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I was rummaging around on Twitter a few days ago when I stumbled on a hashtag that I found alarming.
If you’re active on Twitter and you’re a writer, then you might have come across the same hashtag #publishingpaidme.
The hashtag was started by LL McKinney @ElleonWords to expose the inconsistencies (bias) between the advances black and white authors receive.
Now, I always thought the amount of an advance depended on the merit of the work and how much of a cutthroat negotiator your agent is.
Not one day of my life as a writer have I ever thought it was based on skin colour.
But that’s exactly what the #publishingpaidme hashtag revealed. Advances are very much based on skin colour.
The disparities in the figures were quite staggering.
It seems black people have to struggle to get what they deserve in every facet of life including the publishing world.
Behold some of the Tweets regarding this topic below:-
How Much Do You Get Paid for Publishing a Book?
Another thing that jumped out at me in these Tweets is that even when white authors publish books that bomb, they still get a chance and advances on the next few books.
On the other side, when books by black authors bomb, they do not get second chances and black authors are thrown under the “books by black authors don’t sell,” bus.
Kinda like how Hollywood used to say movies about black people don’t sell but we all know what happened to that theory. Sigh….
Below is my response to the hashtag below:-
So what does this mean? Should black authors give up? Should I give up?
Good thing I don’t understand the concept of giving up something I want, eh?
We must continue to lift our voices and tell our stories.
You cannot tell the voice in your head that you don’t want to write anymore. It doesn’t work that way.
We must continue to persist and be the voice of change.
Refusal to participate in the process at all is worse than participating and not winning.
I am still only 90% done with the first WIP I intend to take through the traditional publishing process.
When I’m ready, I’ll throw it into the process and I will not back down from the good fight.
I never have and I never will.
In my next few articles, I will share how I built a successful non-fiction career without a publisher involved in the process.
More Articles About #PublishingPaidMe
- We Need to Talk About the List
- #PublishingPaidMe is just the tip of the iceberg
- #Publishingpaidme: authors share advances to expose racial disparities