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Publishers discriminate against women and Black authors—but readers don’t

Quartz: “It’s no secret that the book publishing world features plenty of discrimination.An analysis by the New York Times found that just 11% of fiction published in 2018 was written by people of color; in June 2020, a viral Twitter hashtag called #PublishingPaidMe revealed that many well-known Black authors had received book advances that paled in comparison to those of less experienced white authors. Women, meanwhile, are about as likely to make the New York Times bestseller list as men, but their books are typically priced lower and are less likely to receive reviews. Defenders of the status quo might argue that these practices simply reflect market realities: Perhaps readers are simply more interested in books by white, male authors. But a new study published in PLOS One suggests that’s not the case…“What our study shows is that there is an interest and an appetite” for books by Black and female authors, says Dana Weinberg, a professor of sociology at Queens College, who co-authored the study with Adam Kapelner, an assistant professor of mathematics. “So there’s really no justification for exclusion.”

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