I had a different topic that I was going to post on today, but then I saw the latest survey results from the Ripped Bodice bookstore on the state of diversity in romance publishing and I got derailed.
For the past several years there has been an increased emphasis on diversity in romance fiction at writing conferences, on writing blogs (we had a series of posts on it last year), and in the mainstream media. The issue was even brought front and center by several of the awardees at the most recent RWA conference I attended. Continue reading
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage month in the United States – commemorating both Japanese immigration and the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad – as well as Jewish American Heritage month – recognizing diverse Jewish contributions to American culture. The month also includes the celebration of Cinco de Mayo – though I’m guessing a fair number of folks are a little hazy about what they’re actually celebrating there – and even a World Day for Cultural Diversity. All of which made me think that maybe this would be a good time to talk a little about diversity in romance writing/publishing.
First, let’s start with some numbers.
It’s probably no surprise to anyone that, according to recent demographics posted over on the Romance Writers of America website, 82% of romance readers are female, or that 73% are white/Caucasian, but it may be more surprising to realize that 27% of readers are people of color (PoC).
Think about the books you’ve read recently. Were 27% of the characters PoC? How about the authors? What about the individuals featured on the book covers? Continue reading