There have been a lot of interesting articles about women in publishing lately.
According to Publisher’s Weekly, “women represented 74% of the publishing workforce in both 2015 and 2016.” However, there’s a wage gap between men and women in the industry. In response, a number of women have started their own businesses. The article offers a lot more information, including how the industry affects women authors, diversity issues, and advice for climbing the corporate ladder.
There are efforts to close the gender gap in literature. According to Forward, there’s a new annual £1000 prize, called the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. It will award “the best eligible work of fiction, poetry, literary non-fiction or work of fiction for children or young adults written by a woman and translated into English by a female or male translator.”
As an interesting example, one Ohio bookstore, Loganberry Books, went through their 10,000 books and turned every book written by a male author backward on the shelf, to celebrate Women’s History Month, according to IWF.
Romance novels, however, have mostly women writers. And in some cases, those writers are earning a lot of money. One example is indie author H.M. Ward, who, according to QZ, has made eight figures.
Quartz shared data from a book where “data journalist Ben Blatt uses statistics to analyze literature, testing large sets of classic literature, modern bestsellers, and contemporary literary fiction for common questions and assumptions.” He figured out, based on 50 books written by men and 50 books written by women, which words indicated male and female authors in classic literature, and came up with an interesting list. Some examples include women using the words “pillows,” “curls,” and “sheets,” and men using the words “rear,” “enemy,” and “public.” He also found that “male authors were far more likely to include virtually no mentions of “she,” than the reverse.” (Although it is important to remember that he was working with a small sample.)
Last, just for fun (and not totally publishing-related), I recently heard about http://findingada.com. Suw Charman-Anderson founded Ada Lovelace Day in 2009, and every year it celebrates “the achievements of women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).” The next one is October 10, and you can get tickets now (the event is in the UK)!
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2017.