One Writer’s Journey

May 3, 2019

Female Books vs Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:36 am
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Yesterday, I was on the treadmill reading e-mail when I came across a HarperCollins message advertising this book.  My first thought was “awesome – I want to read it.”  Not “cool boy book.”

I didn’t even consider gendering potential readers until I saw the next e-mail in my queue.  Your Best Choices for Mother’s Day.   I would have colored that heading pink or lavender because the message was awash in pastels.  Romance.  Books with flowers on the cover.  Women’s memoir.

Not that there is anything wrong with any of those books. Really.

But where were the science books?  The books about exploration and daring do?  Apparently we as an industry have learned very little from the success of Hidden Figures.  

And that’s a sad, sad thing because clearly many in the industry are still gendering books.  Not that I’m casting stones at the publishing industry alone because it is a part of society at large.

Society still genders way too many things.  Books. Movies. Colors. Toys.  One time when I was talking to another mom, we were talking about our favorite toys.  What do I remember playing with?  Spirograph, color tiles, light bright, Lincoln logs, Tinkertoys, and Lego blocks.  I mentioned something about spending hours building Lego, Tinkertoys and Lincoln Logs.  Her response?  “That’s so sad.”

Um . . . no?  I had a blast with toys like that. And puzzles.  And rock tumbling.

But when I asked her why it was sad, she apologized that my family had never bought me any girl’s toys.  They did.  I had Barbies and baby dolls and a kitchen.  My favorite doll was named Dusty.  She had a hunting rifle, fishing pole and horse with a western saddle.  But they were just toys.

So as you write and market your work, think about how you want to describe it.  Have you written a boy book?  Or a book that science crazy kids will love?

Think.  Think. Think.


August 8, 2016

Book Buys: Boy Books vs Girl Books

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 2:43 am
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booksIn our household, we seem to go on buying splurges.  While we buy groceries every week as well as toiletries, other items including yarn, picture frames and books seem to be bought only every now and again but in bulk.  The photo here shows, not only my skirts and feet, but also our most recent book purchases.

Can you guess which ones are boy books (husband and son) vs the girl books (mine)?  It might not be as easy as you think.  To help you out, I’ll list them here:

  • Sue Bradford Edwards’ Black Lives Matter 
  • Four books in Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series.
  • A Christian Cathedrals stained glass coloring book.
  • A sugar skull coloring book.
  • Fiasco, a book for a role-playing game.
  • Two D&D modules, The Rise of Tiamat and Hoard of the Dragon Queen
  • Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me, a book of Celtic prayer by Beth Richardson.

So which ones are mine?  Obviously, I wrote the one so that’s a no brainer.  And if you’ve ID’ed coloring as more of a girl thing than I boy thing – I’m not sure about that but that’s the way it is here.

Actually, they’re all mine except for the gaming books.  I used to play D&D and my son has all of my books but he’s expanding our library.

And the Harry Dresden books are mine too.  Yes, my husband is reading them and he’s even a book ahead of me in the series, but I discovered the series first.

A lot is written about what girls read vs what boys read and girl books vs boy books.  The point that I’m hoping that this post makes is that a single reader’s interests can be very broad.  Don’t try to define what books they will read or will want to read based on their gender.  Reader interests are a lot more complicated than that.



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