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F. P. Dorchak

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Picking at Scabs
6/30/2007 2:08:19 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

In the June 11th issue of Publishers Weekly, I read Sara Nelson’s column, titled “A Delicate Imbalance,” about (in her words) “What do women want?” She discussed a survey performed by contentconnections (see link, below), called the Women and Books 2007 Survey. The first thing that came to mind as I read this was, here we go again, another splinter being shoved into male-female gender issues. Then, as I continued to read, I thought: why was this survey even needed? Aren’t women the largest book buying segment of the public? Aren’t many agents and editors women? If THEY don’t know what they want, how is some survey gonna ever help them? Shouldn’t said survey have centered about men and their habits--why they aren’t moving as much product from shelves as are women? In fact--riddle me this, BatGirl--I’d be real curious to know, way back when, when men were more in control of the publishing industry, what were the male/female buying habits like then?

Then I dropped my eyes down to the called-out line in article: “Women buy the books. Why don’t they write more?”

Will, that about set me off the deep end.

Why don’t they write MORE?

Now, I may not be an expert, and I did try to research this some over the Internet and through my fellow writer loops, but no one had any stats for me on just how many women writers there are, but from my experience, and from those with whom I interact, most every writer I personally know, or ever meet--is a WOMAN.

And more power to them--to ANYONE--who can publish a novel!

But, in my ever-so-humble experience, all I see around me are a SEA of women getting THEIR manuscripts published. Sure, there are a handful of dudes, but for the most part, where I live and breathe, with those writers and their worlds in which I participate, it’s WOMEN I see getting published. Now, I haven’t ticked off all their books in PW’s (or anyone else’s) reviews--for one thing, I’m not even sure how representative of the total book population those reviews really relate--but I could probably make a pretty good bet there’d be a good deal of anima therein.

WHY DON’T THEY WRITE MORE?!

Sarah Nelson went on to say that women don’t seem to get the serious stuff published as often as men, i.e., as in publishing nonfiction (which implies many women therefore publish fiction, which also seems to be borne out in my experience). Maybe, as is also so often touted, women being the smarter sex and all (which could also explain why I see more of them getting published than, say, ME), they’re smart enough to not want to write serious stuff. Maybe...women just wanna have fun. Maybe they’re leaving all the serious stuff for guys to tackle, and they’ll just have fun making stuff up (not going there...). Would that be such a bad thing?

But, geez, Sara, you get an inch you want a friggin MILE?

Who cares WHAT they write, isn’t it good enough that anyone (call them men, women, aliens, whatever) write at all? Why does there always have to be some push for whatever faction is the concern d’jour (race or sex or social status) that whatever it is “they” are doing, it ain’t enough? Why can’t we just be pleased that “something” is already going on, and going on well (at least in my humble opinion)? Why not focus (in this case) on the real problem: MEN and their lack of book buying...or the insane glut of books, some of which just aren’t all that good? That whole survey (available at the link below) seemed a lame duck, preaching-to-the-converted effort, as I looked it over. I grow so weary of the constant bickering about some form of “man v. woman” issue. We all know we’re different--and the same. One set of us do things one way, like to read certain things, while the other set does things differently and read different material. But everyone wants some form of a good read. Does one instance have to be wrong and the other right? Do we have to constantly try to figure out WHY this is? We know differences exists, so why not just publish those things that each faction likes to read?

Am I just too naïve in proposing this? Isn’t it what we’re already doing?

And what if men aren’t buying as many books because what is being published is based upon the PURCHASES of women who might not ordinarily purchase something they (a guy) would really like to read, and which, resultantly, would cause said guy to not go into a bookstore, because all he knows is what his girl brings him? I’ve read this isn’t supposed to be the case, but to me, that would provide for a far more interesting and useful survey.

This contentconnections survey also presented such gems as word-of-mouth being the big seller of books among women over reviews and other standard marketing ploys. Now...how far of a reach is that? This from the sex that PRIDES ITSELF on being the Master of all-things Interpersonal?

Another Huge Discovery from this survey: that many women are also interested in, not only writing, but (hold your breadth)--the PUBLISHING process!

My heart be still.

This coming from the main constituents of the book-buying public?! The ones who BUY books. Want to and WRITE (just not serious) books?!

