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rifferaff
09-21-2010, 08:39 PM
This Publisher's Weekly article raises the question after noticing in their recent salary survey that "85% of employees with less than three years of experience in the industry are women."

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/44510-where-the-boys-are-not.html

Just thought I'd share it here for discussion.

scarletpeaches
09-21-2010, 08:44 PM
It's hard to have much sympathy when I think of other industries where men outnumber women by the same ratio.

And yet this is the one which people focus on.

veinglory
09-21-2010, 08:48 PM
Industries have gender imbalances. World continues.

rugcat
09-21-2010, 09:00 PM
It has to do with two things. One, by and large, women are more literate than men. And two, more importantly, people in the editing and publishing game are overworked and woefully underpaid for the hours they put in. The predominance of women and the miserable financial rewards are not unrelated.

I think the imbalance does hurt -- simply because if men dominated the field, or were even represented in significant numbers, there'd be more money paid out, and a more reasonable workload.

Maybe then, an editor wouldn't have to take on more books than she could possibly handle.

Jamesaritchie
09-21-2010, 10:50 PM
Of course it hurts the industry, and writers. But it isn't exactly new.

extortionist
09-21-2010, 11:16 PM
Dear publishing industry,

Support diversity. Hire me.

Signed,
-An "elusive" 18-35 year old male reader

Shadow_Ferret
09-21-2010, 11:24 PM
Itís no secret that lots of women work in publishing.
Actually, this is the first I've heard of it.
It has to do with two things. One, by and large, women are more literate than men.

Link please.

backslashbaby
09-22-2010, 02:55 AM
Is there a problem with finding enough books that represent whatever men may like differently? I'm honestly asking.

From the article:

Pinter said that after he wrote the HuffPo item he was inundated with e-mails from librarians and teachers about societal issues with getting boys to read, and many thought curriculums were weighted toward girls. So do women and girls, who buy the most books, read more because people like them are acquiring and marketing their books?


I don't get what the author means by 'their books'. So I'm a bit clueless overall, I think.

If men aren't interested in something society has deemed 'for women,' is that really a problem about women or men? I think oftentimes, men are less likely to take 'womanly' things as something they'd like because of sexism, frankly. Including the publishing industry, apparently. It's their loss, imho.

I'm glad to see men seeing the benefit of things like nursing more and more nowadays. It will raise the pay, too :)

blacbird
09-22-2010, 03:18 AM
Actually, this is the first I've heard of it.

Go to Agentquery and peruse the agents listed there. I'd guess 75+% are women.

Timinator
09-22-2010, 06:35 PM
I never really gave it much thought. My agent is a woman. Most of the editors that I work with are women. And the point is?

Alpha Echo
09-22-2010, 06:42 PM
I never gave it any thought, honestly. I don't care either way. As long as I have a good book in my hand, does it matter how it got there and through what people?

Shadow_Ferret
09-22-2010, 06:48 PM
Go to Agentquery and peruse the agents listed there. I'd guess 75+% are women.

Well, now that I think about it, I guess nearly all the agents I queried were women. It just didn't strike me as newsworthy. Nor did I get the feeling that it hurt my chances at all.

Well, other than the relatively few agencies that only accept from women.

CaoPaux
09-22-2010, 06:55 PM
Since this is a more general topic, I'm gonna slide it over to Roundtable. Hold on to your bonnets, ladies hats, y'all.

SPMiller
09-22-2010, 07:07 PM
[...] more importantly, people in the editing and publishing game are overworked and woefully underpaid for the hours they put in. The predominance of women and the miserable financial rewards are not unrelated.I can't stress this quote enough. I've long felt that it's the imbalance against women in society at large that contributes to women choosing low-pay/excessive-work publishing jobs.

rugcat
09-22-2010, 07:31 PM
Actually, this is the first I've heard of it.

Link please.http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=14175229

GregB
09-22-2010, 07:35 PM
The lack of male readers (particularly fiction) hurts the publishing industry. Increase the number of male readers and you'll see:

* Stronger sales
* Stronger publishers
* More men in the publishing industry
* Higher salaries for both male and female publishing professionals

Soccer Mom
09-22-2010, 07:47 PM
The lack of male readers (particularly fiction) hurts the publishing industry. Increase the number of male readers and you'll see:

* Stronger sales
* Stronger publishers
* More men people in the publishing industry
* Higher salaries for both male and female publishing professionals


Asking why there aren't more men in the business is the same as asking why there aren't more male teachers. If men don't apply for those positions, they won't be filled by men.

More readers would certainly help the publishing industry, whether male or female. I don't know that lack of men has hurt the industry. In fact, one of the healthiest aspects in publishing, the romance industry, is almost entirely women.

It is correct to say that boys don't read in the same way girls do. But Boys and girls think differently and I'm not sure the answer is "more boy books." Honestly, my boys don't care for fiction. I've offered them every "boy" book out there and still they would rather read nonfiction. Maybe most men will never read as much as women because it doesn't appeal to them. That doesn't make it a crisis.

WendyNYC
09-22-2010, 07:50 PM
The lack of male readers (particularly fiction) hurts the publishing industry. Increase the number of male readers and you'll see:

* Stronger sales
* Stronger publishers
* More men in the publishing industry
* Higher salaries for both male and female publishing professionals

I'm curious...do you not feel like men have a wide selection of books to read? I'm not being sarcastic. I was in B&N just yesterday after reading this post and there seemed to be quite a large selection of manly books. But I'm clearly not a man, so maybe my assessment is off. I'd love it if the guys would weigh in.

Even the MG section had a lot of adventure books with male MCs. The YA section was another story. Girl city.

My husband, who is highly educated, intelligent, and curious, almost never reads fiction. If I literally place a novel in his hand and say "you must read this" he will, and he'll usually enjoy it. But other than that, it's nonfiction.

Momento Mori
09-22-2010, 07:51 PM
Regardless of the percentage of women in junior editorial roles, marketing etc, the senior company positions (notably positions on the board of directors) are still more likely to be filled by men and I note that the survey itself doesn't break down gender ratios for people with more than 6 years in the industry.

Of course part of the problem with attracting men to publishing is the poor pay and (relative) lack of job security. I'm not going to get into a gender argument about whether men are more likely to be bread winners, but if publishers were serious about dealing with this "gender inequality", then that's where they should be looking.

