We’ve lately had the good fortune to represent some lovely women, like Tracey Garvis Graves and Colleen Hoover, who started out self-publishing their fiction and for whom we’ve now been able to make some significant deals with “legacy” publishers (have I mentioned that I really dislike that term?). These women are very smart and committed about their work, but they are also incredibly generous in their support of other writers who are embarking on the same kind of venture. They belong to online support groups where they critique each other’s works, give each other tips on how to market their books, and serve as cheerleaders to each other on their public platforms. As Jane mentioned in her blog post last week, authors mentoring and supporting other authors should not be a surprising phenomenon, but, in fact, it often is. It’s also wonderful and important and we hope that other authors are taking note and emulating this kind of esprit de corps.
But, as I mull over this interesting development, it occurred to me that I don’t see this kind of “community” among male writers. Sure, people like our own David Morrell are tireless in speaking at conferences, sharing insights with up and coming writers, and offering priceless advice (in David’s case like the professor he once was). And I know that Joe Konrath, whom we’ve represented for many years, has a huge online following for his often controversial but always provocative views about the publishing process. But, I have not seen the kind of small influential online writing groups among male writers that seem to be flowering in the women’s fiction world.
Why is this, do you suppose? Is it a XX/XY thing? Is it because of category? Is it because men are more naturally competitive and women more nurturing (to apply the most pervasive stereotypes)? Or do these groups exist and thrive and I’m just not hip to them?