Sunday, February 10, 2013

Is the Publishing Industry Biased against Male Writers? Part II

Recently, I wrote a blog discussing my unscientific research into the publishing industry's attitude toward female vs. male authors. To summarize, it helps to be female if you hope to be published.

Even more recently, I've been researching the mystery genre and all it's various sub-genres. I find I like them all - in varying degrees. I even have an idea for a cozy series. Excited, I spent a Saturday doing research at Barnes & Noble. I found (horror-themed sound track here) no cozies written by men on B&N's shelves.

Okay, I thought, I would do some more research and Googled "Do men write cozy mysteries".

(Answer: yes they do, but the number is limited.)

However, of all the results I sorted through to find that answer, this one troubled me the most. Not because of the blogger's post, but the many comments.

 "I read very few men authors."
"I don’t read a lot of male cozy authors ..."
"I prefer mysteries by women ..."
"I have always gravitated to female writers ..."

SIGH! What's a fella to do? As if the publishing industry weren't already against us, it appears some readers are too.

I'll step out on a limb to say if the words men/male/women/female had been changed to women/female/men/male instead there would have been an uproar claiming discrimination.

(I'll step off the limb now ... with a noose firmly around my neck.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Sad News

According to this article, Barnes & Noble, one of the last physical bookstores, had a poor Christmas and will start closing stores soon. As both a reader and writer, this is depressing news.

Reader - Yes, I have bought books from Amazon, but I buy more at B&N. Why? Because I can wander the aisles, sampling books until I find new authors to enjoy. As much as it might try, Amazon will never be able to match that sense of discovery. Online, you have to intentionally search for a book. Browsing just doesn't work well.  

Writer - Every aspiring author I know hungers for their first book signing. The chance to autograph the end-product of years of dreams and hopes. eBooks - kinda hard to sign. If there are no bookstores, where will signings be held? At restaurants? In parking lots? Autograph parties in the author's home? It's doubtful a lot of 'potential' readers will just happen to attend those (vs. passersby in bookstores).

I was depressed when Borders closed. I'm just as depressed that Barnes & Noble might be on the way out. It's sad, sad news indeed.

And I still don't like eReaders.