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J.K. Rowling Helps Women Writers Double their Share of #1 Bestsellers; Literary Life Begins at 50

January 11, 200611 January 2006

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An online self-publishing website has compiled information from the New York Times bestseller list from 1955 to 2005. The results? Women are currently more prevalent than ever on the bestseller list, having written 50% of the #1 bestsellers thus far in 2005, according to a July press release. This compares with 18% in the first decade of the study and 24% in the 1980s. Over the 50-year timeframe, the most prolific bestselling female author is Danielle Steele, with 26 #1 bestsellers.

The May press release notes that the average age of the 350 bestselling authors between 1955 and 2005 is 50.5. In each of the 50 years studied, the average age of bestselling authors was between 40 and 60, with the exception of two years (1955 and 1970) when the average age was just under 40 and two others (1975 and 1976) when the average age was just over 60.

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