(Tim Challies) Why aren’t men reading women writers? Jen Pollock Michel recently asked the question and it’s rather a good one. Though she provided an early answer (which you can read here) she was clear that her foremost desire was to provoke discussion. Since I spend so much time thinking about Christian books, I thought I’d take a shot at an answer. This is certainly not the whole answer, but it may be a part of it.
I have often observed this about Christian publishing: Men write for men and women; women write for women. …
In other words, a substantial percentage of the books written by women are for women while a substantial percentage of the books written by men are for both men and women. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, women are far more likely than men to write books specifically for their own gender.
Consider Jen Wilkin, who is considered one of the most prominent authors in the Reformed space. She is a talented writer and skilled theologian. What has she written? Her breakout book was Women of the Word, which tells how to read, understand, and interpret the Bible. There are many similar books, and perhaps the main distinguisher between hers and others is the audience. “How can we, as Christian women, keep our focus and sustain our passion when reading the Bible?” Because the audience was women, the cover and the marketing of the book were distinctly feminine. Not surprisingly, it was read mostly by women. After that came None Like Him, a book about the attributes of God. What distinguishes it from other books on the same subject? In part, the audience: the introduction is titled “On Becoming a God-Fearing Woman.” Like Women of the Word, it has a feminine cover and is marketed to a female audience. Her forthcoming In His Image, a book about the character of God, is equally feminine in its look and feel.