Saturday, July 14, 2012

Are You Getting the New and Improved Women's Fiction and Chick Lit Newsletter?

For a while now, there's been a question about whether Chick Lit is dying. Could it be? I've tried to ignore the trend for a while, but it's hard to ignore the oxygen mask and IVs that are wrapped around the genre as devotees try our best to keep it going. It started with the heroines growing up, spawning a trend of "Mommy Lit" and "hen lit" (i.e., chick lit for the woman past her twenties). But, as chick lit started to wind down, another category made up the strides: "women's fiction."

As a librarian who spends a good part of my time writing about books and reading about the book industry (if I was tweeting, this is where I would add #dreamjob), I have probably I spent a bit more time thinking about how we label books than is necessary. I have definitely spent more time talking about it to those around me than is entertaining.  I've argued that the term "women's fiction" is too generic to mean anything. And, because we know that I'm not particularly good at admitting I was wrong, rather than conceding that twice in a season, I'd like to say instead that we're catching up with the publishing trends.

As of this month, our Chick Lit newsletter is going to show the same growth and maturity as have the heroines of its titles. It will now be called "Women's Fiction and Chick Lit." It's a more inclusive title to reflect the true content of the newsletter. Fans of Kristin Hannah, Elizabeth Berg, and Emily Giffin, rejoice! Your favorite titles will be included in this monthly update of new and forthcoming titles. Fans of Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, and Kate Rockland, have no fear! There will still be plenty of chick lit included to keep us in our happy shoes!

If you don't get the eNewsletter yet, now's your chance! Check it out and sign up at http://www.wclibrary.info/goodreads/readinglists.asp

2 comments:

Jack Heath (writer) said...

I was recently hired to co-write a thriller for an author who had "only written women's fiction in the past". I couldn't help but wonder what she meant.

Women read my thrillers, and I read plenty of romance. Genre has its uses, but "gender genre" is pushing it.

dmb said...

Come on really? Women’s fiction is big business and creating huge revenue for the authors and publishers of women’s fiction. Here are a few statistics: Women’s fiction comprises 40% of adult popular fiction sold in the United States (and 60% of the paperback industry). It is a billion dollar business.
It seems every major publisher has a list of women’s fiction titles. These publishers include MacMillan, Avon/Harper Collins, Bantam/Doubleday/Dell, Penguin, Random House, St. Martin’s Press, Warner, Pinnacle, Harlequin and many more…
Women’s fiction is not limited to romance novels. They are stories of emergence; usually they show a woman coming into her own power. Women’s fiction centers on women. Their lives, their family, their friendships and yes sometimes romance.
I readily admit, some women may be put off by the category of women’s fiction, but I firmly believe that even if women’s fiction was categorized as plain old ordinary fiction, it would still be read primarily by women, bought by women and loved by women. Why not call it what it is ‘Women’s fiction”?