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Old 09-06-2018, 05:48 AM   #31
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I have never chosen to read a book based on the authors race, gender or any other difference. I want to read books that I consider to be well told stories. I wouldn't care if the author was a Salamander if it could write a good story. As both a child and an adult I was reading fiction by Andre Norton, Leigh Brackett, C.J. Cherryh, Octavia Butler, James Tiptree, jr., Elizabeth Moon, and Lois McMaster Bujold. Also remember Mary Shelly wrote Frankenstein.
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With all the pen names and such, it's not that uncommon for the reader to have no real idea who a new writer really is. If I were to guess, of the current authors that I read (i.e. not backlist), it's probably pretty close to a 50/50 split between male and female authors.
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by dkperez View Post
I use several libraries. Including a couple that have gone to the "cloud library" (I was told by one library worker that it's cheaper than Overdrive).

I recently fired up the cloud library, and took a look at the "featured" page. Row after row of books - new arrivals, adult fiction, etc.

And in my rummaging it APPEARS that at LEAST 90% of everything they feature is written by a person with a female-sounding name... Not 100%, but a huge, overwhelming majority.

Are the vast majority of authors women? Are the people at the cloud library that set up the "featured" page attempting to bias the list in favor of certain authors or a gender?

It's not a big deal, but I found it odd that their listings would be so one-sided...
I've noticed this as well.

It's often said that more books are written and published by male authors, but I'm starting to doubt it. I've been in a B&M bookstore a few times in the last few weeks, and when picking up random books in the fantasy section, all but a few of them are young adult fantasy coming of age works, written by females, with (often) female protagonists.

Same with Kobo recommendations; over 90% of the books recommended to me are written by females, and most of them have female protagonists, and are either YA coming of age fantasy, or distopian. Most of them also seem to be modelled on the 80's coming of age fantasy by writers such as Eddings, Brooks, and Tad Williams.

I do read mostly fantasy, and I have read a lot of 80's coming of age fantasy as well, but I don't read ONLY that; still, it feels as if the fantasy genre is now dominated by young(ish) women, writing about young female protagonists, often using a saccharine way of writing (as determined by reading some sample chapters here and there; often it's more romance-with-some-fantasy than anything else it seems).

I could be wrong though, and that my experience is as it is just because of Kobo's recommendations (which is, granted, based on books bought 7-8 years ago, when I started to replace my paper books with e-book versions), and because of the books stocked by Dutch stores these days...

Oh. And with regard to library borrowing... the few times I've been in a library in the last year or two, all of the staff was female, and most of the patrons were female as well. These females were indeed mostly to be found in the YA/fantasy sections (the younger ones), or the romance section (the older ones), and some in the mystery section. It was hard enough to find a guy somewhere, the ones I saw were mostly in fantasy, science fiction, and horror.

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:39 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I wonder if more women write because they have the freedom to do so.
Could be. Take a look through Youtube, and look around the internet. Try to find some how-to's or "writing advice." The ones I happen upon, are almost invariably made by young women, who often published nothing yet, or only self-published one single book.

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That's just bonkers sexist. What is this, the '50s?
Maybe, but still the impression is there. Working authors and people don't have _time_ to make one Youtube video after another talking about writing advice and giving tips how to write better books. Most of the people doing so have no meaningful work to refer to, and they are _mostly_ women, in my experience.

That gives the impression of someone who doesn't have a job (and thus lives on welfare and/or is supported by someone else), who writes for amusement, and makes video's about it, hoping to one day make it as an author.

So yes, maybe it's more the 50's than one cares to admit, even in 2018.

Try it. Search YouTube and the internet and see for yourself.

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Old 09-06-2018, 07:44 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Could be. Take a look through Youtube, and look around the internet. Try to find some how-to's or "writing advice." The ones I happen upon, are almost invariably made by young women, who often published nothing yet, or only self-published one single book.
Anecdotal. It also has nothing to with why more women might be being published.

