Well I've been encouraged this weekend. I've been participating in a discussion on a writer's loop I'm on about the very low percentage of books on the CBA market that would appeal to men. This is very near and dear to my heart because the books that generally appeal to men (though not all) appeal to me too.
The CBA market is highly female driven. Nothing wrong with that. And the books published in CBA are largely romance. Nothing wrong with that either. So don't get me wrong - I'm not dissing that at all.
But unintentionally, I think female authors are published so heavily that those men who DO want to write for CBA are pushed out or made to feel like the proverbial salmon trying to fight his way upstream. My opinion only - you'd have to ask the guys to be sure.
The publishing market is driven by it's buying readership - which is largely women. I get it.
But I think we can do a lot more to draw male readership.
Why am I so passionately interested in that? Well because - I WANT to read books, but I have a hard time putting my hands on books that draw me in. Yes, there are tons of high quality fiction in all genres being published in CBA, no doubt about it. But even though I'm the opposite sex, I'm drawn to books that male readers would be drawn to because I have a much higher action requirement as well as a less emotional touchy feely requirement for my reading. And those books, generally speaking, are written by men, or at least are books with a male protag. And yes, I'm sure there are exceptions to this.
When I go to a Christian or other bookstore, I pretty much know by a visual sweep of the cover art which books will interest me and which won't.
The other problem is that "men fic" doesn't seem to be very well promoted in the industry save for a few high profile names. I'd like to see that change as well. I'm sure there is some good men fic out there flying under my radar because I don't even know about it.
I have noticed that B&H Publishing (formerly called Broadman and Holman) does a better job then most at putting out men-focused fiction. I think Tyndale ranks up there as well. Those are the two I've noticed. Come to think of it, the last several books I've read have been B&H (most of them) and Tyndale.
In fact, I'm presently reading Certain Jeopardy by Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky, published by B&H. I hope to be able to finish reading it this weekend so I can post a review.
But I hope this weekend discussion on the writers loop will be the beginnings of finding ways to stir the industry to come up with more and better ways to draw in male readers (and female readers who want to rev up the action and tone down the touchy feely).