Writer/creator Joss Whedon has an epic quote about sexism in the entertainment industry. When asked for the hundredth time why he writes such strong female characters, he simply replied, “Because you’re still asking me that question.”
Like it or not, agree or not, gender inequality is a fact, one that permeates nearly every profession and industry. But coming on the heels of yesterday’s celebration of International Women’s Day, new information has come out from FicShelf about how women’s success roles in publishing are changing, namely in that women outnumber men nearly two-to-one in the number of self-published titles on the bestseller lists. In fact, a new study by FicShelf–with support from the Alliance of Independent Authors and the Society of Authors–that looked at authors’ sales, earnings, and rankings across a wide variety of platforms showed that 67% of top-ranking titles were written by women, compared with just 33% by men.
FicShelf CEO Monique Duarte commented, “The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is ‘Make it Happen,’ and our study proves that self-publishing is making it happen for female writers across the globe. In self-publishing, there is no glass ceiling to smash through – it’s about the individual rather than the usual old boy’s club mentality. It’s not about who you know, but what you can do – and what you can write.
“But there’s still more to be done to support female authors – both traditional and self-published – to achieve the financial rewards and recognition they deserve, and here at FicShelf our whole raison d’être is to help the very best writers to make a living from their talent.”
A release from FicShelf highlighted some of the current disparity in the publishing industry, as the more common situation of male authors receiving more lucrative contracts and greater focus on publicity campaigns for their books has led to men outnumbering women in:
· 80% of titles in the Telegraph’s “100 Novels Everyone Should Read”
· 85% of The Guardian’s “100 Greatest Novels of all Time”
· 70% of The Telegraph’s “The Best Books of 2014”
This information carries an interesting juxtaposition to the fact that women buy 68% of all books sold.
Mercy Pilkington is a Senior Editor for Good e-Reader. She is also the CEO and founder of a hybrid publishing and consulting company.