Going off the New York Times best sellers list today, it’s obvious that fiction and nonfiction by Black authors are in demand. So why is the world of publishing so reluctant to offer Black writers the same major book deals typically offered to white writers? There are few people of color who serve as publishing staff or literary agents, and even fewer who operate at decision-making levels. The recent Twitter protest #PublishingPaidMe exposed the major pay disparities in the industry between Black and non-Black authors. As a result, Black writers struggle to receive the same marketing exposure, even as readers continue to find and demonstrate their enthusiasm for the titles that do get published.
How might the book publishing industry use this moment to bring more racial diversity to the field? As part two of our Changing the Narrative series, this program explores these challenges, as well as new possibilities for employing, and publishing more books by, people of color.
We are joined by:
- Regina Brooks, Founder & President, Serendipity Literary Agency
- Nicole Dennis-Benn, Award Winning Novelist, Author of Patsy
- Lisa Lucas, Incoming Senior Vice President & Publisher, Pantheon and Schocken Books
- Erroll McDonald, Vice President and Executive Editor, Knopf Doubleday Division, Penguin Random House
- Adrienne Brodeur, Executive Director, Aspen Words, & Author of Wild Game
This is the second of three programs in our Changing the Narrative series, which looks at the construction and representation of race in journalism, book publishing, and entertainment. The first installment was Changing the Narrative: How News Media Covers Race in America.