On the Gender of Books: Author Gender Mixing in Book Communities

Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 689)


Using a book co-buying network from of over 1 million books, we find empirically that readers who have purchased male first authors before are substantially less likely than expected to buy books by female first authors, when aggregated across the entire book market. Conversely, past buyers of female authors are slightly more likely than expected to buy other female authors. This same-gender assortativity is found to be local: certain writing genres are “coloured” preferentially by one gender. This can be attributed both to writer availability (i.e., a gender’s preferential attachment to writing for one genre), and to the buyers’ preferential attachment to the output of writers of one gender. We obtain these insights by classifying the gender of the first author for most of the books, then running statistical tests which compare the gender makeup of books co-bought with either male or female books. Structural book communities, as generated from readers’ co-buying choices, are computed, visualised in terms of gender makeup, and their writing genres are summarised to match the genre with a gender makeup.


Communication Book Mixed Gender Female Book Book Market Gender Makeup 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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