Are Most Authors Women?

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rosepetal720
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Are Most Authors Women?

Post by rosepetal720 » April 11th, 2011, 11:54 am

I've noticed that most of the authors I read and meet on the internet are women. Does anyone else notice this?

It might have something to do with the genres; I read mainstream and the people I meet on the internet are almost all YA. (Speaking of which, it also seems to me that everyone I meet on the internet writes YA.)

People say women are naturally more creative than men. I hate this stereotype. I hate anything that says one gender is better than the other, for that matter. At the same time, I can't ignore the fact that when I was an English major, there weren't many men in my class, and in my husbands engineering classes, there are no women at all.

What do you think? Are women taking over the world of books?
Author of Sacred Fire, a historical fiction of the Vestal Virgins of Rome.
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Moni12
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by Moni12 » April 11th, 2011, 2:17 pm

I think not. This is something that came up in Lit Crit class recently. The prof told us that if you made a list of your top ten favorite authors they'd probably mostly be white men (our class isn't very diverse). I think the point here is that subconsciously you tend to drift toward writers with whom we have more in common as far as race, status and gender. Looking through my books I see I'm not very diverse, something I hope to change. Although, I couldn't tell you if there were more men or women because their all in a rubbermaid right now (I'm in college and don't like hauling around a bookshelf). However, my top authors are probably white men. The point is that I know I also choose women because that is something I'm more prone to understand.

I have a guy friend who is in Literature with me and he prefers the masculine stuff while I prefer feminist (or used to). He can't stand the feminist works and I don't understand Hemingway (gonna make another go of it over the summer, though).

So, I don't think women are taking over and if you're going to look at the stereotype that women are more creative than men, left handed people are too (I am one). How many lefty writers do you think there are? I think it goes to careers, women are most often the housewives (you don't across many "house husbands"). I don't think it has to do with gender dominance, it just has to do with your preferences. If you read books mostly by women you're probably subconsciously looking for those writers. You find writers similar and they're also women, sometimes you may come across a man or two, but not often and when you do who knows what will happen.

I hope this answers your question, sorry if I got off topic.

Down the well
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by Down the well » April 11th, 2011, 8:09 pm

rosepetal720 wrote:'ve noticed that most of the authors I read and meet on the internet are women. Does anyone else notice this?
You're right, there are a lot of women writers on-line. I think it might be more a matter of communication styles rather than a disparity in the gender of writers, though. We women like to talk and express ourselves A LOT. That's why I think you see a lot of blogs and forums that are overrun with women. I was on a writer's forum once that had about a thousand members, and I could count on two hands the number of males that joined in the conversation, yet if you look at actual books published I don't think you'd find the same ratio of men to women. It's much more even. That's my take anyway.

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wordranger
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by wordranger » April 11th, 2011, 9:58 pm

Well, I'm a woman, but I have to say, out of all my beta partners, only ONE is a woman. It's kind of weird. I see plenty of women out there in this forum, but I seem to link up with guys easier than I link up with girls as far as writing partners go. (And I get all of my Beta partners from this forum)

Overall, I think it's a pretty good mix out there, though
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knight_tour
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by knight_tour » April 13th, 2011, 2:30 am

The vast majority of followers on my blog are women, perhaps 75% or so. I agree it's probably more about communication styles. Maybe the current predominance of YA is part of it?

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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 13th, 2011, 9:02 am

I have nothing to back me up, but I would say it depends on the audience and genre. Taking a quick look at my bookshelf which is probably 70% YA, the grand majority of them are women, but not all. I feel like I read a pretty good spread of writers. However, of the sci-fi books I own regardless of audience, nearly 100% is male. I can find only two women in my collection. Of the classics I own, it's about an even split, but I suspect that is because I took a lot of women's lit classes in college.
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by CharleeVale » April 13th, 2011, 10:25 am

I don't think so. I just think that female writers have a greater need for support, and seek it out online. We are relational while men are task oriented. Part of the beauty of being a writer for us, is the community that it allows us to be a part of.

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Quill
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by Quill » April 13th, 2011, 10:43 am

knight_tour wrote:The vast majority of followers on my blog are women, perhaps 75% or so. I agree it's probably more about communication styles.
CharleeVale wrote:I don't think so. I just think that female writers have a greater need for support, and seek it out online. We are relational while men are task oriented. Part of the beauty of being a writer for us, is the community that it allows us to be a part of.

