White, Male, East Coast

Eddie Schneider is a successful literary agent and Vice President of JABberwocky Literary Agency…. Schneider’s website and literary blog cites some sobering statistics about the lack of diversity in the publishing world.

“According to this study of literary prize demographics conducted by the University of North Texas, 95% of Pulitzer Prize winners are white, 75% are male, and 85% of them live on the East Coast. When it comes to the National Book Award for Nonfiction, it’s only slightly better; 90% of winners are white, 70% are male, and 80% live on the east coast. The winners are being drawn from a pool where the numbers are stacked against women and minorities. Seventy percent of the submissions for these awards are for books authored by men.”

. . . .

“As obvious as it sounds,” writes Schneider, “the first thing that you want to do to get your work published is to write the manuscript (fiction) or the proposal (non-fiction). With fiction, one of the great pitfalls that authors encounter is finishing projects they start. Too often, the candle that burns brightly at the start goes out before all the wax has been used. With a new author, agents and publishers need to see that you can finish projects, and the way to demonstrate that . . . is by finishing a project.

“Non-fiction is a little different. What you need to succeed there are sample chapters that demonstrate you have writing ability, and a proposal that shows you have a strong concept for the book as a whole.

Read the rest of the article here.

Need help with organization? Query letters? Check us out at Mission Point Press.

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