Friday, 4 May 2012

More Gender-centred Statistics on Australian-Authored SFFH Novels in 2011

After my earlier post about broad gender distributions in Australian novels last year, Tansy valiantly volunteered to add target age groups and genres to the mighty list of SFFH novels published in 2011. She sent the spreadsheet back to me and I poked Numbers into generating statistics and made some pie charts. Yay, pie charts!

First, because for some reason it didn’t occur to me to post it last time, the distribution of books published by different types publishers (large, small press and self pub). You can see which publishers I counted in which group in the earlier post.

So that’s kind of interesting. Almost half the books by Australian authors in 2011 were published by large publishers, and around a quarter each for small presses and self-publishers. I have to say, I’m vaguely surprised. I think I expected the small press wedge to be a bit larger.

On to the meat of the post. Here is a pie chart of target age groups of all the books published in 2011 by Australian authors:

And here is a similar pie chart but further broken down to indicate genders of the authors in each category.

So aside from YA, those divisions look relatively equal. To emphasise the divisions more clearly, here is a set of three pie charts showing the same information.

If you recall from last time, the overall gender distribution was 55% female, 44% male and 1% other, which included an author with no web presence and one book authored by a team of a man and woman. For all the gender statistics I’m presenting today, I’m ignoring the mystery author and counting the writing team as one for each side. Other writing teams where both authors are of the same gender are only counted once, however.

It looks like YA is the age group for which almost twice as many women are writing than men. Adult and children’s books are a fairly even split.

Next up, genre! Here is a pie chart of the overall genre distributions in adult-targeted books by Australian authors published in 2011.

Poor horror. It only had 11 books (coincidentally rounding to 11%) and that was after I counted all the F/H (which I assume were mostly dark fantasy but Tansy did the allocating and I’m not familiar with most of the books) as both fantasy and horror. And those were the only genre overlaps despite someone thinking Debris was F/SF because structured magic is not the same as science *shakesfist* and I’m the one wielding the pie charts here. Ahem.

The same pie chart but with a breakdown of authors’ gender:

So the differences there are a bit more pronounced than in the age groups (but remember this is only adult books which are being counted in the genre statistics). Emphasised further by three separate pie charts:

So horror is indisputably male-dominated, science fiction is almost evenly split and fantasy is slightly more female-dominated almost as much as YA. Interesting.

And finally, because I was curious, here are the genre distributions of only adult books published by large publishers:

I can’t say I’m surprised that small press and self-publishers are filling out the SF field. I’m surprised that the horror percentage is about the same. However if I omit the two F/H books from both genres, the percentages change to 79% fantasy, 15% SF and only 6% horror (only 2 horror books are left).

So that’s it. If there are other pie charts on the topic you’re interested in seeing that look like they could be reasonably made from the data I’ve already amassed, let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

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