In a recent article published in The Wall Street Journal, writer Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg talks about the business of segregating books -- specifically Black books.
Here's a sneak peek:
"You face a double-edged sword," says Mr. Massey, 33 years old. "I'm black and I'm published by a black imprint, so I'm automatically slotted in African-American fiction." That helps black readers to find his books easily and has underpinned his career. At the same time, he says, the placement "limits my sales."
The article goes on . . .
As a practical matter, segregating books by race and culture makes it less likely that black writers will hit the national best-seller lists -- whites make up a majority of book buyers -- limiting their chances of earning bigger paychecks. Nadine Aldred, who writes as Millenia Black, says that writer Jennifer Weiner might not have become a best-selling author if her books had been sold exclusively in a Jewish-American section. Ms. Weiner, whose books include "Good in Bed" and "Little Earthquakes," agrees. "If my books were perceived as Jewish 'chick lit,' there would be a narrower appeal," she says.
Definitely an article well worth reading.
You can read the full article here.
(N.B. This link will be automatically deactivated by WSJ in 7 days or December 14, 2006.)