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Maybe, but still the impression is there. Working authors and people don't have _time_ to make one Youtube video after another talking about writing advice and giving tips how to write better books. Most of the people doing so have no meaningful work to refer to, and they are _mostly_ women, in my experience.
Only if one holds rigidly to '50s standards as to what constitutes "working." And "non-working authors" (male or female) making How-to videos on Youtube has no bearing on the balance of male/female traditionally published authors writing books today (or yesterday, for that matter).

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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
That gives the impression of someone who doesn't have a job (and thus lives on welfare and/or is supported by someone else), who writes for amusement, and makes video's about it, hoping to one day make it as an author.
Again: purely anecdotal (and again ... depends on someone '50-ishly believing that "no-paid-job" equates to "tons-of-free time"). The number of women making "How-to" videos on youtube (regardless as to the quality of said How-to) has exactly zero to do with a) their employment status, and b) does not correlate (directly or indirectly) to why there might be more women today who have the audacity--nay, the pure gall--to achieve the status of published (traditionally published, mind you) author.

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Try it. Search YouTube and the internet and see for yourself.
Why? It has no bearing whatsoever on the topic.

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Old 09-06-2018, 08:02 AM   #35
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I'm very happy with the authors I read regularly. If it turned out that some were using pen names to hide their gender it would not worry me in the slightest. If 99% of these authors turned out to be of a single gender it would not distress me in the least. As for being supported and not having to work? What rubbish. Before the explosion of Indies and ebooks only a tiny minority of authors were ever able to quit their day jobs. They wrote before work and after work and on weekends and holidays. Most of them still do.
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Old 09-06-2018, 09:45 AM   #36
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I've noticed this as well.

It's often said that more books are written and published by male authors, but I'm starting to doubt it. I've been in a B&M bookstore a few times in the last few weeks, and when picking up random books in the fantasy section, all but a few of them are young adult fantasy coming of age works, written by females, with (often) female protagonists.

Same with Kobo recommendations; over 90% of the books recommended to me are written by females, and most of them have female protagonists, and are either YA coming of age fantasy, or distopian. Most of them also seem to be modelled on the 80's coming of age fantasy by writers such as Eddings, Brooks, and Tad Williams.

I do read mostly fantasy, and I have read a lot of 80's coming of age fantasy as well, but I don't read ONLY that; still, it feels as if the fantasy genre is now dominated by young(ish) women, writing about young female protagonists, often using a saccharine way of writing (as determined by reading some sample chapters here and there; often it's more romance-with-some-fantasy than anything else it seems).

I could be wrong though, and that my experience is as it is just because of Kobo's recommendations (which is, granted, based on books bought 7-8 years ago, when I started to replace my paper books with e-book versions), and because of the books stocked by Dutch stores these days...

Oh. And with regard to library borrowing... the few times I've been in a library in the last year or two, all of the staff was female, and most of the patrons were female as well. These females were indeed mostly to be found in the YA/fantasy sections (the younger ones), or the romance section (the older ones), and some in the mystery section. It was hard enough to find a guy somewhere, the ones I saw were mostly in fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
I read a lot of fantasy and have noticed that there are a lot of women in the field in recent years. So of that seems to be that urban fantasy is a favorite for the romance crowd. A lot of the YA fantasy tends to be coming of age stories. I can't say that I've noticed the field being mostly women, but then again, I do only read a handful of them and most that I read have been around a while, Tamora Pierce and Mercedes Lackey for example. Hum, when I do a quick check of the YA books that I've bought over the last couple of years, all three of the new authors I tried are women. Interesting.
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:49 AM   #37
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My libraries Cloud library features page has some categories which appear to be mostly female authors (Contemporary Women, Coming of Age) and some which seem to be mostly men (True Crime, Sports) and some which appear to be more mixed (popular this month, Biographies and Antobiographies). 'Lost in the Stacks' seems to be a bit biased towards female authors. [caveat: this is based on a brief scan of the first page of offering for the categories noted, I didn't check all 21 categories)

Oh. And with regard to library borrowing... the few times I've been in a library in the last year or two, all of the staff was female, and most of the patrons were female as well. These females were indeed mostly to be found in the YA/fantasy sections (the younger ones), or the romance section (the older ones), and some in the mystery section. It was hard enough to find a guy somewhere, the ones I saw were mostly in fantasy, science fiction, and horror.
I've rarely seen a male librarian but the few times I've been stuck waiting for the library to open it's been a fairly even spread of male and female patrons waiting outside. (our library opens at 10AM BTW)

As for my reading I've noticed that most of the mystery authors I've read have been by women (mostly golden age mysteries) and most of the humor books I've read are by men (mostly PD) but other genres tend to be more even.