MM

Alpha Echo
09-22-2010, 07:52 PM
My husband, who is highly educated, intelligent, and curious, almost never reads fiction. If I literally place a novel in his hand and say "you must read this" he will, and he'll usually enjoy it. But other than that, it's nonfiction.

At least he will read it. I told my husband if I get published, that first book I publish is the only fiction book I expect him to read. He complied. But he prefers nonfiction.

Then again, I rarely read nonfiction. I do, but not nearly as often as fiction.

GregB
09-22-2010, 07:59 PM
I'm curious...do you not feel like men have a wide selection of books to read? I'm not being sarcastic.

No! Or yes! Why did you word your question that way? ;)

I think men (of all ages) have tons of choices. I think fiction is, in general, effectively marketed to them. I just think they're a lot less likely to read it than women. I have a not particularly well-informed sense that this divergence starts becoming more pronounced between MG and YA. Regardless of when it happens, what's the cause? Biology? Social programming? A combination? Something else completely?

GregB
09-22-2010, 08:06 PM
More readers would certainly help the publishing industry, whether male or female.

I suspect if one works in book marketing, demographics matter. If you can't sell books to men, that's a problem, just as it would be if you couldn't sell books to women, or seniors, young people, or any other demographic with money to spend.

Honestly, I'm not sure what all the strikethroughs were about in the post you quoted.

Julie Worth
09-22-2010, 08:18 PM
Go to Agentquery and peruse the agents listed there. I'd guess 75+% are women.

No need to guess--you can search them by gender. 313 are listed as male and 674 (68%) as female. I found only one category with more men than women--action/adventure.

Momento Mori
09-22-2010, 08:35 PM
GregB:
If you can't sell books to men, that's a problem, just as it would be if you couldn't sell books to women, or seniors, young people, or any other demographic with money to spend.

If you can't sell books to men, that's only a problem if your business is predicated on only selling books to men.

The popular statistic is that men read less than women. However, there are plenty of books out there with 'man appeal' (I feel there should be some kind of music crescendo after typing that or at least a swooshie noise). Will reducing the ratio of men:women in publishing change that? I doubt it.

Children's/YA publishers are trying to attract boy readers with a view to nabbing them early and keeping them keen with mixed results. Depressing as it is to say it, I think that would would really help is having male public figures up there telling boys that reading is a cool thing to do - at least as cool as twiddling with a Nintendo Wii and even more depressing, I think that it might help get some more men reading too.

MM

GregB
09-22-2010, 08:46 PM
If you can't sell books to men, that's only a problem if your business is predicated on only selling books to men.


Really? So if I'm, say, a romance publisher, it wouldn't concern me that I can't sell books to women, since my business isn't predicated *only* on selling books to women?

Come on. It wouldn't even be true if you restated as "If you can't sell books to men, that's only a problem if your business is predicated on selling *most of your books* to men." If I'm a brewer, I'm looking for products and marketing strategies that will reach women drinkers, even though most of my business is in the male demographic. Why? There are a lot of women and they have money to spend.

This isn't controversial.

ETA: I agreed with everything you said in the rest of your post, MM.

Chris P
09-22-2010, 09:11 PM
I posted a thread a few months ago asking if a sex match between a writer and an agent mattered (male writer-male agent, etc). The consensus there was it did not. A good agent of either sex can read the market and know if a manuscript will sell.

Okay, I'll put my neck out and see who chops it. The sex ratio of grad students in my department was 50/50. 10 years later, most of the women are working in other fields while most of the men are still doing what they studied in grad school. In short, women seem to have higher turnover so it doesn't surprise me that 85% of those working for fewer than three years are women. What percentage of women (or people in general) in the industry have been working for more than three years? My concern is not the sex of the agent, but his/her experience with publishers and the market.

Maxinquaye
09-22-2010, 09:13 PM
My wildly unsupported-by-statistics opinion is that there's a difference in media consumption between girls and boys.

If you want to tell stories to boys, create computer games. Computer games have the opposite problems, 80-90% male consumers, 10-20% female.

gothicangel
09-22-2010, 09:17 PM
Regardless of the percentage of women in junior editorial roles, marketing etc, the senior company positions (notably positions on the board of directors) are still more likely to be filled by men and I note that the survey itself doesn't break down gender ratios for people with more than 6 years in the industry.

MM

Just what I was going to say! Also less than 1600 in the survey doesn't really give a decent indication of the whole industry.

I'm applying for Master degree's right now. Tuition fees for Gothic Studies are £3,400; Publishing Studies is £4,500. I suspect I would be better off pursuing an academic career.

jennontheisland
09-22-2010, 09:19 PM
The sex ratio of grad students in my department was 50/50. 10 years later, most of the women are working in other fields while most of the men are still doing what they studied in grad school. In short, women seem to have higher turnover so it doesn't surprise me that 85% of those working for fewer than three years are women. What percentage of women (or people in general) in the industry have been working for more than three years? My concern is not the sex of the agent, but his/her experience with publishers and the market.
Women leave jobs to have kids, men don't. They may or may not return to the same job when they've finished with the preliminary child-rearing. I suspect that accounts for part of the less than three years bit.

As for the women not working in exactly what they studied in grad school, consider this:

Most women's incomes are considered secondary to a family. Were she to stop working for a time, say to raise a child, or do a degree or graduate work in a field of interest (that may or may not be a career field for her), it's not so much of a blow to the family budget. But if a person's income is the primary family income, any investment in education had better be to improve the earning ability for the family. And so you have female graduates going back to whatever career they had before they finished their grad work because they are now self-satisfied with their advanced degree, and male graduates climbing career ladders because their advanced degree earns them more.

Namatu
09-22-2010, 10:38 PM
* Stronger sales
* Stronger publishers
* More men people in the publishing industry
* Higher salaries for both male and female publishing professionalsYes, please.


Asking why there aren't more men in the business is the same as asking why there aren't more male teachers. If men don't apply for those positions, they won't be filled by men.QFT.


I've long felt that it's the imbalance against women in society at large that contributes to women choosing low-pay/excessive-work publishing jobs.There are no high-paying publishing jobs unless you're at the top (which even then isn't comparable to "the top" in other industries), and all of publishing is excessive work. In my opinion, none of that has anything to do with gender. When I accepted my first job in publishing, I groaned at the tiny salary, but I wanted to work in the industry and, in fact, the salary offered by that company was above industry average at the time. I've stayed in publishing not because I've been somehow influenced to accept low pay, but because I like making books. Believe me, no one who doesn't like it and isn't desperate is going to put up with the low pay and overwork for very long.

