Monday, March 9, 2015

Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Women Authors Predominate in Self-Publishing

A recent survey conducted by FicShelf found that while men still dominate the traditional book industry, among self-published writers women are publishing and selling more.

FicShelf found that 67% of top-ranking titles were written by women on platforms such as Blurb, Wattpad, CreateSpace and Smashwords. Compare that figure to the top 100 traditionally published titles on Amazon, 61% of which are written by men.

When FicShelf focused on novels, the results were even more skewed: of 134 fiction titles, 109, or 81%, were by women, 11 were by men, and 14 were unknown.

“The scale of the discrepancy shows that women writers aren’t being treated equally in traditional publishing,” said the author Roz Morris. “We’re usually pigeonholed into obviously feminine genres such as chick-lit and romance, but not generally allowed to be complex artistes, to write the unusual books that break new ground. These figures show a huge vote of confidence for the writer in charge of their artistic destiny – and indicate that the literary world should take more notice of what women writers are publishing.”


Self-publishing lets women break book industry's glass ceiling, survey finds

The Guardian, March 6, 2015

If a woman writing fiction needs “money and a room of her own”, as Virginia Woolf suggested, writers at the beginning of the 21st century should perhaps insist the room comes with an internet connection, after a new study has found that the proportion of self-published bestsellers written by women is almost twice as large as in traditional publishing.

The DIY sector of the books market is currently booming, both in terms of numbers of books created, and numbers bought. In 2013, Nielsen Book found that 18m self-published books were purchased by UK readers, up 79% on 2012, while according to Bowker, there were over 458,000 titles self-published in the US in 2013, up 17% on 2012 and 437% on 2008.

Read the rest of this enlightening article HERE.


  1. One thing I've noted was all the support I've received from the female writing community-virtual strangers who have given kind words and guidance. Had I not had this - I might not have sent my second book off to be published and my first book, from a virtual "no one" would not have made the inside pages of Kirkus Reviews Magazine. Thank you all of you, especially friend and author Viga Boland.
    LB Johnson - Author of The Book of Barkley

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  3. Can someone actually link me to this FicShelf study.... I've seen it quoted a dozen different places, but not one of those places links to the actual study.... An a quick search of FicShelf shows that the websites is at best a shell site, connected to a facebook: so where exactly is this study?

  4. I wish I could help you Matthew. But among the half dozen or so articles referencing the study, not one has included a link to the study itself.


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