The Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) at the University of Wisconsin, Madison has tracked children's books by and about people of color in the US since 1994. Its study of African American children's book authors goes back further to 1985 (based on the books received by the CCBC). Recently the CCBC released the 2007 stats - an estimated 77 children's books by African American authors were published in 2007 out of an estimated 5,000 children's books published!
Seventy-seven Black Children's Book Authors - only? Indeed all kid lit authors of color are the same or down in 2007, according to the CCBC:
- 42 Latino Children's Book Authors in 2007, just as 2006
- 56 Asian American Children's Book Authors in 2007, down from 72 in 2006
- 6 American Indian Children's Book Authors in 2007, down from 14 in 2006
There are several self-published children's book authors. Heck, I'm one! As part of the marketing of my book, Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria, I donated a copy to the CCBC to ensure that I was counted... and to ensure that an organization that promotes and studies children's literature has my book in its catalog for future readers. Ensuring that institutions that teach children's literature have your book, especially books about kids of color, in their libraries is important.
Is there a sense that the number of African American children's book authors published in 2008 will increase? What say you?