Is the persistently low pay a result of the low and mid-level ranks being dominated by women and ultimately run by men or are publishing salaries more a reflection of value markers? __________ is more important than books. Fiction or nonfiction, publishers create, market, and sell books, and a lot of people don't find that to be very valuable. Look at how the arts are consistently on school budget chopping blocks. Art is less important than sports, ergo bookmakers are less important than football players. That's not how I see it, but that kind of mentality unfortunately permeates a lot of our society and certainly influences the merit (pay) granted to those who do jobs of "lesser" value.


I note that the survey itself doesn't break down gender ratios for people with more than 6 years in the industry.I would expect the results to be similar. I can't point to any statistics or sources, just what I've seen, which is: women, lots of them.

Jamesaritchie
09-22-2010, 10:54 PM
Actually, this is the first I've heard of it.

Link please.

Just take a look at how many women buy books, and even more important, how many women are in college courses that lead into the publishing industry.

ishtar'sgate
09-22-2010, 11:11 PM
Interesting statistics. In checking out some recent catalogs from my own publisher it seems that more women than men are writing books too. Just a brief check of agent author lists seems to yield the same results - more women writing more of the books that get published. Is that because the publishing industry is female dominated or because fewer men actually write? Or is it unrelated? Judging by what is offered to the students I agree with the teachers and librarians. There really isn't a lot out there to interest boys. Too bad.

Twizzle
09-22-2010, 11:12 PM
My wildly unsupported-by-statistics opinion is that there's a difference in media consumption between girls and boys.

If you want to tell stories to boys, create computer games. Computer games have the opposite problems, 80-90% male consumers, 10-20% female.

Actually, audiobooks have been quite successful for boys in our community. The district found they were far more open to listening than actually reading. Esp when they're on a device or gadget they could handle. E-readers were hot too.

(I don't drive anywhere without an audiobook playing on my stereo now. My two boys (12 AND 18) are hooked on them. Well, me too. I love them.)

Anyway, my point? Yep. I think there's something to be said for electronics and technology and boys. It mad me sort of sad, though. They seem to associate it with fun and cool, whereas paper books...sigh...

But that's getting off-topic.

kaitie
09-22-2010, 11:14 PM
My wildly unsupported-by-statistics opinion is that there's a difference in media consumption between girls and boys.

If you want to tell stories to boys, create computer games. Computer games have the opposite problems, 80-90% male consumers, 10-20% female.

As a chick who plays lots of video games and reads (and writes, I suppose) "boy" books, I've got to say that I think there is something to this idea, but I think it's a social expectation/people trying to conform issue. It's "cooler" to play video games than it is to read books for a guy. The same way there are lots of expectations of what a woman should be like. Are those expectations kind of idiotic? Yeah, totally. The problem is that there are a lot of people in society, particularly younger people, who are striving to conform to those expectations in an effort to fit in and be accepted.

I could get all psychological on this one, but it's definitely something we used to discuss in class. I know plenty of guys who read, so don't get me wrong. I just think that there is a social expectation that works against men reading.

I'd also consider the fact that romance is supposed to be by far the biggest seller, and the vast majority of romance readers are women, and say that it doesn't surprise me as much that more women are involved in publishing.

I have thought it kind of odd before that so many agents are women, however. Especially considering that haven't there recently been arguments saying that most of the published (or highly successful) writers are men?

I've always taken those to imply that the publishing industry leans toward the idea that men are better writers than women (or more saleable), but if the industry is run by women and more women buy books, what does that say?

Interesting thoughts.

Twizzle
09-22-2010, 11:23 PM
I think it's a social expectation/people trying to conform issue. It's "cooler" to play video games than it is to read books for a guy.

Actually, seeing it in action--it truly seems to be easier for them. Listening versus reading. And more fun. Where the girls almost unilaterally prefer the actual books. (You should see how the girls compare covers, and care about the fonts and colors, and curling up and reading. It's like this experience for them. The boys just seem to be about the information of the story and the technology providing it. It's fascinating.) I don't know-perhaps someone knows better, but women and men do process differently. I don't know?

kuwisdelu
09-22-2010, 11:44 PM
My wildly unsupported-by-statistics opinion is that there's a difference in media consumption between girls and boys.

If you want to tell stories to boys, create computer games. Computer games have the opposite problems, 80-90% male consumers, 10-20% female.

Real men don't read. We prefer to blow shit up.

Momento Mori
09-23-2010, 12:02 AM
GregB:
Really? So if I'm, say, a romance publisher, it wouldn't concern me that I can't sell books to women, since my business isn't predicated *only* on selling books to women?

You're citing the one genre whose overwhelming majority of readers are women. If you're a publisher selling romance books (and I'm speaking broadly, not sub-genres within romance where you could tap male markets) and they're not appealing to women then yes - of course you have a problem.

If you're a broad commercial publisher like Penguin or S&S and your sales figures are skewering towards women, then if your profits are being maintained, sure you'll look at why you're not expanding into the male demographics and you'll probably launch a few bigger named titles to try and get that male money, but you'll equally be pushing out more books in the fields that you know people are spending in.

I'll give you an example - YA publishers 5 years ago were all about getting boys into books. It was all I heard about at convention after convention and there were (and still are) a few big boy-aimed books that come out this year aimed at getting that market.

And then despite all that effort (which, incidentally, didn't see the corresponding hike in revenue they were hoping for), paranormal romance took off like woah, which is why almost every YA publisher out there has at least a couple of titles in their brochures to keep the paranormal romance (generally speaking, female) audience spending. I know of at least one author who was told their boy-orientated book got submitted at just the wrong time because the publishers were squeezing boy titles in favour of girl-friendly ones.


GregB:
If I'm a brewer, I'm looking for products and marketing strategies that will reach women drinkers, even though most of my business is in the male demographic. Why? There are a lot of women and they have money to spend.

As a woman who prefers beer over wine, I would applaud that brewer and check out their products, but I equally know that the brewer is going to find that it's all very well knowing there's a potential market out there, it's putting something out that tempts the wallet open that. If the brewer's diverting resources from their established markets to try out a new one, then they're taking a risk that their established market profits will go down, with no corresponding increase in revenue from the new one.

So my moral is: capitalism sucks, the markets are whores and we're all doomed. Doomed, I say!

