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Has Book Reviewing Become a Female Dominated Industry?

So I’m at the book blogging convention at the Javits Center in Manhattan Friday (which had immediately followed the Book Expo America) and made an interesting observation.  As I sat, hour after hour and session after informative session, I’d look around and see that, at any given moment, there were no more than 5 men in a room packed with attendees.  As the day progressed, it became evident that 2 of those men were there to be speakers/panelists, while 2 more of them were event sponsors.


From what I learned, being a Book Reviewer in an online world is an often thankless, arduous job, yet droves of people embrace the activity every day, whether it’s a paid gig or not. What can this tell us about the industry of blogs that review books and the commitment with which women have embraced the opportunity? A few things came to mind;

  • Women are natural communicators.  Their interest in sharing opinions is innate and driven.
  • Women are compassionate. Countless comments were made about being direct, but sparing negativity in the review process.
  • Women are multi-taskers. They live life with a voice from inside that screams, “Sure I can fit this into a day ‘cuz I want really to”, when that day is already jam packed with other essential crap to do.
  • Women are pioneers motivated by passion.  For the majority of attendees & speakers, the love of books (not money) is the sole reason for becoming the next big literary critic.

Consequently, as I sat for lunch, the lone author at a table crammed with professional women from book industry giants like Random  House, Osprey Publishing and Penguin Books, these observations only became more evident.  Discussions revolved around the love of the task itself and the commonality with which each individual pours herself into her work. Inevitably, cards were exchanged and future business connections made, but not until the conversation’s end. The graceful way that women perform these acts of connection-making is more a stealthily executed afterthought than it is a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) format. The exchange of thoughts & feelings comes first, business is a natural outcome.  You go girls.

Not for nuthin’, but I was the first person to sit down at an empty table for lunch – the others who joined me afterward were totally unsolicited…or were they?  Mental note, write a post about ‘The Power of Intention‘.

So I pose the question…has this viral movement of online book reviewing been claimed by literary femme fatale contributors?  Or were the men simply at home with the pets & kids this week?