 percent of industry employees are female.
- 79 percent are white.
- 86 percent of executives are white.
- 82 percent of editorial staff are white.
- 84 percent of editorial staff are female.
Will the Rise of Self-Publishing Bring more Diversity?
The data got me thinking about other posts I’ve read about authors trying to second-guess what publishers (or agents) want based on current trends. I’m not sure if vampire novels or 50 shades of anything are still the hottest thing around (neither being my preferred reading), but surely there can only be so many successful books in a given genre before it goes stale?
Is this where self-publishing can come into its own? If authors could write about the things they actually wanted to write about, rather than following the latest trend, it could spark the revival of a more diverse range of books?
Clearly there are still issues with the quality of some self-published works, and this tarnishes the image of the whole sector. As the need for professional editing and cover design continue to be discussed widely on blogs, forums etc, maybe it’s time to be optimistic and embrace self-publishing for what it can offer?
My novel is a family saga and because it is based on family history it was already drafted in terms of setting, characters and the basic storyline. It is not a romance and not really for the YA audience and so it probably doesn’t conform to anything major publishers want at the moment.
Will that stop me?
Not now; I’ve put too much into it. The people who have read early drafts have generally enjoyed it and before it’s published I’ll work with an editor and cover designer to make it as good as I possibly can. It may not be what publishing houses want, but maybe that should be the way self-published authors go?
What do you think? Have you had any work rejected because it isn’t ‘what the market wanted’? Has self-publishing helped? Let me know.
To read the original blog, click here.