Pretty Colors

Interesting post from the brilliant Andrea J. Wenger on the dilemma of whether the term “women’s fiction” helps or hurts the genre.

Women Unplugged

It’s been said women want the same things men want, but in prettier colors. You can see this preference in action at any formal event in the Western world: men dress in dark suits, and women in a full spectrum of colors.

This phenomenon has a profound effect on book marketing.

Author Randy Susan Meyers (among many others) rightly point outs that the term women’s fiction unfairly segregates books by female authors: “Are there not many books written by men and marketed to all genders that include abuse, poverty, divorce, familial breakdown, and other social struggles? … If ‘women’s fiction’ is a marketing device, it’s confusing as thus. Label a novel ‘women’s fiction’ — is the message  ‘not for men’?”

There’s no comparable label for men’s fiction, but from a marketing perspective, men’s fiction does exist. It’s just called fiction. Here’s what it looks like.

Cormac McCarthy's  novel The Road

The colors on this cover are…

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