Over on the Smashwords blog, CEO and founder Mark Coker posted some interesting information about the demographics of the bestselling authors on the site. According to the Smashwords bestseller list, published each month by Publisher’s Weekly, the top twenty-five bestselling titles on Smashwords for the last many months have all been written by women.
All of them.
Coker himself went to the iBooks store and Amazon US to compare their numbers and found the women outnumbered men there as well. Sixty-four percent of the top twenty-five titles in iBooks were written by women, and fifty-six percent of the Amazon bestsellers were written by women.
While Coker can give some explanation on the Smashwords site–romance is the top-selling genre there and the majority of those titles are written by women–that is certainly not the case with iBooks or Amazon. Also, only two-thirds of the top twenty-five books on Smashwords are romance; the remaining titles are historical fiction, fantasy, and mystery, not genres that are fully dominated by female writers, although women do figure highly in those numbers.
Coker himself has no explanation for the clean sweep by female writers, but did have this to say:
“Why are women dominating the Smashwords bestseller lists, other than the fact that these women are all super-awesome writers? One likely factor is that romance is the #1 bestselling genre at Smashwords, and romance is overwhelmingly written by women. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m constantly blown away the smarts, savvy and sophistication of romance authors. These ladies have pioneered many of the ebook publishing and distribution best practices that so many indies take for granted today. But strong romance performance doesn’t fully explain the story.”