Newsletter 1

Bookish IndieGoGo: Fund the VIDA Count

Amanda Nelson

Staff Writer

Amanda Nelson is an Executive Director of Book Riot. She lives in Richmond, VA.

VIDAWe’re solidly team VIDA around here- we’ve written about the count here and here and talked about it on the podcast more times than I can…count (heh). The idea behind the VIDA count is simple: they comb through each issue of top literary publications (The New York Review of Books, Harpers, New Republic, etc.) and count the number of female authors reviewed vs. men, and the number of female  reviewers vs. men. Every year, they include more and more publications in their count- in 2014, they’ll also be counting the coverage by and about women of color.

This seemingly simple data analysis reveals staggering gender imbalances in publishing and in book journalism, and shows how far we still have to go to get women on an equal footing with men in this industry. The count gives us indisputable numbers that reveal how biased literary culture is toward stories by, about, for, and lauded by, men. We need the count, and we need the anger, letters to the editor, and activism that comes with it. And we need to fund it.

VIDA is currently running an IndieGoGo campaign, and they’ve already met their $10,000 goal. The money raised will go towards paying the volunteers who do the actual counting, which takes thousands of hours, in order to make the count more inclusive. From VIDA:

Plenty of smart, committed people who would like to volunteer just can’t afford to.

That’s not just VIDA’s loss. It is also VIDA’s problem to address. We believe that people should be paid for their work. And by paying the counters for their work, we hopes to make the VIDA community more inclusive.

The campaign was fully funded within 10 days, but it doesn’t end until April 12th, so there’s plenty of more time for you to show your support and help expand the count’s reach and efficacy. Donation perks range from a VIDA t-shirt to a manuscript consultation, so get on it!


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