(and are winter bestseller lists dominated by men,
summer lists dominated by women?)
Posting might be sporadic over the next few weeks, as I'm going full bore on book #2 with my publisher's deadline looming ever closer. I am quite happy with how THE REGULATOR is coming along, and since the publishing season is slowing down I have more time to focus. There's a lot more research to be done for THE REGULATOR than THE MARK, which is both invigorating and frustrating. Frustrating since I tend to write in long, uninterrupted bursts, and it's hard to stop mid-paragraph to Google and Wiki the hell out of things.
Anyway, a few things to catch up on:
I haven't seen it yet, but I was interviewed by Sarah Weinman in her article for the new issue of "Writers Digest." Pick it up and let me know what you think. I was also interviewed for a recent article for Crains Business Daily, though of course my fifteen minute conversation got clipped to one soundbite. What can ya do.
The last two weeks have been some of the biggest as far as new fiction releases, with Michael Crichton, Clive Cussler, Dean Koontz, and Thomas Harris all releasing (not to mention Philippa Gregory). In any given week, each of those authors has the potential to dominate bestseller lists, but with this incredibly crowded fiction season it'll be very interesting to see who comes out on top.
Just looking at this week's (December 17th) New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, you'll find the following names:
Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark
That's a veritable murderer's row right there. Out of curiosity, I looked at the same bestseller list from this time last year (December 18th). And we have:
George R. R. Martin
So right off the bat, there are at least four books that could be classified at Sci-Fi or Fantasy on last year's list (Martin, Luceno, MaGuire, Jordan) and two more with religious themes (Rice, LaHaye). Three if you count Dan Brown.
The 2006 list is much more thriller-oriented, no major Sci-Fi/Fantasy titles with the exception of possibly Stephen King (and LISEY'S STORY is a stretch for either genre).
What I also found interesting is that of those 30 books, only seven were written by women. On a whim, I decided to take a look at the New York Times bestseller list from July 30th, 2006, just to see if the summer (bullish for fiction) list looked any different. The list reads as follows:
Laurell K. Hamilton
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Wow. Not only were twelve of the sixteen books on the list written by women, but women occupied the first five spots as well. A very different picture from this winter, when only three of the fifteen books were written by women, and the top ten spots are held by men.
So of course, let's check out the bestseller list from the same time last summer (July 31st, 2005). We have:
Sue Monk Kidd
James Lee Burke
James Patterson (again)
Seven out of fifteen.
So women compose 7 out of 30 books on the winter lists (23.3%) and 19 out of 31 on the summer lists (61.2%).
I have no idea what to make of this or whether it's an aberration (my sample size certainly wasn't large). Regardless, it's quite interesting. I might have to do some more digging...