Guest Post: You’re Too Gay: LGBTQIA+ Publishing in 2017 // Hannah Carmack

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Hannah recently gave me the opportunity to read an eARC of her book Seven-Sided Spy which has now been released! As there are a few characters in Seven-Sided Spy which are on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum we decided for her to write a guest post based on that topic! So here it is!

You can find my review for Seven-Sided HERE!

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I’m just saying, you’re too gay, and in 5 years it’s going to be out of style and your books won’t sell.

My jaw nearly smacked our table at Ruby Tuesday. As I sat across from my friend – someone I considered very close – it dawned on me that maybe I didn’t know the first thing about this person.

You’re too gay. Out of style. Books won’t sell. As much as I wish this was an isolated incident and that these sentiments were rare, I can’t. I’ve heard this kind of advice time and time again. Now, the knee-jerk and honest reaction is so the fuck what? If you’re writing for yourself then it shouldn’t matter whether a book will sell. If you’re writing the story that has to be told and that story happens to be gay, should I care? These are true, valid responses and honestly the one I gave. Write for yourself.

However, when you’re publishing, there is a part of you –for me a GIANT part– that wants to move as many units as possible and get that book into as many hands as you can. So then, you have to consider the statement, are gay books going to be selling in the next five years?

Hell. Fucking. Yes. I’m fortunate in that both my debut novel, SEVEN-SIDED SPY, and my next project, TAKE YOUR MEDICINE, have been picked up by a press dedicated to publishing queer voices and queer characters- Nine Star Press. They actually don’t publish anything that doesn’t have some kind of LGBTQIA+ lead –Hurrah! If there’s one thing I’ve learned at this press, it’s that “too gay” books aren’t going anywhere.

Over the course of the past six months I have met some of the most talented writers I’ve encountered in all my conference going, speed-networking, and forum reading. And I’ve met them right there in the Nine Star Press author group. They produce amazing work and strong-sellers. And we’re just one indie-press, out of dozens and dozens of press’ publishing queer-work.

To say that “gay books won’t sell,” is to discredit not only a large chunk of writers, but also a large chunk of readers! I’ve had a handful of readers contact me asking for book recommendations that fall in the same line as my own. Often times LGBTQIA+ books can be hard to find in smaller bookstores, if at all. By grouping all of our works together in one super-awesome press, we’re helping connect the readers with the books they’ve been looking for.

And this isn’t even touching on all the top-10 publishers who are putting out awesome queer works. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera and Gentlemen’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee are two best-sellers who feature queer MC’s. We are in a golden-age of queer lit, and these books aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.



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