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Old 04-30-2013, 05:17 AM   #46
MikeB1972
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Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Where would we have been without the immortal J.R. Hartley, as you so rightly say!
Indeed, I wonder if anyone under 30 or outside the civilised world will understand the reference here.

I am of course using "civilised world" in it's correct usage here, meaning the part of the world that can spell it correctly.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:32 AM   #47
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:14 AM   #48
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There are a few women authors I read, mostly older books, but as a rule I prefer male authors.
When I am choosing what to read, the author's gender is irrelevant. I just want a book that will engage my interest.

Last edited by pdurrant; 04-30-2013 at 06:14 AM. Reason: fixed quote tags
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Old 04-30-2013, 06:50 AM   #49
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A J Quinnell

A pseudonym deliberately designed to hide himself, although some diehard fans managed to penetrate the wall before the author died.

Author of Man on Fire etc. And yes, male. Lived on Gozo, Malta, and half the island was in on the joke. Curious tourists asking after A J Quinnell would have several bogus Quinnells leading them on.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:18 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
The problem is, with a few exceptions, men don't read books by women writers. If I spend a bit of time googling, I'm sure I can find the research on this.
That is an awfully broad generalization. I'd like to think it's not true, yet I admit it may be naive to think so. If you do have some research to back up that statement, it would be interesting to see it.

Gender of the author (or protagonist, for that matter) has very little to do with my choice of books as far as I can tell. I will be honest though, I probably do read about 60 - 65% male authors. In fact, just went to goodreads and counted - since 2011 when I joined GR, out of 98 books I've read, 19 of them were by female authors. Hmmm, less than I thought. Perhaps I need to go outside my comfort zone and sample a book I wouldn't normally consider. I was interested in reading the Night Circus, then one reviewer mentioned the dreaded R word - romance - and it put me off. Maybe I'll make a point to read it.

Thought provoking for sure.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:46 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
All, from an older generation of writers, none of whom are concerned with marketing their work currently. How many modern men writers use initials? Not many I bet. The use of initials has become a sort of code to indicate that the author is a woman not writing romance novels.
DD Barant and G. T. Almasi are two current male writers that come to mind immediately as I've read books by them this year. Both had female protagonists and in DD Barant's case (urban fantasy), I saw no discernible difference between his Bloodhound Files urban fantasy and other "darker" female-protagonist-but-not-romance-oriented (but not necessarily completely lacking the occasional relationship or potential love interest) urban fantasy books, written by female authors, that I've read.

I'm a woman who is mostly into adventure/urban fantasy/not-romance-oriented books (I don't mind there being a love interest at some point, especially with a series, as most human beings develop relationships over the course of their adult life, but I prefer something else to be the plot) and I read male and female authors in more or less equal amounts, I suppose. Sometimes more of one, sometimes more of the other, depending on what genre I'm currently in (or if I've just discovered a certain author and read several books by him or her in a row).

My reading used to be very heavily balanced towards male authors when I was younger as most action/adventure seemed to be written by men (and aimed at men/boys) back then, but being into urban fantasy, crime and young adult genres these days makes sure that I get plenty of books written by women as well.

I rarely pay attention to the gender of the author - I can't always even tell, even if they're not "hiding" behind a pseudonym or initials, as not all first names are immediately and obviously gendered to readers from other countries - except in cases when male authors are writing books with female protagonists and it strikes me as either noticeably well done or remarkably badly done. (Related to this, I have noticed it seems to be getting more common, compared to my childhood/youth, for male children's/YA action/adventure authors to write books with girls as their main or co-protagonists, which is a trend I can only welcome!)

I have found that I have a bit of a preference for female protagonists these days, though, for what it's worth - not a marked preference, and I'm perfectly happy to read books with male protagonists as well, but overall, I am always a bit happier to come across a non-romance-focused book in my preferred genres that has a well-rounded female protagonist. This may also have something to do with me just wanting to balance out the 95%-male-protagonists reading material of my youth, though.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:05 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by danskmacabre View Post
Why would women want to disguise their gender by using initials?
It is some issue with feeling you're going to be pre-judged for being female?

If so that seems strange to me, the gender of an author has zero impact on whether I'm going to get a book or not.
The reasoning was partly that women tend to have female protagonists and men have male protagonists. Boy/men did not usually buy books with female protagonists but women bought book with male and female protagonists.

