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The 2018 Ripped Bodice Diversity in Publishing Report is Out And The News Isn’t Good

The Ripped Bodice, the country’s only all-romance bookstore (located in Los Angeles) has published its third annual diversity in romance report, and the news is not good. Sisters Bea and Leah Koch surveyed 20 publishers of romance and only one had improved the number of books written by Authors of Color this past year. According to the survey 18 of the 20 publishers surveyed, had more than 90% of the books they published written by white authors.

The Ripped Bodice / Yelp

The bookstore owners explained that they had started the survey in 2016 “because the romance genre prides itself on being a feminist haven where women writers have finally found a place to express positive stories that center female experiences.” However as the third year of the survey has found little or no improvement in these figures (results of the first two surveys can be found on the page with the latest survey results), the Koch sisters has this to say, “We continue to be stunned by the blatant hypocrisy of a community that insists upon uplifting only a certain kind of woman, both between the pages and in real life. When beginning this project three years ago, we believed that as soon as the numbers were collected and publicly released, publishers would immediately make strides toward correcting this imbalance. We hoped that providing clear data would contribute to the work that authors of color had been doing for decades to prove that there is widespread systemic racism within romance publishing. Clearly, the publishers were not moved by this data given that there has been zero progress in the last 3 years.”

The survey also point out that 80% of their 10 best-selling titles this past year were written by women of color

Ripped Bodice Bestsellers 2018

A Princess in Theory byAlyssaCole

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas

An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Heroine's Journey by Sarah Kuhn

Heroine Complex by Sarah Kuhn

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton

The Ripped Bodice owners explained that “The most common refrain from publishers remains: These books don't sell. Yet they seem to fly off our shelves...”

Let’s all make a concerted effort to improve these numbers substantially next year.

The Ripped Bodice / Yelp

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