This is the third of a sequence of questions from the same person. I'm separating it because it's not related to the other questions, and also because it needs a separate entry. Also because it may take a while to answer the other two questions ...
I hope this isn't insulting, but -- do you have any thoughts about how many women there are at the top of the publishing industry? Does it affect what gets published? Why aren't there more men involved? I don't mean that their shouldn't be women involved -- but the mix of men and women seems unusual. Is there a reason for it, and do you think it matters?
The simple answer to all these questions is: money. The salaries in many publishing jobs are low - editorial assistants are on below-poverty level (seriously), editors and publicists earn under the national average, and most publishers don't earn nearly as much as most people think. So there are more women than men in the publisher, editor and publicist roles but more men than women in the sales, marketing and executive roles. No surprises there - those jobs pay better.
The perception of gender imbalance arises because most authors deal with the publisher/editor/publicist sector of the company and never meet people from the other departments. In truth, most acquisitions meetings are probably almost evenly matched, with a skew towards more women in some companies and more men in others.
I used to think that there weren't more Alistair Maclean-type novels being published because there weren't enough men making publishing decisions. Now I just think it's because hardly anyone is writing those sorts of novels. 'Entertainment' doesn't seem to be a motivation for many writers. Where are the new Frederick Forsyths, the Judith Krantzes, the Wilbur Smiths? If we could find some of those, they'd (probably, hopefully) get published. But they don't come through my submissions pile. Was that a massive digression? Probably. But I just felt like making the point.