Female protagonists rule!
All of the ten best-selling novels of the previous decade featured female protagonists.
Every single one.
- E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey (2011) – 15.2 million copies
- E.L. James, Fifty Shades Darker (2011) – 10.4 million copies
- E.L. James, Fifty Shades Freed (2012) – 9.3 million copies
- Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (2008) – 8.7 million copies
- Kathryn Stockett, The Help (2009) – 8.7 million copies
- Paula Hawkins, The Girl on The Train (2015) – 8.2 million copies
- Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl (2012) – 8.1 million copies
- John Green, The Fault in Our Stars (2012) – 8 million copies
- Stieg Larsson, The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo (2008) – 7.9 million copies
- Veronica Roth, Divergent (2011) – 6.6 million copies
Kind of amazing. Right?
It also tracks, I suppose. Men only account for about 20% of the fiction market. In the words of one bookseller, “Matt, don’t ever forget that you’re writing almost exclusively for women.”
I’ve written six novels so far.
Actually, I’ve written seven, but nobody wanted one of them, which was quite annoying.
Four of the six were published in the previous decade.
One was published in 2009 and the other in 2021.
Only one of those four books – “The Perfect Comeback of Caroline Jacobs” – features a female protagonist.
Maybe I should’ve listened more closely to that bookseller when choosing the sex of my protagonists.