by Raelene Gorlinsky
This is from an article in Publishers Weekly, July 4, 2011. The article is by author William Dietrich, about his attempts to attract women readers to his books, which are usually labeled male action/adventure or male thriller.
"The question is: what do women readers want? I've asked this of book clubs I've visited (always exclusively female) and their answer is [...] relationships. Romance. Food. Cool places to hang out, like castles and palaces. And sex, if tastefully calibrated.
"Women like action, but they want stuff happening inside to people as well as outside to armies. Scientists report that women are hard-wired for empathy, probably because it was an evolutionary advantage in raising children and a disadvantage in spearing enemies.
"Twenty-first century ladies are also stern. No wimp women, they warn. No shrieking ninnies. They want authors who understand them."
I think Mr. Dietrich has developed a good insight into what women want to read. (Okay, especially the food and sex.) What about you? Do you agree with him? What would you say to male authors trying to add women to their mainly male readership?