A major new research project into how writers of colour experience the publishing process is being led by an academic from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Dr Anamik Saha is working on the project in collaboration with publishing magazine The Bookseller, writing development agency Spread The Word and Goldsmiths Press, the university press based at Goldsmiths.
The one-year investigation backed by the AHRC will examine every aspect of publishing by interviewing people who work across all stages of the industry.
Ahead of the project going live on 1 May, Dr Saha wrote on The Bookseller website that despite some progress "writers of colour either struggle to get their books commissioned or struggle to reach the right audiences when they do”.
He said the project will build on his previous research, which found that the production process is in itself critical to the area of diversity in publishing but one which is relatively neglected.
The Senior Lecturer and co-convener of the MA in Race, Media and Social Justice added: "I want to delve into the publishing process more deeply and investigate how different stages of production affect the books of writers of colour.
"When it does not work, are they the victims of unconscious bias or commercial or economic forces? When it goes right, what decisions made during the production enabled this success?
"This kind of knowledge will be incredibly valuable to publishers really committed to the project of not just having a more diverse workforce, but also attracting more writers from racial and ethnic minority backgrounds, and helping them to widen their audiences in the process.”
The findings are due to published to coincide the London Book Fair in 2020, with Goldsmiths Press due to produce the report.
If you are interested in being part of the project please contact Dr Saha directly.