I think that any male/female split in reading is likely a factor of the fact that romance books are devoured by their primary readership (which is overwhelmingly women). As a woman who isn't much of a romance reader, I've noticed that many books I'd classify as romance still end up in my Bookbub and BookGorilla emails under another category.

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Old 09-06-2018, 11:16 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
Anecdotal....
Why? It has no bearing whatsoever on the topic.
Of course it's anecdotal as I'm just one person who hasn't checked every writer currently publishing, but it has everything to do with the topic. I can't but fail to observe, at least in the genres I'm reading (and sometimes, writing in):

- A *HUGE* percentage of writers in NanoWrimo in the Netherlands is female. I was at the kickoff-day last year, and it was 4 women for every male. The forums are positively overrun by females compared to males.
- Most of my recommendations coming from Kobo are by young-ish/ new-ish female writers (and have female protagonists)
- Most of the books I randomly pick out in a B&M bookstore in the fantasy section are written by female authors (and are in the YA category)
- Most people who have no meaningful body of work (either self or trad published) but who are still writing guides and making video's on Youtube about how to write books and get published seem to be (young) females.

To me it gives the distinct impression that fantasy / YA is currently seeing a huge surge of female authors being published, even though there's a lot of complaining that males are still published more often/faster (maybe that's in other genres), and that there are _many_ more females pursuing writing as a hobby than there are males.

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Old 09-06-2018, 01:18 PM   #39
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Sorry, your logic makes no sense to me. I was following you on your first three bullet points (though I'm unclear what NaNoWriMo demographics have to do with the breakdown of female vs male new library listings), but the fourth point is still completely irrelevant. Youtube's entire rai·son d'ê·tre is to give rank amateurs the ability to pretend they have advice to give. Auto-repair to cooking to minecraft-strategy to instrument repair to writing. Who cares?

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and that there are _many_ more females pursuing writing as a hobby than there are males.
Not that I believe this to be true, but my response even if it is, is who cares? And why do you assume anyone (male or female) is pursuing writing as a hobby? What, like latch-hook or quilting? Put a couple of novels on the shelf and show friends and family after dinner?

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Old 09-06-2018, 03:07 PM   #40
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There isn't any logic involved. I'm only trying to point out that it looks like (to me and the OP, at least) as if there are loads and loads of women involved in (hobby/amateur) writing, lots of women being published in fields that were previously male dominated (Fantasy, Sci-Fi), and males seem to have almost vanished in comparison. Probably there will be men around (I'm certain of it), but it looks like some area's of writing have been almost taken over by women.

Believe it or not, but area's where more than 40-50% of people are women, men suddenly disappear. Don't believe me? Find the stats for:

- Teaching
- Nursing
- HRM / administrative work
- Veteranians

All of those professions had a a _maximum_ of 30% women in them around 30-40 years ago. Now 80% or more is female. At least, in the Netherlands.

(small OT about teaching)
Spoiler:
There's even great concern nowadays that boys are doing badly in school because they don't have any male role models anymore. In some countries (Japan, and sometimes in the Netherlands as well), boys don't even HAVE a male teacher before they're 12 years old, in high school. Even then, those male teachers often only teach the exact subjects, such as maths, chemistry, physics, and so on, so if a student chooses a humanities based study, it's completely possible finish high school at 18 without EVER having a male teacher.

See: http://ideas.time.com/2013/10/28/wha...-boys-succeed/
(Also nicknamed: "Boys are treated like defective girls.")

