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Monitoring Project 2017
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Sisters in Crime volunteers have monitored published reviews of crime fiction since 1986 to determine the percentage accorded women authors. Through 2015, a long-term upward trend existed. The 2016 monitoring results were stagnant in the digital category and showed statistically insignificant changes (1% up or down) in all other categories. In 2017, digital (+2) and pre-publication (+4%) reviews for works by women writers increased, but national newspapers (-3%), local newspapers (-11%) and genre-focused magazines (-5%) decreased.

Monitored publications are aggregated by type, but the specific publications have changed somewhat from year to year. Digital reviews have only been monitored since 2012. It is of significant note that many of the print and digital publications monitored are printing less reviews than in the past.

The national newspaper category continues to be the most resistant to reviewing women writers. Because The New York Times, The Toronto Globe & Mail, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, have prestige and wide readership, their aggregate 3% drop from 2016’s 41% to 38% is significant. It should be noted, The Wall Street Journal, which almost reached parity in 2015, returned to its traditional approach of only according a quarter of its reviews to books by women (26%) in 2016, but rose five percent (31%) in 2017.

Of the pre-publication review sources, both Booklist and Publishers Weekly continued to favor male writers over women authors, Publishers Weekly improved two percentage points from 2016. Library Journal, which has devoted a majority of its reviews since 2011 to women dropped from 60% in 2015 to 56% in 2016, but increased to 59% in 2017.

In 2017, the Sisters in Crime Monitoring Project added two new monitoring areas: Young Adult and Children’s. The results of the first year of monitoring demonstrated a preponderance of reviews accorded to women authors in both categories.

A PDF download of the 2017 monitoring report is available here 

        

         

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