Blogs by F. P. Dorchak
Picking at Scabs
6/30/2007 2:08:19 PM
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.
Post a Comment new!
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
Dreams and...Reality? - Saturday, November 03, 2007
Sleepwalkers MotionTomes(TM) Podcast! - Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Do You Believe? - Sunday, October 28, 2007
Cool Hallowe’en Links! - Saturday, October 27, 2007
Face Your Fears! - Friday, October 26, 2007
Who's Afraid of a Couple Ghosties.... - Thursday, October 25, 2007
Age Old Issues - Saturday, October 20, 2007
Reverse Engineering Aliens - Sunday, October 14, 2007
Seeing The Light! - Saturday, October 06, 2007
Amazon.com Contest! - Wednesday, October 03, 2007
The Art of Killing - Sunday, September 30, 2007
Crime And Punishment - Alcatraz - Saturday, September 29, 2007
Pay Per View - Sunday, September 02, 2007
Church and Steak - Saturday, September 01, 2007
China Bans Reincarnation! - Friday, August 31, 2007
Culture of Fear?! - Friday, August 24, 2007
Here’s A Thought - Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Walk Like An Egyptian.... - Thursday, August 16, 2007
Same Old Story - Sunday, August 05, 2007
Decrypting The Paranormal - Friday, August 03, 2007
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
You Want It You Got It - Tuesday, May 08, 2007
THERE’S No Need To Fear.... - Friday, May 04, 2007
Wind Instruments at PPWC 2007. - Saturday, April 28, 2007
Writers, and Agents, and Editors, Oh My! - Saturday, April 14, 2007
Let’s Get Real! - Saturday, April 07, 2007
Medium - Saturday, March 31, 2007
Computer Issues! - Saturday, March 24, 2007
Been Remiss--Apologies - Sunday, March 18, 2007