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Ripped Bodice Survey Finds Little Improvement in Diversity in Romance Book Publishing

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Ripped Bodice bookstore in Los Angeles has released its fourth annual “State of Racial Diversity in Romance Publishing Report” which surveyed more than 2,400 romance titles published in 2019 to determine all titles “written by authors of color and indigenous peoples.”

According to the study, for every 100 romance books published in 2019, only 8.3 were written by people of color, a percentage of 8.3%. That figure has barely changed during the four years the booksellers have conducted the survey—in the first year of the survey in 2016 7.8% of romance books were written by people of color.

Among the 18 publishers included in the survey, Kensington published the most books by authors of color—nearly 28% of its 2019 titles were written by people of color. Carina Press saw the most dramatic change in this year’s report. In 2018, only 2.5% of the publisher’s titles were written by authors of color, but by 2019, nearly 21% of the books published by Carina were written by people of color.

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