1. Tim3232
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    Tim3232 Active Member

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    Are there enough men in the publishing industry?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Tim3232, Jun 25, 2015.

    Without counting (but from browsing thru’ agency sites recently), I’m guessing that the majority of literary agents are female. Then I look at this pitch to publication competition and the 22 editors involved are all female. With a little searching I find an article from 15 years ago that says 85% of publishing employees with less than 3 years’ experience were female at the time (and I know that concentrated on the lower paid). At a quick look at authors signed up to the Crime Writers Association, there wasn’t a big difference in numbers between sexes. But I have to wonder if the higher number females in publishing has an effect on what gets through to market.

    A higher number of the 22 editors in the pitch to publication seem to prefer YA and/or a love interest within a story – that reduces my chances.
     
  2. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not sure what the proportions of women to men are in the industry - I suspect it would very quite a bit by genre specialization, and also by placement in the company (ie. lots of junior women, more men at senior positions) but this is just based on impressions, not any actual numbers.

    That said, if there IS a preponderance of women in publishing, I'm not sure it's having any effect on the authors being published. I just checked the NYT bestseller list and found a perfect 10/10 split in the current top 20 list. http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/combined-print-and-e-book-fiction/list.html

    So it seems like men are still managing to get their books published.
     
  3. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I don't know if this question bears any relevance to anything. Who cares? If I found out bridges in America were being built mostly by women, I wouldn't care; just as long as the damn bridge was there for me to drive over it. And if I felt more men instead should be building those bridges instead of women, then I would expect the men to do something about it. But I don't hear anyone complaining. As long as the bridge is there and as long as the people who helped build it are happy, then I don't think it matters.
     
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  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    There also seems to be a much higher proportion of women who want to be writers compared to a higher proportion of men that want to make films.

    Interesting.
     
  5. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think it would matter if it affected what's getting published, or the chances of getting published, or something like that. I want diverse books to exist, so if the population of the industry makes that less likely, I think it would be good to recognize the issue.

    In this case, I'm not sure the imbalance exists AND I don't think there's an effect on what's getting published, so I'm not too concerned. But in theory, I can see myself caring about it.
     
  6. BayView
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    BayView Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have numbers to back that, or just a feeling?
     
  7. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Neither. Observation.
     
  8. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  9. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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  10. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    When Mad Men came out it was so sexist people thought it must have been written by men. But they found out that the majority of it was written by women. I don't think gender has anything to do with the quality or the diverseness of the products that are being made today. Maybe women just care more about these intellectual things like books more than men because it's more socially accepting of them to be in today's world. Fifty years ago the majority of stuff was being done by men and no one was complaining. Now things are suddenly being done more by women, and things are now better than ever artistically, and suddenly there's a problem? I don't see it.
     
  11. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    Luckily for me my books are skewed more towards women anyway.
     
  12. Hubardo
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    Hubardo Contributing Member Contributor

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    :confused:
     
  13. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    In publishing?

    Even if I'm wrong I don't see the point to this discussion. Saying there is one, I feel, is saying one gender is more inferior than the other. No one's stopping men from joining into the publishing industry. Just like no one's stopping women from doing construction. The market will demand as much as it can bear. Maybe women are just more interested in these things like books because they have to stay home and watch their kids. I don't know but I don't see it as a bad thing that they're taking up most of the publishing industry. Maybe it's a good thing; it sure seems that way.
     
  14. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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    And yet here you are, discussing it.

    Seems legit.
     
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  15. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I just have to quibble: Mad Men wasn't sexist. Mad Men was populated by sexist characters, to a large degree, IMO, to comment on sexism. I'm not saying that you disagree with this, but I felt the need to comment.
     
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  16. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    What do you mean by this? Books, movies, music, art? What exactly is better today?
     
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  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    More material available, more and better scholarship and editorial decisions made in the production of books - you need only look at the most recent publication of Robert Frost's letters to see that, and the focus is starting to shift back to writers instead of sure-money series I guess.
     
