. . .and the debate over female vs. male publishing continues.

Its been been one of my contentions that the publishing world, when it comes to fiction, has simply disregarded the needs of the male reader and has consciously decided to cater to the female buyer.  Currently the stats prove this.  Females are, by far, the largest book buyers out there and read far more fiction than males.


But why?  One possibility is that the publishing world's day-to-day nuts and bolts applications are staffed by women.  Editors, copy writers, lit agents--all hugely female in persuason.  All you have to do is open up book listing lit agents in the US and start counting the number of women vs. men agents.  It's an eye-opener, to say the least.


Well, here's an article that--somewhat--agrees with me.  Give it a good read and tell me your opinions on this subject.



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We do not all write formula, and Haiku isn't formula just because the form is fixed. It's what you do within that form that is original. The problems arise when authors are told that romance novels, for example, must have certain characters and events and a certain number of love scenes in rigidly prescribed places.

And superheroes are boring to me. Give me an ordinary guy trying to cope with realistic odds. Similarly, a clean little murder in a group of quilters or among cake decorators, cat fanciers, female preachers and choir members also does nothing for me. Murder is a violent business, especially for the victim. Unfortunately, many cozy readers look at it as no more serious than a nasty little piece of gossip to entertain them. As a rule, the victim in cozies is unpleasant and thus expendable. That is formula.

I read more male authors, but make exceptions for some of the women, notably for such fine writers as Karin Fossum or Ruth Rendell.
I liked all their books very much, but THE INDIAN BRIDE is also my favorite. :)
I have a problem with the 80% figure that's being thrown around. Either it's wrong, which I think it is, or more women read more male writers than they do female.

Top 10 fiction titles of 2009, according to AC Nielsen -- 5 male and 5 female writers
Top 10 fiction titles of 2009, according to Barnes & Noble -- 6 male, 4 female
Top 10 fiction titles this week, according to USA Today -- 5 male, 5 female
Top 10 titles for 2009, according to Amazon.com -- 7 men, 2 women, 1 by "authors from Lifetime Television"
Top 10 best-selling authors of the decade, Amazon.com -- 7 men, 3 women

This is misleading because, for example, if I'd done the NY Times list for this week, there would be three titles by James Patterson (!) -- but the drift is that more of the books that sell the most are written by men, even if it's marginal at times. It may very well be, though, that of the enormous number of non-best-sellers -- solid-selling books that do well without cracking the top ten lists, many more may be written by women than by men.

I agree that the publishing industry is biased toward women, but not that the sales are as skewed as people seem to think. The entire ratings system on television was geared for 25 years toward the 18-49 demographic because it was "the group most likely to change brand names." Honest. And that turns out to be hogwash.
Ah, yes. I suspect that the midlist is heavily supported by women. I also suspect that the titles women buy are of the type that are turned out quickly and by a very large number of authors so that they compete with each other and none reaches top sales points. Romance comes to mind, though genre in general exists mostly in the midlist.


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