Self-Publishing And The Sexes

A report in today’s Guardian newspaper makes some interesting claims about self-published books.

In particular,I was struck by the figure that 67% of books on the top ebook publishing platforms are written by women. This percentage comes from an organisation that’s new to me,called Ficshelf.

They claim that 61 of the top 100 traditionally published books on Amazon are written by men. This is seen as further proof that men rule the long-established world of book publishing. Male writers dominate in lists compiled by newspapers for best novels.

Somehow,none of this surprises me,for I’ve always believed that more women regularly read books than men,and there’s a tiresome old boy network among book firms. It’s unusual to find a literary agency or publisher that has a woman as CEO.

It’s food for thought. Perhaps I should become Pauline Whybrow to publish my ebooks that have a romantic and spiritual theme,to encourage more female readers …

It might confuse the taxman,which would help.

2 thoughts on “Self-Publishing And The Sexes

  1. I wonder if romance novels are part of the reason why they are so many female self-publishers? That tends to be a female author dominated genre and many authors churn them out at a rapid pace.

    Not trying to put that genre down or anything but just wondering out loud about explanations for these figures.


  2. I think that romance stories include a heavy dose of eroticism these days. Women prefer reading such torrid tales if they’re written by a female writer – just as a fan of military action thrillers would prefer it if the author was male. There’s an unspoken sexism in literature. I know a couple of men who write for Mills & Boon,using female pen-names,as submitting books using their own names got them nowhere.
    There was a funny story about reverse sexism that came from the annual competition run by the Virago Press. They were established in the early seventies,as an exclusive publisher of books by women. One year their prize for best first novel was won by an unknown writer,who when she turned up at the ceremony proved to be a man ! He claimed that Virago was being as sexist as the traditional publishing world was against women. He didn’t get the prize,which went to the runner-up.
    Such factors still exist today. J K Rowling was advised not to use her real name of Joanne,or her preferred diminutive Jo,as boys might not want to read a book about a wizard that was written by a woman. So she hid behind initials,borrowing the K from her paternal grandmother Kathleen. When she wrote a crime novel,she chose a male pen name,Robert Galbraith. I wonder what a psychologist would make of that – though he might have to do battle with her marketing team to get to the truth.


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