You want people to look more closely on a book and if all boy/men sort away female writers without looking more closely at the book you have a problem.
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Old 04-30-2013, 05:57 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
The reasoning was partly that women tend to have female protagonists and men have male protagonists. Boy/men did not usually buy books with female protagonists but women bought book with male and female protagonists.

You want people to look more closely on a book and if all boy/men sort away female writers without looking more closely at the book you have a problem.
I repeat, I question the truth of that assumption. I suspect it can not be backed up with hard data.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:09 PM   #54
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I truly don't know whether there's hard data to back it up, but it does seem to be a trueism in the publishing world, that boys won't read books by female authors. (note I specify "boys" here - most men of my acquaintance don't have this issue, although seems to me that some here have said flat out that they won't read books by female authors - that post may be one of the ones removed, though because I can't find it now).
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:22 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
I repeat, I question the truth of that assumption. I suspect it can not be backed up with hard data.
I suspect it can, but nobody paid for the research.

And it has nothing to do with gender discrimination, it has to do with something that is quite normal, our tendency to generalize and classify when we are facing an abundance. And we do. Each and every one of us has favourite authors, and those that are not worthy of our time. Genres that we avoid, those that we like. And so on.

When we face a thousands of books on shelves of the big book store, where each and every one of them is competing for our eyes, the decision to reach for the book and read what is written on the jacket is rarely concious. A colourful cover might grab our attention or send a symbolic message that matches our expectations, books that are on prominent display will capture our attention, a title might interest us, and so on.

The question is NOT do you read women authors, the question is can you tell that a book was written by a lady or is men's work. Most of the time I can, and if you agree with me, then the mystery of the need to mask the gender of the author is easily solved. The marketing guru has denied us a recognition and easy classification, and forced us to reach for the book and read the jacket.

Last edited by Ankh; 04-30-2013 at 07:24 PM.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:46 PM   #56
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I repeat, I question the truth of that assumption. I suspect it can not be backed up with hard data.
Why do you suspect that? This have been claimed by people working in publishing that should have hard data.

What is your hard data to question this claim? Notice that I did not say that it was still valid, I said that it was claimed that it have been valid.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
Why do you suspect that? This have been claimed by people working in publishing that should have hard data.

What is your hard data to question this claim? Notice that I did not say that it was still valid, I said that it was claimed that it have been valid.
Just because 'everyone' says it, or even believes it, doesn't make it true. I'm saying maybe we need to question this as a statement of fact until we see some hard evidence supporting that belief. Your post asks me to accept the belief as fact without proof and then goes on to ask me to disprove the unsupported fact when we have all seemed to agree there is no documented proof either way (at least I've seen no claims that people have such evidence). That seems backwards logic to me.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:02 PM   #58
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Not the best example of "hard data", but there was a survey done in 2005 that might interest you: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2005/may/29/gender.books

Quote:
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 found it hard to recall or could not answer. Women, however, often gave several titles.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:18 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
I understand there's actually a fair number of men writing romances under women's names (I think I read that in terms of Harlequin authors) - I couldn't give you examples, however.
Here are some examples of male romance writers using either a female name or something 'gender neutral' like initials.

Leigh Greenwood
Jennifer Wilde
S.L. Carpenter
J.W. McKenna
Brindle Chase
M.L. Buchman
Fay Robinson
Marilyn Ross
Clarissa Ross
Ann Gilmer
W.E.D. Ross
Laura Frances Brooks
Lydia Colby
Rose Dana
Jan Daniels
Ross Olin
Diane Randall
Dana Ross
K.N. Casper
Jessica Blair
Monica Barrie
Alison York
Deanna Dwyer
Caroline Farr
Victoria Gordon
Madeleine Ker
Dorothea Nile
Claudette Virmonne
Dorothy Vernon
Leigh Anne Williams
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Old 05-01-2013, 12:02 AM   #60
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Here's some data, not sure how 'hard' it is.

Apparently there is a huge disparity in the number of books reviewed by major magazines/newspapers by each gender. For example, in 2010 the New York Times reviewed books by 283 female authors, while reviewing 524 male authors.

If reviews by major media outlets influence sales, that's a big deal.
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