Books by women are 45% cheaper than books by men.
Researchers reviewed over 2 million book titles written between 2002 to 2012. They found women are underrepresented in “prestigious genres,” which are the books with higher price tags typically. But even after accounting for genre differences, books by women are 9% cheaper. They also examined the self-published books and found there’s significantly less discrimination there, but even then, books by women cost 7% less than men’s titles, and book genres dominated by women, like romance, are valued much less than genres dominated by men.
“I had no idea, but how exhausting, enervating and entirely predictable,” stated novelist Francesca Segal. “It is the old news framed in a new way — women paid less for the same work.”
The researchers were inspired to look into price gaps after other research showed most book reviews are written by men highlighting other men’s book.
“There is still an assumption that fiction by men has universal appeal and fiction by women does not, and I imagine this plays into the pay gap… I suspect the only way to fight this in the long term is for women to keep owning our identities in the industry, and to resist the understandable instinct to mask ourselves with pseudonyms,” stated author Samantha Shannon.