Monday, October 9, 2023

Should BIPOC Writers Say, "F*** It" and Self-Publish?

Jessica V Aragon (@JVA_writes\X) "tweeted" that she: "[...] spent the last year recording every english [sic] language fiction deal in Publisher's Marketplace [...]" 

Fig. 1 (Source: @JVA_writes\X)

And after "[...] googling over 4000 authors [...]" she was able to post the "[...] current book deal landscape [...]", which revealed that (approximately) 70% of the books deals that occurred between October 2022 and October 2023 were dealt to white authors. (See Fig. 1)

Fig. 2 (Source: @JVA_writes\X)

In addition, Aragon found that, with the exception of graphic novels and pictures books, white writers dominated every genre. For example, book deals involving the the mystery, horror, and fantasy genres were, over 80% of the time, given to white writers. (See Fig. 2)

(Note: Aragon tweeted she may have "miscategorized" some data (e.g., "PI authors should be 0.2%, not 0.02%.") but that her post is: "[...] representative of the current publishing landscape.")

Connectedly, Gabi Burton (@query_queen339\X) "tweeted" that "[...] every. single. author [...]" on Barnes and Noble's "Best YA Books of 2023" list is white.

Thus, my (rhetorical) question is: Should BIPOC writers self-publish? At a minimum, maybe BIPOC writers should self-publish (immediately) after being repeatedly rejected by traditional publishers. Otherwise, unless the status quo in the traditional publishing industry changes, manuscripts written my most writers of color may never see the light of day. 

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