Book Review Diversity Update

In June, we shared we are now tracking diversity stats for our book reviews to make sure we are representing a diverse array of authors and books. To remain transparent in this effort, we are going to be publishing these statistics at the end of each quarter. Below are the updated stats as of the end of September. Updated figures are listed first, with the old figures as of the end of June in parentheses.

As stated in June, these numbers represent the identities of the authors of reviewed books and not necessarily the characters or topics of those books. The only exception is in YA fiction, in which we included books about LGBTQIA+ characters in the LGBTQIA+ category regardless of the identity of the author.

Adult Fiction Books
Male: 42% (45%), Female: 58% (55%), Gender Nonconforming: 0% (0%)
White: 82% (84%), Persons of Color: 18% (16%)
Non-LGBTQIA+: 87% (90%), LGBTQIA+: 13% (10%)

We are slowly improving our representation of LGBTQIA+ authors and authors of color, though we still have yet to review a novel by a gender nonconforming author.

YA Fiction Books
Male: 21% (28%), Female: 79% (72%), Gender Nonconforming: 0% (0%)
White: 79% (100%), Persons of Color: 21% (0%)
Non-LGBTQIA+: 88% (89%), LGBTQIA+:12% (11%)

We made a big commitment in June to make sure we reviewed YA books by authors of color, and we reviewed almost nothing else in this category over the past quarter. We saw our LGBTQIA+ numbers slip a bit, so we’ll work on that as well, and we still haven’t reviewed a YA title by any gender nonconforming author.

Nonfiction Books
Male: 49% (45%), Female: 47% (51%), Gender Nonconforming: 4% (4%)
White: 82% (89%), Persons of Color: 18% (11%)
Non-LGBTQIA+: 82% (81%), LGBTQIA+: 18% (19%)

We saw how few nonfiction books we had reviewed by authors of color, and have brought that number up a bit in the last few months.

Poetry Books
Male: 26% (31%), Female: 74% (69%), Gender Nonconforming: 0% (0%)
White: 67% (72%), Persons of Color: 33% (28%)
Non-LGBTQIA+: 82% (86%), LGBTQIA+: 18% (14%)

Poetry remains our most diverse category, though we have failed thus far to review a poetry title by a gender nonconforming author. This is a trend across our review, and we need to improve on this.

All Books
Male: 38% (40%), Female: 61% (59%), Gender Nonconforming: 1% (1%)
White: 78% (86%), Persons of Color: 22% (14%)
Non-LGBTQIA+:  85% (86%), LGBTQIA+: 15% (14%)

Overall we saw improvement in every area except, as mentioned, books by authors outside the gender binary.

We are committed to continuing to improve these numbers. We want to make sure every reader is represented. Please let us know if you have thoughts or questions. If you have suggestions for authors you’d like to see reviewed in any of the above categories that need improvement, send them our way in the comments. We look forward to continuing to serve all of our readers.

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