MM

Axler
09-23-2010, 01:23 AM
Oh, it's definitely a problem.

shaldna
09-23-2010, 01:54 AM
Asking why there aren't more men in the business is the same as asking why there aren't more male teachers. If men don't apply for those positions, they won't be filled by men.


This. So completely this.

I have worked in various industries with severe gender imbalance. I worked with horses for a long time, where everyone was female. Men working with horses are rare and account for around 5% of the industry. Yet the majority of top professionals are male.

Later I went to work in science, where the split was pretty even, but there was an attitude difference that seemed to have clung on since the '70's. Most senior scientists were male, and tended to favour other males. But in teh junior ranks the split was even, and I can see change coming over the next decade.

I then went to work in government, where the majoirty of employees are male, as are a good 2/3 - 3/4 of senior staff. As a young woman do I feel that teh industry suffers? Or that I am somehow suffering?

No.

In none of the cases above have I felt that the gender inbalance or attitudes has had a negative effect on the industries in question. If women want to work in government then they must apply to work in government, just like anyone else.

Same with publishing, if men want to work in it, then they will. You can't force them.

And, given that many genres are dominated by male writers, I personally don't think the industry is suffering.

jennontheisland
09-23-2010, 01:56 AM
Later I went to work in science, where the split was pretty even, but there was an attitude difference that seemed to have clung on since the '70's. Most senior scientists were male, and tended to favour other males. But in teh junior ranks the split was even, and I can see change coming over the next decade.
I've seen this too in oil & gas and in engineering. In fact, last place I worked at had so many young female engineers they were in a constant battle to cover materity leave.

backslashbaby
09-23-2010, 02:18 AM
Actually, seeing it in action--it truly seems to be easier for them. Listening versus reading. And more fun. Where the girls almost unilaterally prefer the actual books. (You should see how the girls compare covers, and care about the fonts and colors, and curling up and reading. It's like this experience for them. The boys just seem to be about the information of the story and the technology providing it. It's fascinating.) I don't know-perhaps someone knows better, but women and men do process differently. I don't know?

I can see this, generally speaking. And I get that men don't like romance as often as women (I'm more like a guy there). There's nothing wrong with all that, imho.

I got a rep asking why men not liking 'womanly' things would be sexist, and I'm not saying it usually is. Just that sometimes it is. It has to feed into this phenomenon, I think. If I give a little girl a truck to play with, there is less chance that she'll be put off because 'that's for boys' than the reverse situation. If I give a little boy a doll, he'll have a harder time being seen as girly.

Men admiting they like Oprah, if they like Oprah, or admiting to liking 'Chick Flicks'. That sort of thing.

I find that women aren't as concerned about the gender implications of what they like if they do like it.

So how many books seem too girly to boys, I don't know. But I know lots of guys who really do like chick flicks ;)

If we wrote a book about relationships instead of explosions, is that considered too girly for boys to like, and should it be? I just don't know what books teachers are supposed to pick, you know?

I'd like to encourage boys to see if they like books that are less *manly*. But I'd hate for that to be sexist in reverse.

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 03:28 AM
My wildly unsupported-by-statistics opinion is that there's a difference in media consumption between girls and boys.

If you want to tell stories to boys, create computer games. Computer games have the opposite problems, 80-90% male consumers, 10-20% female.Your numbers are at least fifteen years out of date. Females are now around ~40% of the game market and climbing. Consider your argument explodified.

ETA: Because I know someone's going to challenge that, read and weep (http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2009.pdf).

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 03:39 AM
Actually, I'm going to take the above post one step further. In not too long, extrapolating from the trend I've seen in demographics, women will probably be the majority of the video game market.

What exactly is it that men do?

Maxinquaye
09-23-2010, 03:45 AM
Why would I weep? I think that's bloody good.

But let me ask you. If you remove The Sims from that, how do you think the numbers would fall out?

And I'm talking specifically about computer games. Not consoles.

backslashbaby
09-23-2010, 03:52 AM
Actually, I'm going to take the above post one step further. In not too long, extrapolating from the trend I've seen in demographics, women will probably be the majority of the video game market.

What exactly is it that men do?

:ROFL: Dunno; weren't there studies showing that women are better at multitasking ;) One person's multitasking may well look like another's ADD!

-- signed, a girl who can't figure out how most women find time to fit kids in the mix, too. I sure couldn't.

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 03:59 AM
Why would I weep? I think that's bloody good."Read and weep" was certainly a poor choice of words on my part. It's a figure of speech with, in this case, unfortunate and unintended implications.


But let me ask you. If you remove The Sims from that, how do you think the numbers would fall out?

And I'm talking specifically about computer games. Not consoles.I think the numbers would remain similar. World of Warcraft has a massive female population, and it's computer-only. Women love them some Bioware games, too, which are still released for computer operating systems.

GregB
09-23-2010, 04:21 AM
Actually, I'm going to take the above post one step further. In not too long, extrapolating from the trend I've seen in demographics, women will probably be the majority of the video game market.

What exactly is it that men do?

We watch sports and download free porn. Not me, I mean, but other dudes.

jennontheisland
09-23-2010, 04:28 AM
We watch sports and download free porn. Not me, I mean, but other dudes.
I'll bet women have a good hand in the free porn market too.

That leaves you boys with sports.

GregB
09-23-2010, 04:37 AM
I'll bet women have a good hand in the free porn market too.


I see what you did there.



That leaves you boys with sports.



Forty-two percent of women say they watch soap operas on TV regularly or occasionally, but 62 percent say they watch sports on TV regularly or occasionally.

An estimated 46 percent of the NBA's fan base is women.

The NBA sold $100 million in merchandise for women in 2005.

The 2008 Super Bowl drew nearly 20 million women viewers ages 18 to 49, representing about 44 percent of that age group who watched the big game.

More than 1.2 million people now play NASCAR fantasy games and 33 percent are female, according to research released April 2007 by the Fantasy Sports Association.

During the 2006 playoffs, the NBA launched a marketing campaign that capitalized on women's need for information and personal connections. The result: Female viewership increased 33 percent on male-dominated ESPN.

Forty-six percent of all Major League Baseball-licensed apparel is purchased by women, according to the MLB.


Damn it!
:cry:

jennontheisland
09-23-2010, 04:45 AM
And this brings us back to SP's question:

What the hell are you guys doing??

GregB
09-23-2010, 05:00 AM
And this brings us back to SP's question:

What the hell are you guys doing??

