Thursday, October 13, 2016

Women vs. Men in YA Fiction

Today I want to talk about a topic that I've been thinking about a lot for the last few months. A while back there were a lot of posts floating around the interwebs discussing the discrepancies between men and women authors in the young adult world. I saw people talking about how men have better representation, more best sellers, etc. and found it really curious. If this is true, how does this translate to the books we read? Do people actually read more male than female authors in YA? 

You're walking through your local bookstore and approach the young adult section. There are a couple endcaps or tables full of popular YA books. They probably look something like this:

If you're familiar with YA authors, you'll recognize that the majority of the books on this table are written by women, with a few male authors sprinkled in. Whether you're looking through the books on the endcap at B&N, browsing interviews on Goodreads, or checking out the Time top 100 teen books of all time, this seems to be the way things play out.

To gain a little more insight, I decided to take to Twitter to see what YA readers tend to read more and the results were overwhelmingly on the side of female authors.

Okay, sure, there were only 34 votes. But this was the result I expected to see based on the readers I interact with regularly. 

To round out my super scientific investigation I headed over to the NYT bestseller list to see what the last couple months looked like. Last week, 9 out of 10 bestsellers in the YA hardcover category were by women authors. In the two weeks before that, all 10 were by women! At least in the YA hardcover category, women clearly dominate. 

So now I'm curious. Do men really get better representation in YA? Do they generally get paid more? Either way, though, it definitely seems like more women authors become insanely popular, hanging out on the bestseller lists (and in the fandoms' hearts) for basically ever.

Are there more men or women on your bookshelves?
(My answer: There are 11 men represented between my four bookshelves.)
Let me know in the comments!