This begs the question for me, that if up to three quarters of the bloggers and commenters are women, because the medium suits them more than it does men (in general), then is it really necessary for a writer (male or female)to use this type of social networking to get known? Or is it just preference, and as you say, sort of a support group mechanism? In other words, broadening it, is facebook, blogging, and twitter not so much a satchel of promotional tools, but a communication net serving more of a social function? Does a male (or female) writer really need to subscribe, as we have been led to believe by peers and professionals in the business?

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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by Sommer Leigh » April 13th, 2011, 1:52 pm

Quill wrote:
knight_tour wrote:The vast majority of followers on my blog are women, perhaps 75% or so. I agree it's probably more about communication styles.
CharleeVale wrote:I don't think so. I just think that female writers have a greater need for support, and seek it out online. We are relational while men are task oriented. Part of the beauty of being a writer for us, is the community that it allows us to be a part of.

This begs the question for me, that if up to three quarters of the bloggers and commenters are women, because the medium suits them more than it does men (in general), then is it really necessary for a writer (male or female)to use this type of social networking to get known? Or is it just preference, and as you say, sort of a support group mechanism? In other words, broadening it, is facebook, blogging, and twitter not so much a satchel of promotional tools, but a communication net serving more of a social function? Does a male (or female) writer really need to subscribe, as we have been led to believe by peers and professionals in the business?
I think the more important side of this equation is to look at the people who read, follow, and participate on these social networking sites and compare that to the gender of the typical reader for that genre/audience/author. If more women than men participate in social media - blogging, facebook, and twitter and if more women than men read a certain author/genre/age, then whether the author has a strong online/social presence is determined by the audience and not the gender of the author. In this respect, it would be very important for the author, regardless of gender, to know their audience and what gender it is mostly comprised of and make themselves available accordingly.


It would be great to see a big study done across many many blogs, genres, genders and social networking sites just who is using what and why.
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
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rosepetal720
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by rosepetal720 » April 13th, 2011, 3:09 pm

This begs the question for me, that if up to three quarters of the bloggers and commenters are women, because the medium suits them more than it does men (in general), then is it really necessary for a writer (male or female)to use this type of social networking to get known? Or is it just preference, and as you say, sort of a support group mechanism? In other words, broadening it, is facebook, blogging, and twitter not so much a satchel of promotional tools, but a communication net serving more of a social function? Does a male (or female) writer really need to subscribe, as we have been led to believe by peers and professionals in the business?
This is a tangent, but it's a good one. I agree that social networking is much more about support that promotion. I started blogging for support and I read other blogs for support. Even though I've been an avid blogger for seven months, I've only read two books that I heard about on a blog.

I especially believe online promotion is only for socializing because none of my favorite authors have an online presence. They're topping all the best seller's lists, but they don't even have Facebook accounts.

On the other hand, I've found many opportunities via online networking that I wouldn't have found otherwise: I entered contests, met authors, found beta readers, and an agent even approached me from a forum. Online presence is definitely necessary for a budding author.

(I'm tempted to ask if this could give women the advantage because we're more social creatures and more of us are online, but that's a whole new tangent.)
Author of Sacred Fire, a historical fiction of the Vestal Virgins of Rome.
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akila
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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by akila » April 13th, 2011, 6:25 pm

Most bloggers and commenters tend to be women; I absolutely agree with that. I personally don't have an "author" blog but I have two travel blogs and, by far, the vast majority of my audience is women. That could be because I'm a woman and women respond to other women bloggers but *I think* it's because women are more involved in internet communication. I'm not the only one who believes this: see this article by Mashable on women and social media (http://mashable.com/2010/02/15/social-media-women/).

What I find interesting about blogging and women as well as writing and women is that there are lots of women out there doing this stuff, but women are consistently underrepresented when it comes to making money off such activities. Recently, I read an article by Kelly Diels at Cleavage about how very few probloggers (that is, people who make their living off their blogs) are women. And, I read a lot of unpublished women author bloggers but most of the male author bloggers I've read have book deals. I don't know what this means: does it mean that we women enjoy writing for fun and get involved in the social media aspect well before our books are ready? Or, is this just another symptom of the refuse-to-ask-raises syndrome that has been plaguing generations of women for the last seventy years?

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Re: Are Most Authors Women?

Post by authorgirl1485 » April 15th, 2011, 10:08 am

Just looked at my bookshelf, and I would have to say that it is really 50/50. Of course, I like fantasy and science fiction.
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