Sunday, August 22, 2010

Writing in a "Man's Genre"

With only a few exceptions, guy authors rule the roost when it comes to thrillers.

I know that I was encouraged to adopt initials rather than use a clearly feminine name on the front cover.

What is that about?

The sad fact is thought that guys, for the most part, will only read books by guys. Weird, right?

I mean, clearly this must be some kind of primordial/reptilian brain type thing because it certainly doesn't seem that any rationale and let's be clear, well-read man, who stands at the bookshelf and consciously think... Oh, that's is written by a woman... the lesser sex, clearly it will not be a good read.

Yet, that is exactly what happens in the marketplace.

What I find weird is, shouldn't guys find reading about death and sex written by a woman titillating? Shouldn't their reptilian brain go - chick= good?

Alas, that is not how it goes.

And above all else I am a realist.

While I choose to use my feminine name, that doesn't mean I can't put a set of sexy eyes on the cover. When creating my cover I looked at a lot of pictures and many were far more "Plain Jane," than the ones I choose.

Why? Um, I've got to have something to entice that reptilian brain :-)

How is it working? Well, my readership appears to be about 50/50 so either the male thriller reader has become more evolved and will to read a female (unknown) writer or the sexy eyes are doing their job :-)

If you would like to read 50 pages for free of Plain Jane click here & here's a 50% off coupon code in case you want to read the entire thing: RH88E


  1. To be honest, I've never thought much about the author of a book, so long as their story is engrossing. But off the top of my head, I can't think of any female authors I've read recently. I'm more of a 'read by referral' type, so it could be my sources are slightly biased.

  2. That's an interesting concept you've put forth there. I read the book cover first, and then the name, but then I'm a woman. Of substance. Looking for the substantial. LOL And you're right, you should have the CHOICE of whether you want to use your name or your initials.

  3. Interesting discussion. This is an important issue. I'm a female author, an avid thriller reader, amongst other genres, and the gender of an author has never made any difference to me. All I care about is whether the story grabs me, I don't care if it was written by an alien (yes, I'm talking about you Pitticus Lore!). I don't think I've once thought about it when buying a book, but you you have a point, the thriller genre is dominated by male authors. This issue is also why J.K. Rowling used her initials, so as not to alienate/lose out on the boy readers.

    It's important that female thriller writers are taken seriously and have as wide a readership as possible, otherwise readers will just miss out on great books. Maybe there is also an underlying assumption that women will write books more heavy on romance & feelings, and that therefore the thrillers will be too soft, I don't know. If so, then it's import to dispel those myths.

    This is a genre I am planning on moving into with a couple of upcoming novels I have in development (one will be actually be a horror/thriller), so I also want a level playing field. I do believe that things will change as long as us gals get good exposure/word out mouth for our books. It may be uphill for awhile, but it will change.

    So, I say it's great that you chose to use your feminine name! Fortune favors the bold!


  4. Hi Cristyn,

    I've ordered my copy of Plain Jane. Looking forward to reading it!