We're still watching sports and downloading porn, it's just that these pastimes are nearing gender parity (as with video games). Actually, the only category I can think of with the kind of disparity you see in fiction reading is hunting (http://www.sportsafield.com/hunting-news/Womenhunters.htm), though women have made gains there, too.



That means women now account for about 15 percent of the shooting, hunting, and firearms marketplace.


Any other examples of dramatic gender disparity in a major entertainment/leisure category?

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 05:10 AM
Urgh. I avoid sports and firearms.

Now, video games and porn and fiction on the other hand...

jennontheisland
09-23-2010, 05:11 AM
Urgh. I avoid sports and firearms.

Now, video games and porn and fiction on the other hand...
Um, if you don't have three hands, that's quite the feat.

GregB
09-23-2010, 05:15 AM
Um, if you don't have three hands, that's quite the feat.

You're killing me. :ROFL:

Mr Flibble
09-23-2010, 05:42 AM
In certain geographical areas and certain genres males predominate, possibly to the detriment of the majority women who read it. The % they take remains the same. Though having a guy's name may help sales among men...<censors self>

RemusShepherd
09-23-2010, 06:45 AM
I've noticed that there seems to be more female agents than males, but I don't think it's a problem.

Except in one situation: Many female agents say that they specialize in or only represent 'women's fiction'. Considering the demographic of the field, that's like saying they are only going to publish the opinions of the majority. I've yet to see an agent specialize in 'men's fiction' -- I'm not even sure that category exists.

But that's a minor nitpick. In general, publishing is a meritocracy, where gender and other labels are unimportant as long as you can deliver the goods.

Toothpaste
09-23-2010, 07:20 AM
"Men's fiction" doesn't exist because it is considered the default. One only names something when it is supposedly not the norm. Thus we have "Women's Basketball" but when men play it it's just Basketball. Ditto with "Women's Fiction". The implication too is that men aren't interested in reading about women's issues, so they need a category just for themselves. You'll note that women happily read about men's issues (a fantastic blog was written about this subject today here: http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/2010/09/22/sell-the-girls/ )

But I have seen agents specifically seeking out romance writers who are men. And also seeking out YA authors who are men. So it happens.

Also I don't think that the lack of men in the publishing industry hurts male writers in the least. After all they still win most of the literary awards and get more reviews. So isn't it amazing that despite the fact that it's all women run (oh, wait, I should add that the CEOs of the major houses? Almost all men. In the end, men still get to be boss) men still get more accolades.

So I guess the question is, if it isn't hurting male authors, and women authors are still widely published . . . who is it hurting? Thus I don't think the publishing industry suffers because of the lack of men.

rugcat
09-23-2010, 09:17 AM
You'll note that women happily read about men's issues (a fantastic blog was written about this subject today here: http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/2010/09/22/sell-the-girls/ )For those who seldom click on links, make an exception for this one. Brilliantly (and humorously) written, with some great insights.

willietheshakes
09-23-2010, 11:16 AM
And this brings us back to SP's question:

What the hell are you guys doing??

Keeping down the sisterhood. Duh.

:)

gothicangel
09-23-2010, 11:22 AM
On the subject of girly covers: they put me off and I'm a female!

Sophia
09-23-2010, 12:36 PM
Of course it hurts the industry, and writers.


Oh, it's definitely a problem.

Would you mind elaborating on your answers? I've been reading this thread and there's been a lot of interesting information posted, but I haven't read anything yet that indicates that (a) there exists a problem for either the industry or writers that isn't a reflection of the overall low value placed on books by society, and (b) that would be fixed by having more men in the industry.

These were both very firm replies, and I was interested in the specific reasons for them.

shaldna
09-23-2010, 02:09 PM
I think the numbers would remain similar. World of Warcraft has a massive female population, and it's computer-only. Women love them some Bioware games, too, which are still released for computer operating systems.


True. The split in WoW seems to be pretty even actually.

There are differences in the type of games men and women play, for instance, women tend to play more plot orientated games - FF, Bioshock, Silent Hill etc. Men tend to play more instant gratification games, more strategy and short term planning games

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 03:03 PM
True. The split in WoW seems to be pretty even actually.

There are differences in the type of games men and women play, for instance, women tend to play more plot orientated games - FF, Bioshock, Silent Hill etc. Men tend to play more instant gratification games, more strategy and short term planning gamesMy (admittedly anecdotal) experience suggests even this may be changing. When I played TF2 regularly, my favorite server was about 1/4 female, which, for a competitive FPS, is really something.

It just so happens that Bioshock and Silent Hill 2 were some of the better games made in the past decade. Note also that they are, respectively, FPS and horror. In the past, those would have been considered male-oriented genres.

I guess all this is rather beside the point, but it annoys me when people try to blame video games (or any other entertainment medium) for anything in the written fiction market. After all, what are books but entertainment? In a sense, video games are a complex digital descendant of choose-your-own-adventure books.

And my conclusion: gender norms suck, and they're dying a slow and well-deserved death.

KTC
09-23-2010, 03:05 PM
I hate things like this. Okay, hate is a strong word and I don't really hate anything, mostly. But, gah. Of course it is not hurting the industry. Read the link Toothpaste shared...it's a great blog post. (If she hadn't shared it, I would have.)

I think I'll leave it at that, since I'm such a passionate person when it comes to the things that really irk me.

Ken
09-23-2010, 03:14 PM
... for decades, men have dominated just about every industry and profession. So it is nice to see things reversed in this one profession at least.

Jessianodel
09-23-2010, 03:23 PM
Even the MG section had a lot of adventure books with male MCs. The YA section was another story. Girl city.


That's probably because teenage boys don't read. My brother used to read a lot. A LOT. But once he started growing up, he stopped reading books, turning to manga. Nowadays he only read books that are in series he's read before.

HisBoyElroy
09-23-2010, 05:08 PM
As a humble consumer of manly novels, I've always wondered why my favorite genre - military themed historical novels - is not published in the USA. In Great Britain, the genre is flourishing with a full slate of options, from big-name authors down to the most obscure. You can find the most popular of these on store shelves here in the states, so I've always wondered: if the books are popular enough to sell here, why are none published here? Why is there no American equivalent to Bernard Cornwell or Conn Iggulden? Maybe this helps to answer that question. Of course, there is a strong chicken and egg aspect to it too.

Mistress Elysia
09-23-2010, 05:19 PM
Women love them some Bioware games, too, which are still released for computer operating systems.

