Women read more than men. But looking at statistics, it’s easy to think that book critics don’t know this fact, or simply don’t care. Male authors are by far more reviewed and featured in major literary publications.
But things have changed over the years, and independent non-profit organizations such as VIDA have tried to establish gender parity in literary magazines. Despite modest improvements (particularly between 2010 and 2015), the number of featured female writers remains smaller than that of their gender counterparts.
So why do you need to get published now, especially in an industry that seems to favor male authors?
Here are three good reasons:
1. There’s a Ready Audience
A 2014 survey found that women generally prefer to read articles and literary works penned by female writers.
This is especially true for publications that cover women’s affairs. Although male writers may still cover these, they can never truly understand and relate to the gender-specific issues facing women, and that’s one of the main reasons women prefer female authors.
This means new female writers looking to break into the field already have the advantage of gender preference. And with women generally consuming more written content than men, the odds couldn’t be better.
Nonetheless, you’ll still need to produce quality content and be authoritative in your niche to amass a significant following.
2. The Scales Need Tipping
One glance at the literary canon and the gender imbalance in the writing industry becomes apparent. While women authors seem to be catching up in the fiction and romance category, it’s unsettling to scroll down The New York Times Best Seller nonfiction list and see just a few female writers.
This gender inequality is one of the main reasons the industry needs more women writers, now. If not tipping the scales, having more women in the industry will pave way for the next generation of female writers.
Young girls looking to become great writers in the future need someone to look up to, and you can set the stage for them by getting published.
3. Other Women Have Done It and Succeeded
Amazon’s 2019 bestsellers list shows that women writers are taking the fight to their gender counterparts, and it proving to be successful.
Published in the U.K. for the first time in 2019, the charts show that the former first lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” was the most read non-fiction title in 2019. It has been a popular read since it was published in 2018, and it seems her book tour in the U.K. created a real buzz in the region.
In the fiction category, J.K Rowling’s fifth entry in her series of the seven Harry Potter books, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, remains a fan-favorite despite being on the market since 2003. It tops the charts for the most read fiction title in the U.K. Rowling also bagged the fourth position with “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”.
Food bloggers Pinch of Nom also featured as best sellers with their hit recipe book – 100 Slimming, Home-Style Recipes – outselling some of the best offerings from male authors.
These are just a few of the many female writers who have succeeded in their respective niches. There are thousands of other successful women writers out there, and it goes to show that you too can make in an industry known to favor male writers.
Getting Started as a Female Writer
Whether you’re looking to write a book or start a blog, the first thing you need to do is believe you have what it takes to succeed. That confidence will reflect in your work and it’ll be one of the things that’ll make you an authoritative figure in your niche.
With that out of the way, you can start thinking of ways to become a better writer. Reading books—preferably by female writers— is one of the simplest ways you can do that. In addition to inspiring you, it’ll show you how other women in your niche play around with words to articulate complex concepts and tell compelling stories.
To help you with that, we’ve compiled a list of books you should read to become a better writer. Be sure to check them out.