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Women in the Horror Small Press 2010

After seeing one publisher's list of forthcoming 2011 titles - which was completely barren of any female names - it occurred to me to wonder how women did overall in the horror small press in 2010. I decided to assemble my own small study, and present the results herewith...

I opted to look at six of the most popular and prolific small horror presses (because, frankly, I'm not going to spend more than an hour on this): Bad Moon Books, Bloodletting Press, Cemetery Dance, Chizine, Delirium, and PS Publishing. I noted the total number of books they published in 2010, and how the gender split broke down.

Granted, I probably missed some titles - it's not always easy to figure out what was published by which imprint of the press in which year, etc. etc. Other criteria: If a book was a small collection of different authors (no more than 4 or 5) or a collaboration, I included all the authors, but if the book was an anthology, I only included the editor.

The results:

Bad MoonBloodlettingCDChizineDeliriumPSTOTALS
Total Authors:1213221463299
Male Authors:1012221263092
Female Authors:2102027
% Female:16.667.69014.2806.257.07


So, basically 7.07% of small press horror books in 2010 were by women.

Okay, I'm sorry, but...that's pathetic.

I hope it means the women are off making way more money writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy for major publishers. But...

I'll bet more female authors would venture into the small press world if it didn't just look like a boys' club from the outside. Are these publishers doing anything to court women writers? Not that I know of. I hear from male writing friends frequently about being invited by these presses, but I don't hear those tales from my female writing pals. My personal experience is that three of the publishers listed above simply never responded to submissions I made. Maybe that was just me. But looking at these numbers...well, draw your own conclusions.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
chrisconlon
Jan. 23rd, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Very interesting chart, Lisa. I suspect that you've already answered a significant part of your own question in your line about women being off writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy, where the books produced can sometimes end up looking a lot like horror anyway. Another part of it is the misogynistic, "f*** the stumps" kind of writing that is, alas, quite dominant in the horror field (no matter how much some people would like to deny this) and which can hardly help but be alienating to women...As you know, it's overwhelmingly men who write this kind of thing, and overwhelmingly men/boys who read it. The question of why is probably best left to the psychiatrists.

Perhaps the basis of the entire problem, though, is how "horror" is defined as a genre these days. There are plenty of women writing horror, but often it's not marketed as such. If paranormal romance and urban fantasy were considered sub-genres of horror, the percentage of women in the field would look more impressive.
nickcato
Jan. 23rd, 2011 10:45 pm (UTC)
Weird. Some of the BEST short horror stories I've read in 2010 came from female authors (in anthologies such as DARK FAITH and magazines such as BLACK STATIC).
hannahneurotica
Jan. 24th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)
I reposted this on the WiH facebook page.. <3
benjikane
Jan. 24th, 2011 04:28 am (UTC)
Woh, look at Bad Moon. Almost 17%! Kickin ass! Hahaha. Kidding of course. Definitely need to find a pathway to more women horror novelists-- and I think that dressing horror up with romance doesn't help the stigma at all; it disguises it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )