Selling Books: What Husbands Permit

Twice women told me yesterday at the Black Fly Flea Market in Speculator, New York (located in the Adirondack Mountains) that their husbands would shoot them if they came home with another book.

Of course, that was probably just a polite way of telling me they weren’t going to buy one of my novels, but I thought it was an interesting reflection on something I’ve noticed at these events, which is that woman are more likely to be book buyers than men. I was surprised when one woman said she didn’t have time to read books. I guess she’s the exception that proves the rule.

I did sell copies of both of my novels to one man, but all of the rest of the sales were to women. Well, one nice husband bought one for his wife.

A female author I spoke with at the Gaithersburg Festival of Books a couple of Saturdays ago re-enforced the fact that women read and buy more books than men. She said a hot subject area for fiction these days is World War One and that publishers want stories with romance — even if it’s a murder mystery.

The other hot area is female erotica. I’d be naive if I didn’t think the popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey would influence what publishers look for in the near term. So, if you have one in your desk drawer that you were too embarrassed to try to sell, now’s the time to get it out. Just change the time period to World War I and wait for the royalty checks to start arriving.

Now if we could only convince more men to read….


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