For many years I kept careful track of the race of the authors that I read. I wanted to be intentional about reading all kinds of viewpoints. It opened up all kinds of new authors to me once I started looking. I found that I might give a book a second glance if the author was a person of color. If I was borderline on whether or not I was going to read it, that factor may edge it over to the yes. It would still need to be really good to get me to keep reading but just thinking about it for a even a second opened up my reading.
In the past few years I backed off from tracking that as closely. It can be a little creepy. If the author doesn’t come out and say their background then you are making assumptions based on their picture, where they live, and their name. That can get problematic really quickly.
I took a look at the authors I read this year. I counted each author once no matter how many books I read of theirs.
Like always my fiction authors are overwhelmingly white and female. I was surprised by having only one South Asian writer. I’ve had years where I’ve read a lot of Indian authors. I feel like I need to remedy that. To be fair I think I read 13 of her books but still, a bit of variety might be in order.
I don’t read a lot of male fiction authors but again they are primarily white.
In nonfiction my sex ratio tends to be reversed if I don’t count cookbook authors. I did for this graphic, so women are in the majority again.
I’ve included trans authors in the sex that they identify with. I also read one author who identifies as nonbinary. I had three authors who don’t state a sex. They don’t use pictures, don’t use gendered names, and don’t use pronouns in their author bios.
I think I need to try to push that proportion of female fiction writers a bit away from being vastly white.