Fans of the chick lit genre have had a fairly easy time of finding new books to read. Regardless of the publisher, one can almost pick out a book from the genre by the cover. For the most part, books that specifically target younger women readers are a guaranteed success, and nearly all major publishing houses have jumped on the bandwagon with their own targeted imprints. Therefore, it is no surprise a handful of publishing houses are now creating imprints focusing on women readers but are decidedly not chick lit.
One such imprint is Voice, created by Hyperion's publisher Ellen Archer and Viking's Pamela G. Dorman. Voice is aimed at women aged 30 and older, and it will not include anything resembling chick lit. The imprint will instead focus on issues concerning women who have chosen to balance their careers and family, and which are not covered elsewhere in the mainstream media. Archer says, "I felt that I, as a 44-year-old woman, working, married and a mother, did not see my life reflected in any of the media stories."
The first five books will be released next month, including one by Vanity Fair contributing editor Leslie Bennetts. It argues that women who choose to be stay-at-home moms lose out on the financial, intellectual, emotional, and medical benefits of a career outside the home (The Feminine Mistake). Another book included in the first round of releases is an anthology of essays edited by Karen Stabiner about life after the children leave home (The Empty Nest).
Studies have shown that more women buy books than men. Generation X women, and their seniors with careers and families, tend to have available money that could potentially be spent on buying books. It remains to be seen if these women are interested in non-fiction books focusing on issues specific to their demographic or if they prefer to escape into the surreal world of chick lit.