As a Bioware fangirl and (largely ex-) Baldur's Gate / Neverwinter Nights modder, this is very true. There are a lot of female modders / gamers out there, and near enough all the Bioware based fanfic is written by women. Us nerdy girls love us some Bioware...

SPMiller
09-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Why is there no American equivalent to Bernard Cornwell [...]Cornwell does sell in the US. I see his books everywhere. Never seen the other guy's work, though.


As a Bioware fangirl and (largely ex-) Baldur's Gate / Neverwinter Nights modder, this is very true. There are a lot of female modders / gamers out there, and near enough all the Bioware based fanfic is written by women. Us nerdy girls love us some Bioware...Some of the best NWN modules I played were by women.

Soccer Mom
09-23-2010, 06:03 PM
No military themed historical novels in the US? Gads. That is all my husband and father read. True, many of the authors are Brits, but the books are heavily sold in the US. I'm too lazy to go look at their shelves for the moment. But I can say that military themed fantasy novels are big for my husband as well. If it's published by Baen, he owns it.

HisBoyElroy
09-23-2010, 06:50 PM
No military themed historical novels in the US? Gads. That is all my husband and father read. True, many of the authors are Brits, but the books are heavily sold in the US. I'm too lazy to go look at their shelves for the moment. But I can say that military themed fantasy novels are big for my husband as well. If it's published by Baen, he owns it.

You and SP Miller have restated my point. British novels are being printed and sold in the USA, as I stated and you have confirmed. So why aren't American novelists of these same types of books being published in the USA? I don't believe that they simply aren't being written (who is going to look at Cornwell's success and not want to emulate it?). This is something that has puzzled me, and the idea that American publishers are dominated by women is a possible solution.

Apparently, your point is that my premise is not valid because your husband reads lots of military-themed historical novels by British authors and Cornwell (a British author) sells well here? I was merely trying to point out a possible impact of the thread's subject.

Toothpaste
09-23-2010, 07:11 PM
I think the suggestion that because there are more women in publishing they therefore don't publish books for men is a fallacy. It suggests that women only like one kind of book (seriously, check out that link I posted. Women have been reading and enjoying "male" fiction for forever). It suggests that women are incapable of appreciating books that might not interest them. It suggests that women aren't savvy business people. After all the real people in charge of what gets published are the readers. If the readers demonstrate that they want to read a certain genre, you'd better believe the publishers will be publishing those books.

I have no idea how many people in the States want to read military historical novels, but surely if they have the UK imports and the readers are feeling satisfied that might be the reason for a lack of US ones. Or maybe some were printed but they totally flopped. Or maybe people prefer British military books over US ones. Or who knows what the reason could be. I know that it is much harder for a US YA novel to break in the UK. Does that mean all those women publishers are keeping teens from reading? No. It means we have different markets.

Why is the conclusion that women are screwing up the publishing world the one to jump to? And also let's not forget what I said above. Almost all their bosses are male. They are the ones hiring all these women. So if we really want to blame a gender, let's blame the men for hiring all these unempathetic selfish women who are terrible business people.

Shadow_Ferret
09-23-2010, 07:22 PM
"Men's fiction" doesn't exist because it is considered the default.

Not sure I agree with this. There's a whole section at a bookstore I go to called "Men's" and it includes all those action/adventure novels like "Able Squad," "Mack Bolan," "Stony Man," etc.

Toothpaste
09-23-2010, 07:41 PM
Fascinating. Which bookstore is that? (as a "Men's Section" does not exist in any of the chain stores here in Canada)

Hallen
09-23-2010, 08:02 PM
"Men's fiction" doesn't exist because it is considered the default.
Or the fact that men simply wouldn't care if there were a "men's fiction" category. I wouldn't. Or, it doesn't exist because of PC issues.


One only names something when it is supposedly not the norm. Thus we have "Women's Basketball" but when men play it it's just Basketball.
I understand where you are going with this, but the analogy doesn't really work.Basketball is open to anybody. Women's Basketball is open to women. Is that realistic? Probably not, but if a woman was good enough, I'm positive she'd be on a team. Also, when college teams are described, or the Olympics, and it's the same sport, it's identified as either men's or women's.


Ditto with "Women's Fiction". The implication too is that men aren't interested in reading about women's issues, so they need a category just for themselves. You'll note that women happily read about men's issues (a fantastic blog was written about this subject today here: http://www.maureenjohnsonbooks.com/2010/09/22/sell-the-girls/ )
I'm not sure that blog author "happily" has read male authors (which isn't the same as men's issues. Men don't have issues; men have problems and then they blow stuff up). Sounds to me like she's downright pissed that she hadn't been introduced to more female authors in school. That's fair enough, but I'm not sure what that has to do with women dominating the publishing industry.

Are there really novels about men's 'issues'? I've seen descriptions of Women's literature, and for the most part, no, I wouldn't be interested in reading it. Would I a read a thriller with a female protagonist written by a female author? Absolutely. Would a read a drama about the strained relationship between two sisters? Probably not. Nor would I read a drama about the strained relationship between two brothers (unless they blow stuff up). It wouldn't matter to me if it were the best written book ever, I simply wouldn't be interested in the subject matter. Is that wrong?

Is Women's literature really a construct to hold women down or is it simply a marketing category like YA? Your position seems to be that because there is no 'Men's Literature' category, that Women's literature is used to categorize and marginalize books by women. Maybe that is true, I'm probably not smart enough to figure that out, but if the book would only appeal to women, why is it a bad thing to call it women's lit? If a book would only appeal to men, I can see why it isn't marketed that way. It would appear to be "exclusive" like a men's-only club, and would get shredded by the media.

I think I understand your point though. Why label anything as men's or women's lit? Just call it literature and let the book blurb describe what the book is about. I'm all for that concept.


But I have seen agents specifically seeking out romance writers who are men. Who then promptly change their pen names to women's names to get their sales up.

And also seeking out YA authors who are men. So it happens.

Also I don't think that the lack of men in the publishing industry hurts male writers in the least. After all they still win most of the literary awards and get more reviews. So isn't it amazing that despite the fact that it's all women run (oh, wait, I should add that the CEOs of the major houses? Almost all men. In the end, men still get to be boss) men still get more accolades.
Yep. I don't think those facts can be disputed. What can be disputed is the reason why things are they way they are. I simply don't understand the awards and review thing. But I would hazard a guess that it isn't a sinister plan by male book company CEO's to keep women writers pushed down. Is it a respect thing? Is it because male writers, in general, are better? Or is that just a biased perception? There's more here than meets the eye. I simply cannot envision in our society that women writers are not as respected and as capable as male writers. It's an alien concept to me. Half of my favorite authors are female and I read fantasy, mostly. I'm just saying that there is more here, more complications, more nuance than can possibly be captured in the simple statistics.


