Calling All Publishers, Agents, and Review Journals: Join Us for Diversity Baseline Survey 2.0

Five years ago, Lee & Low Books launched the first Diversity Baseline Survey to examine four aspects of diversity among publishing industry staff: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability. Administered to over 13,000 publishing employees at thirty-five different publishing companies and eight major review journals, the Diversity Baseline Survey inspired many conversations and initiatives to help build a more inclusive book industry.

Five years later, it is time for us to redo the survey to see what has changed. We have big plans this time, including a Kickstarter (launching early 2019) to raise money to hire a professional survey/evaluation company and an initiative to include literary agents, who play an important role in gatekeeping.

We are putting an open call out to publishing houses and literary agencies of all sizes: will you participate in 2019?

Diversity in Publishing 2015

Why is the Diversity Baseline Survey Important?

Without data, all our conversations about diversity in the publishing industry would be based on anecdotal evidence alone. The Diversity Baseline Survey allows us to discuss our industry’s lack of diversity in a more concrete way, with a true understanding of the scope of the problem. The data also allows us to track progress as our industry grows and evolves.

Why Should Our Company Participate?

High industry participation in the Diversity Baseline Survey sends the message that our industry takes inclusion seriously. In order for the Survey to be a success, we need the participation of as many publishing companies as possible.

Participation is free and easy, and simply entails sharing a special survey link with all your employees. By committing to participate, you are demonstrating that your company cares about diversity and is invested in finding solutions. All participating companies will be acknowledged publicly, but you can rest assured that survey data will only be released in aggregate form—never individually or by company. Data will be collected and aggregated by professional outside survey experts and will remain completely anonymous.

Feel free to download this short one-page Diversity Baseline Survey flyer to share with your company to encourage participation.

OK, We’re Onboard. What Happens Next?

  • Email Jason Low, Publisher of Lee & Low Books, at to confirm your company’s participation.
  • In spring 2019, your company’s point person (usually someone from either HR or leadership) will receive a survey link to distribute to your staff. We will provide a note you can include about why the survey matters, encouraging employees to participate and affirming that their answers will remain anonymous.
  • The survey results will be aggregated in late 2019 by a professional survey company and released in early 2020.

*Who’s Already In:

-Arte Publico Press
-Beacon Press
-Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
-Fitzhenry and Whiteside
-Hachette Book Group
-Holiday House
-Just Us Books
-Lee & Low Books
-Lerner Publishing Group
-Mango Media
-Owl Kids
-Penguin Random House
-Pomelo Books
-Readers to Eaters
-Scholastic, Inc.
-Tradewind Books

Review Journals
-The Horn Book
-Kirkus Reviews
-Library Journal
-Publishers Weekly
-School Library Journal

Literary Agencies
-Curtis Brown, Ltd.
-Erin Murphy Literary Agency
-Full Circle Literary
-Gallt and Zacker Literary Agency
-Painted Words
-Red Fox Literary

*partial list as of 12/7/18

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