Male authors and reviewers continue to take a disproportionate slice of the literary pie in a ratio of 4 to 1. Yet women out-read men at a ratio of 9 to 5.
Women tend to write about domestic issues and affairs of the heart. Men write about serious issues such as politics. And when it came to gender representation, it was also noted that men write about war. Whereas, women write about family and obsess over love or themselves.
In 2009, a group of volunteers drew attention to gender inequality in the field of book reviewing. Men appeared 66% more frequently in The New York Times Book Reviews. On the brighter note, a more recent study revealed that there has been a changing trends in the book-reviewing world.
The imbalance in books published is indeed a puzzle. Surveys indicate that women buy and read far more books than men do. 100 academics discussed the books they’d read and four out of five men said the last novel they read was by a man. Whereas women were almost as likely to have read a book by a male author as a female. When asked what novel by a woman they had read most recently, a majority of men could not answer. When it comes to gender, women do seem to read more omnivorously than men. Publishers can assume that a book written by a man will sell to both men and women. But a book by a woman is a less reliable bet.
Novelist John Boyne very boldly stated,
“Having been expected to bring up families while running a home and catering to society’s expectations of what women should be, they have a better grasp of human complexity. I think women are better novelists than men.”
Personally, I do not feel that I can make a valid judgement one way or the other but it is nice to know that at least one man sees women in this light.
“Linda has published fifteen books. She blogs about the publishing world, posts useful tips on the challenges a writer faces, including marketing and promoting your work, how to build your online platform, how to get reviews and how to self-publish.”