Do I really need to hammer home the connection?

And, finally, one other line of Sara Nelson’s really got me, even caused me to laugh. She asks: “...if women have so much to say, they so rarely say it.”

Oh, Sara, you TEASE!

I typically enjoy and look forward to Sara Nelson’s editorials, but this editorial just hit one of my pet peeves. I don’t like anything that constantly picks at the differences in people or the Human Race, like a sore’s scab. My momma and daddy always told me not to keep picking at scabs cause they’d never heal. Nothing’d get better. We need to play nice with each other. Quit pointing out our differences and pull together. If you keep focusing on differences, you never focus on how well we compliment each other. All the good we do. How well we go together. If you keep focusing on the differences--and that goes for anything--we’ll never grow as a individuals, or as a [Human] Race.

DISCLAIMER: I know Sara had a healthy curiosity about her subject, it’s her job, and I admit to taking her to task to illustrate a point. In this instance, the publishing industry DOES know what women want, because they’re out there BUYING it, and in huge numbers. I personally saw contentconnections’ survey as inherently flawed and a waste of effort. The real issue is that publishing doesn’t seem to know how to better draw in the MALE audience, and that is what I’m getting at in my most circumlocutionary way: the survey should have tackled THAT.

FPD

http://www.contentconnections.com/


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More Blogs by F. P. Dorchak
• My Blog Has Moved.... - Sunday, August 23, 2009
• Skeptic, Debunker, or Open-minded? - Saturday, August 15, 2009
• Julie & Julia - A Reduction - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• So, Just What Is It About... - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Past Life - Sunday, August 02, 2009
• Interview With a Non-Vampire, by Wendy Burt-Thomas - Thursday, July 30, 2009
• Twisting In The Wind - Writing Outside The Box - Wednesday, July 29, 2009
• Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock - Part II - Sunday, July 26, 2009
• Tick, Tick, Tick, Tock.... - Friday, July 24, 2009
• The Need For Sleep--Overrated? - Monday, July 13, 2009
• 2009 Roswell UFO Festival - Sunday, June 28, 2009
• Guerilla Drive-Ins! - Monday, June 15, 2009
• Soul Survivor - Wednesday, June 10, 2009
• Inside The Writer’s Mind - Tuesday, June 09, 2009
• The Wrestler - Saturday, May 30, 2009
• Rob Butts: A Retrospect - Friday, May 29, 2009
• Think Good Thoughts? - Friday, May 22, 2009
• The Case For Reincarnation - Friday, May 08, 2009
• Pikes Peak Writers Conference 2009 - Outstanding! - Tuesday, April 28, 2009
• Exopolitics--We Are Not Alone? - Tuesday, April 21, 2009
• Upcoming Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) 2009! - Friday, April 17, 2009
• The Last Man On The Moon - A Review - Friday, March 27, 2009
• Jeff Peckman and the Metaphysical Aspects of UFOs - Saturday, March 14, 2009
• Antigravity, Subquantum Kinetics, UFOs, and the New World Order - Thursday, February 26, 2009
• Says it all.... - Tuesday, January 13, 2009
• Marley & Me - Saturday, January 10, 2009
• The Day The Earth Stood Still - Tuesday, December 23, 2008
• If We Live Again.... - Saturday, December 20, 2008
• I Found an Agent! - Saturday, December 06, 2008
• Happy Hallowe’en! - Friday, October 31, 2008
• The Roswell Legacy - Jesse Marcel, Jr., MD - Monday, October 20, 2008
• Code Enforcer—The Movie - Tuesday, October 14, 2008
• Nervous Energy and Superpowers! - Friday, October 10, 2008
• Rustling Leaves, Whispering Souls, and Gardens of Stone - Friday, October 03, 2008
• Revisiting Old Ghosts - Wednesday, October 01, 2008
• Commercial V. Literary -- Taking The Zen Approach - Saturday, August 09, 2008
• More Talk Of Extraterrestrial Cover-ups - Friday, July 25, 2008
• Larry King - Are Aliens Watching Us...? - Saturday, July 19, 2008
• William Shatner - Up Till Now Autobiography - Sunday, July 13, 2008
