If there’s one topic I love talking about with fellow writers, it’s women’s empowerment in fiction. For this reason, I was thrilled in late January to see that Publishers Weekly had run a fabulous piece on exactly this subject, titled “Is Women’s Empowerment Coming to Publishing?” The article was from the perspective of big players in the industry like marketing and sales managers, executive editors, and editorial directors, and it outlined what publishers are seeking in the women’s empowerment space. It also covered the impact of recent political changes on women’s fiction and popular sub-genres related to women’s empowerment.
While I enjoyed the article, I felt that something was missing—more precisely, a perspective was missing: booksellers! After all, booksellers are the ones with “boots on the ground,” the people interacting every day with readers. They are closest to the discussions about what readers are seeking when they step into a store to browse. Publishing professionals may utilize industry trends and data to derive their own conclusions, but is there any replacement for approaching a reader and asking, “what are you looking for?”
I think not.
So, I set out several weeks ago to fill the gap and seek this missing perspective. I am thrilled now to share the feedback from a half-dozen booksellers about what their readers are seeking in the women’s empowerment space, and why such titles are important to their readers.
I also invited each bookseller to suggest several titles in the genre. There are some fabulous recommendations here!
Question: Why do you feel women’s empowerment in fiction is important to your readers today?
“Although we have made great strides, it is still not an easy road for women. Speaking for myself, when I see strong women making changes in the books I read, I feel a personal sense of empowerment. I am sure it is the same for many of my readers.” –Mary Webber O’Malley, Skylark Bookshop [Read more…]