  18. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    I guess it comes down to money, how artists are perceived, and that now they can reach a larger audience.

    Yes, I mean all types of art.

    I'm not saying it's great but I do think it's better. I wouldn't say artists are being compensated for the exact value of their work that they're worth (that's just capitalism) but I would say that artists have more mediums than they did before to channel their art through for sale or use and to be seen; mostly tv, movies, and the internet. Any artist of worthy quality who isn't being compensated in either recognition or money can't blame someone else for their work not being seen in the way they want because there are so many ways and opportunities to do it and because so much competition is created from this only the best stand out and "win." This is how things are better artistically now than ever. The art we're seeing now could be from some genius in Kentucky who fifty years ago their work probably could never be seen because there wasn't the internet and so many movies and tv shows to advertise and show his work from. So he just would have died not being recognized for his work because he lived in the wrong place at the wrong time. But now someone like him doesn't have an excuse like that and we can find these geniuses from out of no where and give them the recognition they deserve that fifty years ago they couldn't and when only the people who lived in Los Angeles and New York could get credit. The top 1% of 1% of artists is more seen today than it has ever before and that is at least true for every generation.
     
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  19. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    More is not better. Diluting each medium with too much in too many ways harms the industry. Just look at digital books. It's harder to get discovered there because there is too much to choose from. Forcing artists to become marketing experts is ludicrous. bad artists are succeeding against good ones because the bad ones are better at manipulating technology for marketing. It's too commercial. It's who is better at using the net, not who is better at creation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
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  20. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    The more you let through, the more chaff you get in the wheat.
     
  21. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    Charles Darwin.

    Those people and works of art will be here now but they won't last.
     
  22. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I would say the art world is probably in a worse state than ever. Selbin makes the case for books. But look at artists in the music industry, they get virtually nothing from spotify, but they are forced to use it, because the alternative is illegal downloads. There's no independent music artists anymore, just Taylor swifts and one directions. The movie industry is in so much trouble, with endless remakes and generic blockbusters that any talent has moved into TV. And that's not saying much as last years biggest selling box set in the UK at Christmas was Mrs browns boys. Is there even an art movement at the moment? I can't remember a recent scene that stood out after Damien hirst et Al. Yes you can get hold of a lot of 'art' but it is watered down so much, that the book that is breaking all sales records today is a rewrite of a badly written book, the title of which is as bland as all art today.
     
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  23. No-Name Slob
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    No, there's not. They're super oppressed.

    :p
     
  24. drifter265
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    drifter265 Banned

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    You're using one example of just one section of the industry. And those aren't even things you looked for but probably just saw passing through while you were doing completely something else. Good art has to be found not thrown in your face.

    If I called myself an art connoisseur but only liked Da Vinci and Picasso I would be called a sham and a phony. Of course I'm going to like those paintings. Everyone knows them. They're the Taylor Swift and One Direction of our day. But if I was a true art connoisseur I would know so much more paintings and artists and I would list paintings that I liked that you had never even heard of and I would be able to find new artists and paintings that I liked just by looking on the internet.

    All these books and music that you're listing that are watered down and trash are panned by actual critics so no one is denying what you're saying. But those are the ones that are most advertised and seen because they are trying to reach an audience who they know will like it (kids) and since kids don't actively look for the art that they like (like adults should), advertising extensively like in radio and tv is there only way to do it.

    It is not up to the media (except if you're a kid) to show you what good art is. You have to find it and it's out there. Quit blaming the industry. They're just trying to make money. Don't define your standards by what they think is good art. The good art is out there. Look for it. The internet is here. You have no excuse and that kid in Kentucky is waiting for you to look them up.

    To answer the question straight, no, there is not enough men. But what are you going to do about it? Beg them? Say it's not fair?
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  25. Aaron DC
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    Aaron DC Contributing Member

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