Diversity in publishing

Traditional book publishing seems to be pretty diverse, the best selling books of all time are a healthy mix of gender and race - a fairly broad representation of those who have access to pens, paper, typewriters & computers. There is a lack of representation from developing nations, but that is a whole other blog post.

As you probably know, Five Simple Steps publishes books specifically for those that create on the Web. Unfortunately, this is an industry that has a diversity problem.

Web development as a whole is a pretty much a male dominated environment, a white male environment to be more specific. Yes, there are thousands of non white male developers, designers, strategists, marketers & writers in the industry, but I think you would have to be pretty blinkered to not see that the vast majority of these roles are held by white males.

Let's make this clear, this isn't a cheap shot at white males. White males are generally great, as are black males, black females, white females, hispanic males, asian females etc. 

As a publishing company, our goal will always be to publish the best content available to us. We don't intentionally go out to publish the big names in the industry or those that have a large following, we are simply focussed on great content. The submission process for writing to us is very open, we have a link in the footer of our site inviting anybody to submit a book proposal to us. As you would imagine, this attracts a lot of submissions - almost exclusively from white males.

We recognise that we must try harder to reach a wider pool of talent.

From today we are going to try and do things a bit differently, with immediate effect, we ask that all book submissions will be blind. i.e they will come to us with no indication of the authors gender, race, Twitter following, ethnicity or beliefs. We will simply judge all submissions on the merit of the content. We think this is the best way to evaluate new work without any risk of accidental prejudice or bias.

Technically, this is pretty tricky as we obviously need to be able to provide feedback to any submission we receive. So if your email address identifies you, then it may be best to set up a temporary email address. We know this isn't ideal so if anyone can think of a better way of doing this - please let us know! 

Remember, our goal is to publish the best content available to us. So if you have an idea for a book which you think would suit our audience, get in touch. We always aim to provide feedback to submissions within two weeks. All submissions will be treated equally, naturally.