So I guess the question is, if it isn't hurting male authors, and women authors are still widely published . . . who is it hurting? Thus I don't think the publishing industry suffers because of the lack of men.
I don't think it does either. The point is to produce the best possible products and the gender of the person who is doing that work does not matter. To be the best at it, you need to be passionate about the work, intelligent, motivated, and aggressive. There is also a nurturing element to being an agent. It is possible that women are simply better at producing great books than men are or it is possible that women simply find the industry more interesting, intriguing and fascinating than men do. I don't really care, honestly. I want the best possible people working with me and I don't care what kind of plumbing they have.

backslashbaby
09-23-2010, 08:25 PM
You and SP Miller have restated my point. British novels are being printed and sold in the USA, as I stated and you have confirmed. So why aren't American novelists of these same types of books being published in the USA? I don't believe that they simply aren't being written (who is going to look at Cornwell's success and not want to emulate it?). This is something that has puzzled me, and the idea that American publishers are dominated by women is a possible solution.

Apparently, your point is that my premise is not valid because your husband reads lots of military-themed historical novels by British authors and Cornwell (a British author) sells well here? I was merely trying to point out a possible impact of the thread's subject.

I think it's fair to wonder that. But if it's a British vs US divide, my intuition is that we might have different tastes as cultures on the subject matter, overall.

Do women not dominate the publishing industry in the UK? That would be interesting to see why we differ on that.

kaitie
09-23-2010, 08:27 PM
You and SP Miller have restated my point. British novels are being printed and sold in the USA, as I stated and you have confirmed. So why aren't American novelists of these same types of books being published in the USA? I don't believe that they simply aren't being written (who is going to look at Cornwell's success and not want to emulate it?). This is something that has puzzled me, and the idea that American publishers are dominated by women is a possible solution.

Apparently, your point is that my premise is not valid because your husband reads lots of military-themed historical novels by British authors and Cornwell (a British author) sells well here? I was merely trying to point out a possible impact of the thread's subject.

Ew. Then I'd have to learn about history. Ick.*


*Kaitie hopes it is clear that she's being facetious. ;)

gothicangel
09-23-2010, 08:36 PM
I think it's fair to wonder that. But if it's a British vs US divide, my intuition is that we might have different tastes as cultures on the subject matter, overall.

Do women not dominate the publishing industry in the UK? That would be interesting to see why we differ on that.

The last stats I saw where from two years ago, and the figure was around 44% and most of the positions were in the lower levels.

It's probably different now though.

For me the big inhibitor is money. I could probably just scrape in the cost of an MA. But live in London on £16,000 while on a graduate scheme? I definitely couldn't afford to work for free to build up a half decent CV.

Soccer Mom
09-23-2010, 08:44 PM
You and SP Miller have restated my point. British novels are being printed and sold in the USA, as I stated and you have confirmed. So why aren't American novelists of these same types of books being published in the USA? I don't believe that they simply aren't being written (who is going to look at Cornwell's success and not want to emulate it?). This is something that has puzzled me, and the idea that American publishers are dominated by women is a possible solution.

Apparently, your point is that my premise is not valid because your husband reads lots of military-themed historical novels by British authors and Cornwell (a British author) sells well here? I was merely trying to point out a possible impact of the thread's subject.

Can you truly say that you know these books are being written and submitted to American publishers and passed over in favor of other books? Since they sell well, wouldn't publishers here accept them if they were submitted? Publishers want to make money. They want to publish things that sell well. Of course, they can't publish what isn't written or submitted to them.

Most of what I see being written by American military historical writers is World War II based fiction. Maybe because we were there as a country. When you are talking about earlier military historical fiction, it might also be true that American writers aren't producing it because they aren't as interested in it.

I don't know that the absence of these books written by American authors has anything to do with women in publishing. Isn't the UK publishing business heavily female too?

rugcat
09-23-2010, 08:49 PM
Why is the conclusion that women are screwing up the publishing world the one to jump to? I don't think that's necessarily the conclusion.

I see it more as not the publishing industry as a whole, but those involved in the actual writing, agenting, and editing of books being dominated by women. All these aspects take a great deal of talent and hard work, but the pay scale is far below what that level of talent and work receive in other fields.

Publishers and CEOs of the conglomerates are mostly men. They follow two longstanding business practices -- one, pay your employees as little as you can get away with, and two, you can pay women less for the same job.

I obviously don't think women are the problem -- but I do think the predominance of women, who can be paid less, is a reflection of the short-sightedness and idiocy that permeates the business end of the hidebound publishing industry.

Eddyz Aquila
09-24-2010, 05:33 AM
I find the market somewhat balanced, when it comes to choosing the books that I would like to read. From my part, many books are unisex to put it like that, but there's the obvious "girl-books" and "boy-books". Romance springs to mind, and particularly the YA where there's a strong romantic element, girls tend to read more.

I would like to point out the psychology of the situation. Men don't read for example Twilight because they don't like the whole idea of perfect love and at the same time they don't read because they consider it as "only for women".

Similarly, there's many books for men particularly action/adventure ones (I do not know why but I find Ian Fleming's novels strictly for men) so from that part there's not much of a gender imbalance.

Who reads more? Can't say.
Bottom line - there's a choice for everyone, it doesn't matter what gender reads more. This is only for fiction books.

backslashbaby
09-24-2010, 05:42 AM
I made all my early high school 'best (read: female)' friends read the whole series! And then I wrote fanfic with James' out-of-wedlock female baby, Tracy, as the MC for them to read when there were no more Fleming Bond novels for us to talk about :D :D

Toothpaste
09-24-2010, 06:10 AM
I would like to point out the psychology of the situation. Men don't read for example Twilight because they don't like the whole idea of perfect love and at the same time they don't read because they consider it as "only for women".

Similarly, there's many books for men particularly action/adventure ones (I do not know why but I find Ian Fleming's novels strictly for men) so from that part there's not much of a gender imbalance.