And: http://ideas.time.com/2013/08/19/sch...stile-to-boys/


Therefore I'm somewhat inclined to believe that, if too many women enter a field, men stop caring for it and leave or don't even enter. I'm not saying this is good, bad, logical, or illogical, or stating that it is even true, but at least in some professions, it looks a lot like it.

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Old 09-06-2018, 06:28 PM   #41
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There isn't any logic involved.
Clearly.

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Believe it or not, but area's where more than 40-50% of people are women, men suddenly disappear.
Not. I definitely believe it not. You mean like, "Poof?"

"RUN FOR THE HILLS!! THE WOMEN ARE COMING!! OMG HOW WILL WE MAKE A LIVING NOW?!"

That's too funny (if it wasn't so patently false and sexist).

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Old 09-06-2018, 07:46 PM   #42
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Sorry, your logic makes no sense to me. I was following you on your first three bullet points (though I'm unclear what NaNoWriMo demographics have to do with the breakdown of female vs male new library listings), but the fourth point is still completely irrelevant. Youtube's entire rai·son d'ê·tre is to give rank amateurs the ability to pretend they have advice to give. Auto-repair to cooking to minecraft-strategy to instrument repair to writing. Who cares?


Not that I believe this to be true, but my response even if it is, is who cares? And why do you assume anyone (male or female) is pursuing writing as a hobby? What, like latch-hook or quilting? Put a couple of novels on the shelf and show friends and family after dinner?
That's what mine are here on Mobileread. . . .
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Old 09-06-2018, 10:51 PM   #43
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When did authors have a gender?
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:50 AM   #44
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Authors have a gender?
Heck and I thought gender was so "passe."
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Old 09-07-2018, 08:19 AM   #45
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Device: Kobo Aura One, KoboMini
Looking back at the OP, I think that much of this discussion is missing the forest for the trees. So overdrive/cloud library appears to be pushing more female authors than male? There could be any number of reasons for that, though I suspect that paid promotion or simply responding to what is already being checked out at a high rare are the best bets.

But let's contrast that with publishers and reviewers. Why? Because books that get reviewed are the ones that get nominated for awards, get more press, and, you know, sell copies. If you aren't selling, then it doesn't matter if you are Stephanie Myers turning bad fanfiction into bad mainstream fiction or if you are Haruki Murakami.

VIDA, an advocacy group that compiles statistics on the hard count of the number of male vs. female authors that are reviewed in major publications, has been tracking these trends since 2014.

In 2014, they found:

Quote:
One of the worst culprits was found to be the London Review of Books which featured 527 male authors and critics on their pages in 2014, compared with just 151 women. It also saw a rare drop in reviews of books written by women from the year before, with 14 fewer than in 2013.

The New York Review of Books displayed a similar imbalance, featuring an overall 677 men to 242 women. The New York Times book review featured an overall 909 male contributors and authors, compared with 792 women; The Nation’s male-female split was 469 to 193; and at Harper’s fewer than half the authors reviewed were women.
This hasn't changed much, as their 2017 numbers report:

Quote:
Meanwhile, 5 of these major outlets had women representing between 40% and 49.9% of their total publication: Harper’s (42.1%), The New York Times Book Review (45.9%), The New Republic (42.2%), The Paris Review (42.7%), and Tin House (49.7%).

Unfortunately, the undeniable majority, 8 out of 15 publications, failed to publish enough women writers to make up even 40% of their publication’s run in 2017: Boston Review (37.8%), London Review of Books (26.9%), The New Yorker (39.7%), The Atlantic (36.5%), The Nation (36.5%), The Threepenny Review (32.7%), and The Times Literary Supplement (35.9%).

The New York Review of Books had the most pronounced gender disparity of 2017’s VIDA Count, with only 23.3% of published writers who are women. Previously, the London Review of Books had exhibited the worst gender disparity, at 21.9% in 2016, with comparable numbers in prior years (23% in 2015, 22% in 2014, 21% in 2013). In 2016, The New York Review of Books continued their pattern of apathy toward gender parity, with women as 24.7% of their contributors. They’ve historically exhibited lows of 21% (2015), 26% (2014), and 21% (2013).
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