The editors behind the excellent 33 1/3 series of books about albums have published all the information collected during their recent open submission process. It's a fascinating look at why the new-arrivals tables at your local bookstore are still dominated by books by and about men.
Of 605 book proposals received, 18.3 percent were written by female authors and 81.7 percent were by male authors. Not even twenty percent of submissions were from women! That's horrendous. Even worse is the gender split of the musicians these writers want to write about: 11.3 percent of all these pitches were about female artists, and 8.7 percent were for mixed-gender or undefined acts. The remaining 80 percent of submissions were about dudes.
We should be grateful to 33 1/3 for being so transparent about all this. It's another damning mound of data we can add to the work Nicola Griffith has been doing to unveil the publishing industry's institutional sexism. If you haven't already, you should read Griffith's explanation of how we can help women's voices be heard in literature. It's up to all of us to make a change.
Updated (12:32 PM) to add that if you want to read a great discussion about gender in publishing, you should visit this Metafilter thread about our discussion with Nicola Griffith. There are some great voices and experiences in the thread, and you should go contribute. (For real — if Reddit has scared you away from online community conversation, this MetaFilter thread will restore your faith in online humanity.) We're really excited to see these conversations take off.