• Penmen! Laugh at their Surreal Ingenuity! - Friday, July 04, 2008
• Roswell - 61 Years Ago and Counting.... - Wednesday, July 02, 2008
• 61st Anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold 1947 “Saucer” Sightings - Tuesday, June 24, 2008
• Cells Phones Tracked in the Name Of Science - Wednesday, June 04, 2008
• In Memoriam: Robert F. Butts, Passed Away at 88 - Sunday, June 01, 2008
• Some People’s Kids - Alien or Otherwise - Fake Romanek YouTube Alien Video - Saturday, May 31, 2008
• Excuse Me, There’s and Alien At My Window - The Romanek/Peckman Alien Video - Friday, May 30, 2008
• Jeff Peckman and Extraterrestrial Proof Tomorrow - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• New Twilight Zone Graphic Novels! - Saturday, May 24, 2008
• The Black Hole Blues*! - Thursday, May 22, 2008
• United Kingdom Releasing UFO Files To Public - Saturday, May 17, 2008
• Vatican Validating Extraterrestrials?! - Wednesday, May 14, 2008
• Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission, Part Deux - Friday, May 09, 2008
• The Supernatural and All Things Weird - Tuesday, May 06, 2008
• A Denver Extraterrestrial Affairs Commission - Saturday, May 03, 2008
• Pikes Peak Writers Conference (PPWC) 2008 - Monday, April 28, 2008
• The World's Greatest Writer! - Saturday, March 08, 2008
• The Brief History of the Dead - Sunday, February 17, 2008
• In Memoriam - Rod Serling - Sunday, December 30, 2007
• The Meaning of Christmas? - Friday, December 21, 2007
• Tell It Like It Is - Harlan Ellison - Saturday, December 08, 2007
• Ice and Death - R.M.S. Titanic - Sunday, November 25, 2007
• The Amazing and Mysterious Blue Cloud - Saturday, November 17, 2007
• Amazon Novel Contest and UFOs - Tuesday, November 13, 2007
• The Disclosure Project: UFO Press Release Monday - Saturday, November 10, 2007
• Think Differently - Friday, November 09, 2007
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• Sleepwalkers MotionTomes(TM) Podcast! - Tuesday, October 30, 2007
• Do You Believe? - Sunday, October 28, 2007
• Cool Hallowe’en Links! - Saturday, October 27, 2007
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• Age Old Issues - Saturday, October 20, 2007
• Reverse Engineering Aliens - Sunday, October 14, 2007
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• Amazon.com Contest! - Wednesday, October 03, 2007
• The Art of Killing - Sunday, September 30, 2007
• Crime And Punishment - Alcatraz - Saturday, September 29, 2007
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• Church and Steak - Saturday, September 01, 2007
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• Here’s A Thought - Wednesday, August 22, 2007
• Walk Like An Egyptian.... - Thursday, August 16, 2007
• Same Old Story - Sunday, August 05, 2007
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• Let’s Get Paranormal! - Saturday, July 28, 2007
• Movie Night! - Friday, July 20, 2007
• Night of the Living Dead [Genre] - Saturday, July 14, 2007
• UFOs and Larry King Live! - Friday, July 13, 2007
• Roswell - Sunday, July 08, 2007
•  Picking at Scabs - Saturday, June 30, 2007  
• Hamstrung - Friday, June 29, 2007
• Circular File - Monday, June 25, 2007
• Can I Take Your Pulse? - Friday, June 15, 2007
• Write and Wrong - Part II - Tuesday, June 12, 2007
• Write And Wrong - Part I - Sunday, June 10, 2007
• For Whom The Bell Tolls - Friday, June 01, 2007
• It’s All In My Head - Friday, May 25, 2007
• The Sky Is Falling! - Saturday, May 19, 2007
• Responsibility - Tuesday, May 15, 2007
• Sloggin On! - Friday, May 11, 2007
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• Wind Instruments at PPWC 2007. - Saturday, April 28, 2007
• Writers, and Agents, and Editors, Oh My! - Saturday, April 14, 2007
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• Medium - Saturday, March 31, 2007
• Computer Issues! - Saturday, March 24, 2007
• Been Remiss--Apologies - Sunday, March 18, 2007


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