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Hyperion Gives Voice To Women’s Issues

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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).

Archer and Dorman plan to use a panel of ten professional women to assist them in adjusting the focus of the imprint. The panel will meet twice per year, and will also serve as a way of getting out the word about new titles. Friends and colleagues of the members of the panel will be sent copies of the books.

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.

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About Anna Creech

  • http://chicksover40.blogspot.com Kathy Holmes

    It will be interesting to see what Hyperion does with this. The gap I still see between chick lit and women’s fiction is in the lack of stories about women who are older – perhaps in their 40s – but who did not go the traditional route. Perhaps they’re never married or divorced without kids. They’re living a “chick lit” life but at an older age. That’s the type of book I’ve been trying to publish and the type of book my blog readers tell me they’d like to see, too. A women’s fiction type of story with the humor and reality of chick lit.

  • http://www.questinggirl.blogspot.com Jennifer

    I was excited about the title, then disappointed by the new books they’re coming out with. What about the feminist moms who choose to stay at home? what about women who define success differently, not by what they do or what they achieve? is there any other way you ask? I am a poet by profession and therefore not making money from what I write necessarily – I have a husband who supports me – does that make me less concerned about women’s issues? My dream is to write for girls and women who want to define themselves by something within themselves, some power of self-knowledge, not just the pursuit of ‘success’ in the outside world, but true balance.
    Still waiting to read that book….

  • Anne Crowder

    For Jennifer and other intelligent women readers: That book you are waiting for is called BECOMING KAY CALLAHAN, a coming-of-middle-age story of a woman who pulls up her socks and establishes a successful catering business, finds true love with a young chef, and discovers who she really is after her husband leaves her and their kids. Unfortunately, you won’t find Kay in your local bookstore as the manuscript hasn’t yet found a publisher. Some day… Anne