Source : Times of India
The study examined over 2 million books, published in North America between 2002 and 2012. It analysed the gender of each author by matching names to lists of male and female names and then cross-referenced the gender with facts about price, genre and publication– though only mainstream publishers were considered. It was found that books by women, on average, were priced 45% lower than books by men! Self published books, which are priced by the author, also showed a difference but it was not as extreme, only 7%.
It is usually genre, not gender that accounts for pricing of a book. Romances are usually priced lower than other genres and romance authors are usually women. However it was found that even within a genre, books where the author’s name is undeniably female are priced 9% lower amongst mainstream publishers and 4% when self-published.
“Without the publishers, we see slightly less discrimination, but it’s still apparent, and it follows the same patterns,” Weinberg told The Guardian. “The easy answer (for the disparity) would be that publishing companies are sexist, but the indie findings challenge that simple explanation. The findings point to the strength of shared social contexts. Likely, publishers and authors share many of the same unconscious biases about what genre specialties are appropriate for male or female authors and about the value of those genres, and indie authors may also be mimicking what they see in the traditional publishing world. In addition, both traditional publishers and indie authors are creating and reacting to markets for their work, or to their perceptions of those markets, and placing and pricing their titles accordingly.”