A study by FicShelf revealed that the proportion of self-published best-sellers written by women is more than twice as large as that in traditional publishing. The study looked at the most popular titles across the top self-publishing platforms (Blurb, CreateSpace, Smashwords and Wattpad) and found that 67 percent of the top ranking titles were written by women, compared to the top 100 traditionally published titles on Amazon, 61 percent of which were written by men.
Nielsen BookScan found that 18m self-published books were bought by UK readers in 2013.
The article notes that curated lists such as its own 100 Greatest Novels of All Time, and the Telegraph’s Best Books of 2014 are dominated by male authors.
Quoted in the Guardian piece is author Roz Morris, who says that the scale of the discrepancy shows that women authors aren’t being treated equally in traditional publishing, and that the figures found in the FicShelf survey show a “huge vote of confidence for the writer in charge of their artistic destiny”.
Monique Duarte, chief executive of FicShelf, added that in self-publishing, there was no glass ceiling to smash through, and that it was about what you can do and what you can write.