Study Shows Women’s Books Priced Lower than Men’s Books


In the book market as in the workplace, women get paid less. A new study shows that books by female authors were priced 45 percent lower than books by male authors on the average. Women’s books were also likely to be published in formats less expensive to produce and distribute.

The study looked at over 2 million book titles from R.R. Bowker’s bibliographic catalog used by libraries and retailers. The research, spanning from 2002 to 2012, covered both traditionally published and self-published books. It was conducted by Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist, and Adam Kapelner, a mathematician, both from Queens College-CUNY.

Male authors outnumber female authors in both traditional publishing and self-published sectors.

Here are some of the highlights of the research results published in the journal PLOS One:

·         Male authors outnumber female authors in both traditional publishing and self-published sectors.

·         Books by authors with identifiably female names account for 26 percent of the titles.

·         Books by authors with identifiably male names account for 45 percent of the titles.

·         The remaining 29 percent of titles carried names of indeterminate gender (used initials or androgynous names).

·         Self-published books show a similar discriminatory pattern in pricing, though the differences are smaller than in traditional publishing.

·         Female-dominated genres were priced lower than male-dominated ones in both traditional and self-publishing sectors, though the differences are less extreme in the latter.

Read more about the research:

Comparing Gender Discrimination and Inequality in Indie & Traditional Publishing

Read other stories about research results:

Study Shows Dip in Prominence of Female Characters in Novels

2016 VIDA Count Shows Small Gains Toward Gender Equity in Publishing

Study Shows There are Only 6 Emotional Arcs for All Novels & Plays



Cindy Fazzi

Cindy Fazzi is a Filipino-American writer and former Associated Press reporter. She has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States.  Her short stories have been published in Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review. Her first romance book, In His Corner, was published by Lyrical Press in April 2015 under the pen name Vina Arno.