Uh really? So my male friend who said he preferred the film version of Breakfast At Tiffany's because it was more romantic isn't into romance. Or my other male friend who sent me The Way We Were and who's favourite part of his girlfriend's book is when the hero and heroine meet reciting Shakespeare doesn't love romance. Or how about Nicholas Sparks who has built his career writing romance. Or how about Shakespeare himself.

And thanks for categorising Ian Fleming as strictly for men. I'll have to tell my female friend that she was mistaken to work her way through the entire series. And I suppose I should stop looking forward to the next big action blockbuster, my bad. All this time I was enjoying watching stuff blowing up it turns out I was actually really bored out of my mind. In fact I should just tell all the women who loved the 300 (I remember an article coming at the time that said almost half of the movie goers who saw it were female) that they really didn't.

See this is the problem when you start to tell the genders what they like and don't like. You'll always find an exception. In fact, in your case, I can cite way too many exceptions which makes me think that maybe they aren't exceptions at all.

shaldna
09-24-2010, 12:05 PM
You know what you don't get much of now? Big generation sagas like the sort James Mitchener used to write.

I loved those books. As did most of the men I know. Not so many of the women though. No one really seems to write like that anymore.

Although, big saga westerns are always popular with women as well as men.

Not sure where I'm going with this....

....books are fun

Rhoda Nightingale
09-25-2010, 07:21 AM
After seeing a few gender-related posts here and elsewhere, I was at first baffled. "Men don't read? When did this happen?" However, I need to remind myself that I come from a family where everyone--everyone--reads, and reads everything. Seriously, if I can't think of what to get someone in a family as a present, the go-to answer is always a book. The people not related to me that are literary-minded are an even mix of men and women, but honestly I tend not to notice that kind of thing until it's pointed out to me.

Why is this push to get males to read more fiction such a big deal? I understand the need for the women in the publishing industry to be paid better, but that covers a lot of careers besides publishing--women are underpaid everywhere.

gothicangel
09-25-2010, 11:10 AM
Why is this push to get males to read more fiction such a big deal? .

Because literacy levels are falling.

Also, writers are pretty much screwed if readers stop reading. :D

Rhoda Nightingale
09-25-2010, 08:12 PM
Yes, but fiction, specifically.

Namatu
09-25-2010, 08:59 PM
I don't know, but like Toothpaste, I like watching stuff blow up. Seven times out of ten though, I'll pick up a romance to read.

Amadan
09-25-2010, 09:31 PM
Or how about Nicholas Sparks who has built his career writing romance.

Don't tell him that (http://www.usatoday.com/life/movies/news/2010-03-11-lastsong11_CV_N.htm)!


See this is the problem when you start to tell the genders what they like and don't like. You'll always find an exception. In fact, in your case, I can cite way too many exceptions which makes me think that maybe they aren't exceptions at all.

This is true, and Eddyz's statement was too broad. But it is fair to say that there are some very marked gender trends in reading. Sure, you'll find a few men who like romance (or Twilight), and a few women who like Ian Fleming, but outliers are just that.

I don't think that it's women in publishing responsible for men not reading, though. I think it's the culture of anxious masculinity that eschews anything that's associated with femaleness, which nowadays increasingly includes reading fiction. In the YA market particularly, it's sort of a vicious cycle. Girls read more than boys, so more YA books are aimed at girls, so boys don't want to go near anything girly. Particularly problematic at an age when kids are most strongly influenced by peer pressure, and when their attitude towards reading in general is formed.

Priene
09-25-2010, 10:11 PM
Yes, but fiction, specifically.

It's a matter of percentages. If you can get 10% of men who currently don't read fiction to start, that's way more than getting 10% of women who don't. It's the inverse of the (successful) big push to get more women playing computer games.

Renee Collins
09-26-2010, 12:36 AM
You know what you don't get much of now? Big generation sagas like the sort James Mitchener used to write.

I loved those books. As did most of the men I know. Not so many of the women though. No one really seems to write like that anymore.

Although, big saga westerns are always popular with women as well as men.

Not sure where I'm going with this....

....books are fun

My mom owns nearly every Michener out there. She's a devoted fan. In fact, it became a family joke that whenever one of us kids wondered what we should read next, our mom would say, "Read a Michener!"

I agree with you, they just don't make them like that anymore. :)

A.P.M.
09-30-2010, 04:20 PM
This is an interesting topic. I never really thought about the gender of the agents I was submitting to too hard, though maybe once or twice I would blink at a male name and think "how unusual."

On the reader end, though, I see many, many more male authors than female ones. Considering I read almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy, I'm not overly surprised by this. It does make me wonder, though. Do males or females tend to stick to writing certain genres? Or do female authors writing fantasy get influenced to pick male or neutral pseudonyms (J.K Rowling, Robin Hobb, K.A. Applegate, etc). Do publishers really think the gender of the author matters that much?

I've also found myself wondering if being male gets you an advantage with traditional publishers if you're writing fantasy or science fiction. Considering I see many, many more unpublished females working hard to get published while seeing dozens of male authors on the shelf with few females, it's an idea I can't shake.

Amadan
09-30-2010, 08:32 PM
This is an interesting topic. I never really thought about the gender of the agents I was submitting to too hard, though maybe once or twice I would blink at a male name and think "how unusual."

On the reader end, though, I see many, many more male authors than female ones. Considering I read almost exclusively science fiction and fantasy, I'm not overly surprised by this. It does make me wonder, though. Do males or females tend to stick to writing certain genres? Or do female authors writing fantasy get influenced to pick male or neutral pseudonyms (J.K Rowling, Robin Hobb, K.A. Applegate, etc). Do publishers really think the gender of the author matters that much?

I've also found myself wondering if being male gets you an advantage with traditional publishers if you're writing fantasy or science fiction. Considering I see many, many more unpublished females working hard to get published while seeing dozens of male authors on the shelf with few females, it's an idea I can't shake.


It's long been a bit of a stereotype (with some truth to it, like many stereotypes) that fantasy is more popular with women and SF more popular with men.

At this point in history, I don't think publishers deliberately discriminate against women; I'm sure no one thinks "Oh, a submission from a female -- let me toss this on the slush pile and read something from an enpenised author instead." But the gender stereotypes we all swim in probably affect their judgments.

There are many, many authors of both sexes working hard to get published, though, and the shelves are still full of mostly male authors because a lot of the books are the ones that have been written over the last few decades. I think the ratio will tilt slowly towards parity as time goes on.