Self-Publishing Industry Ruled By Women

Self-publishing women reading a book

Women Emerge In The Self-Publishing Industry

It's finally changing, Women are steadily gaining more power in the writing and self-publishing world. For the first time, women are slowly and steadily taking over  in an industry that for years has been dominated by men.

According to an article in The Guardian, a report from online publishing platform FicShelf has found that the authors doing best in self-publishing tend to be women. Looking at the most popular titles across the top self-publishing platforms Blurb, Wattpad, CreateSpace and Smashwords, FicShelf found that women wrote 67% of top-ranking titles.

However, according to FicShelf gender issues are still present in the traditional publishing community: men penned 61% of Amazon's current bestsellers. Also, men are more likely to receive recognition for their work and research highlights, with 80% of the titles found in The Telegraph’s “100 Novels Everyone Should Read.” And 85% of The Guardian’s “100 Greatest Novels of all Time” being written by men. The problem prevails even amongst current titles – male writers account for 70% of The Telegraph’s “Best Books of 2014”.

A Good Question

This begs the question, why are women succeeding in the self-publishing world, and not in traditional publishing? When it comes to self-publishing, it is the hard work and diligence by the author that counts. According to Alison Morton and The Guardian, “There’s a gender disparity among traditionally-published authors. More women buy, write and read books in numerical terms, but more ‘weight’ and status is given by publishers to books by male authors.”

It is hard to say why there is still such a large gender gap in traditional publishing. Possibly the community is still a man’s world. Who you know is important when breaking into the industry, but if everyone in the industry is male, does this make it more challenging for women to break into the business? FicShelf’s Duarte states how in the self-publishing industry “there is no glass ceiling to smash through, it is about the individual rather than the usual old boy’s club mentality. It’s not about who you know, but what you can do.”

For women who desire to get into self-publishing, there are plenty of new resources arising to help women be successful. Cinnamon McCann’s book Self-Publishing in Stilettos: A Woman’s Guide to Publishing with Confidence gives guidance, advice and ideas for aspiring female writers.


Of course, self-publishing has its challenges. Traditional publishing houses help writers with book editing, marketing, and promotion of their book. As a self-publisher, you need to figure out everything for yourself, making it challenging to succeed. Regardless, the achievements of female self-publishers may be the gateway to a more even playing ground to success.