Publishers Weekly's 2016 survey of the American publishing industry revealed that the industry is 88% white. This is a 1% improvement from last year's report.
Here is an interesting quote from the report: "Survey respondents reported more progress in diversifying the types of titles published by the industry. In 2015, 67% of whites believed publishers released more titles aimed at minorities (up from 51% in the prior survey), while 57% of nonwhite respondents said they felt the same."
Publishing more POC-featured and POC-written books is great progress, but it does not get to the root of the problem: White people are still the ones who decide what gets published, how books get edited, and how they are marketed. White people are still very much in charge of the way POC are represented in literature. This is dangerous. Very, very dangerous. We need more POC at the top of ladder; reading prospective manuscripts, editing, designing cover art, negotiating contracts, and marketing new titles.
How do we solve this problem? It starts young. Most black and brown kids literally do not know that they can enter the publishing industry. We need to start sharing more information about careers in publishing with young people of color—especially those that reside in historically looted communities.
See the full report here.