Monday, May 14, 2012

PublishAmerica's CEO messages of Misogyny

Letter from PublishAmerica's CEO: Mother's Day, the day after

May 14, 2012
Reserve this top spot for your own message: go to

Open mic for Laura Barden, Black Hole, ( "What if a twelve-month adventure backpacking around the world changed your whole life? Black Hole takes the reader on a journey they will not soon forget."


Good morning!

I hope the majority of you had a good Mother's Day yesterday. The majority, because we have more women authors than men. Their average age is well over 40.

Surprised? You shouldn't be. In your own circle of friends, more women are talking about writing a book than men. If they are young, they think about writing. If they're over 40, they're more likely to actually have completed a book or be in the process of completing one.

Women buy more books, too. They also buy most of the Kindles and Nooks.

More after this book review, My Scottish Empress by Karen A. Fay (

It's not every day that a novel filled with romance, adventure, piracy, and history captures the attention of those who seek out the historical romance genre. Karen Fay's main character, Abigail, captures the reader's heart instantly. After the death of her husband, Abigail sets off for Boston. Her brief partnership in a shipping company quickly turns into imprisonment in London for the company's debts, and she is sold as a servant. An unexpected but passionate love affair develops, and she pays her debts and is set free. But she is left with nothing and must find her way through town alone. Unsurprisingly, that's a journey with a whirlwind of complications.

Abby is forced to marry a Scot after humiliating a woman of royalty. Days after a forced marriage is consummated, she is captured by Black Dog and a ship of pirates and taken out to sea to locate her grandfather's treasure. The man who truly loves her makes a desperate attempt to rescue her and the adventure is brought to a thrilling, yet satisfying, conclusion. With an ending fit for the most dedicated romance reader, Karen's novel does what it is supposed to do: it softens the blows of real life woes. And that's a compliment.

Find My Scottish Empress here:

Women authors are more likely to ask questions. Case in point: the last two days, out of the 140 questions that I saw our author support team answer, 100 came from women authors. Nothing wrong with that, keep those questions coming. But as I disclosed the other day, 80 pct of our time is demanded by 20 pct of our authors. They are predominantly women.

Most of them are good-natured. Some are not. Those are the ones who don't ask questions, they complain, and no answer can seem to satisfy them. They're loud. Occasionally they call us, a perfectly friendly PublishAmerica voice answers the phone, yet they get nasty in a heartbeat. So be it, it comes with the territory of dealing with people. We like their books regardless.

Additionally, we try to be understanding. I always make it a point to explain this to new staff who join our author support team. "Imagine," I say, "that you're a woman in her 50s or 60s, you're either divorced or you care for a disabled husband, you're underemployed or worse. Life has dealt you one blow after another. Now try to put yourself in her shoes." Denise Pickett, our ebook manager who is divorced and in her 50s, and who has been with PublishAmerica for more than a decade, came to their defense the other day. "By then, you're bitter," she said. "And you trust nobody. Be mindful of that." Denise is right of course, and all of us do indeed try to be understanding when we get another really nasty email from a lady in that category.

Book publishing is still primarily a women-dominated affair. More women than men work in book publishing, and PublishAmerica is no exception. All of our department managers have always been female, our director is a woman, and only our operations manager is a man. The number of male employees has always hovered between twenty and forty percent only. One could say that the make-up of PublishAmerica reflects our author population very well.

However, for most of our authors this makes no difference at all. That's easy to see when we host our authors conventions (attended by more women than men, too, by the way), when we have ten, twelve staff present to serve those who come out for a day of pure joy. Authors gravitate to all equally. They talk to Special Services manager Tina Shipe just as eagerly as they talk to media consultant Shawn Street, or to operations manager Bryan Winfrey, or when they discuss a new book contract with Jessica Goode.

Because what it all comes down to is this: no one has written a book because they are a woman, or a man. They wrote it because they are an author, an artist, an individual with a very special, story-telling talent. That, more than anything else, is what they want to share.

That's gender-less. And priceless!

Also on the soapbox today: Bille Anthony Sinclair, The Crazed Method: A Novel, ( "The Crazed Method has many twists and turns: war, intrigue, jealousy, love, and lust swirl into a sci-fi adventure."

I invite you to talk back to me. I don't guarantee a response, but I do guarantee that we listen. You can reach me by email at In the subject line write Attn. Willem.

Have a wonderful day!

--Willem Meiners

If you want to rent space on Willem's future Letters-from-the-CEO, go to Have your book reviewed for tens of thousands of people to see, or talk into the open mic!
All previous letters are here:

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