Another informative and sobering infographic from Lee & Low Books!
As reviewers reflect on the year in books, children’s book publisher LEE & LOW BOOKS decided to look at the level of diversity among last year’s New York Times Best Sellers. LEE & LOW focused on the most general category, The New York Times Combined Print & E-Book Adult Fiction Best Sellers. They examined the top ten best selling books on the list for each week of 2012.
The result? For the chosen category in 2012, only three out of 124 authors on the New York Times Top Ten Best Sellers List were people of color:
Sylvia Day, author of the Crossfire series (half Japanese)
E.L. James, author of the 50 Shades of Grey series (half Chilean)
•Tess Gerritsen, author of the Rizzoli and Isles series (Chinese)
The study also showed that no African American authors made the Top Ten Best Sellers list. In addition, of the three books/book series by authors of color that made the list, only one contains a main character of color (Eva Tramell of the Crossfire series is part Latina). That means most “big” books featuring characters of color, such as The Help, are still written by white authors.
The numbers illustrate that the books getting the widest distribution and the largest marketing push are still almost exclusively by and about white people.
Check out LEE & LOW’s blog post on this infographic and their interview with Taiwanese American author Charles Yu!