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Author Topic: LGBT Authors Support Thread  (Read 27456 times)  

Offline Shei Darksbane

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LGBT Authors Support Thread
« on: October 11, 2015, 02:24:54 PM »
I've been considering starting this thread for a while. There's a lot of X Support Threads around and I never noticed one for the LGBT authors. :)
What better day to start it than National Coming Out Day?

But as an author of LGBT fiction, I often find myself wishing I could connect with my fellows who write works with LGBT characters or LGBT-oriented stories etc. If I feel that way, surely others do as well. I figured we could have a place to chat and talk about the specifics of the LGBT genres, LGBT readers, basically the business of being an LGBT author. :)

So if you're an author of LGBT fiction, or an LGBT author, feel free to chime in, ask questions, and support one another.

I have a question that might help to start things off. I've been wondering about all the books I see launching in LGBT Fantasy at 5-6$ that seem to be doing really well. Do you find that we can price higher due to being in a niche market? Someone over on Mark Dawson's Facebook group suggested that my books were underpriced due to being in a niche market that would pay more for them and it got me wondering considering that there are so many books in the top list for LGBT Fantasy that are selling well despite being priced significantly higher than the typical $0.99-$2.99 range for a debut novel/first in series.  Just curious what other people's experience with this is?

Oh yeah... and in case anyone doesn't know. I write Lesbian Urban Fantasy. :)
My wife writes lesbian Space Opera.
We both put a lot of representation into our work.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 06:04:25 PM by Shei Darksbane »

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2015, 02:27:49 PM »
Lesbian romance here. I launched my last at 99 cents and it languished then I went to 299 and it took off. I have ads out but as spoon as they are spent in going to 399 or 499

Offline JLCarver

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2015, 03:11:01 PM »
I write LGBT urban fantasy and sci fi. I'm nearly finished with the first novel in a series--only about 10k more words to go--and I have the outlines done for the next two. I'm planning on writing the second novel during November's NANOWRIMO, then I thought I'd release the first in December with book two to come soon after, while I knock out book 3.

I'm not sure on the pricing question. I always thought I'd set my first at 2.99, but now I'm interested to see the outcome of this question!

Thanks for starting this thread! I'm always glad to meet other LGBT authors.

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2015, 03:35:39 PM »
My novel, that is currently tanking, has a lesbian character and a bisexual character.  After I think about some possible rewrites on it,  get it re-edited and get a new cover for it, I'll let you know how it does.  :)  I'll also have to properly promote it, which I haven't yet.  My focus has been on other work.

Offline Annie B

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2015, 03:37:28 PM »
My LGBT fiction is literary/contemporary, so I don't know about fantasy pricing etc, sorry. My UF has LGBT characters, but the main character/relationship is het, so I don't categorize it since I wouldn't want to be misleading.

Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2015, 03:47:41 PM »
Lesbian romance here. I launched my last at 99 cents and it languished then I went to 299 and it took off. I have ads out but as spoon as they are spent in going to 399 or 499

Ooh, any specific subcat of lesbian romance? I've got a couple paranormal ones drafted but I'm not sure how well they would do.

I also write LGBTQ sci-fi and fantasy, or am thinking about doing so. Have a couple series planned, am trying to figure out where my priorities lie.

I'm also working on a unique LGBTQ NA series with a friend of mine that would basically be an online, interactive thing before being compiled into books.

Offline MMacLeod

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2015, 04:36:35 PM »
Funny, I just posted earlier today about polishing up and publishing a current WIP as a "practice" book to work out the mistakes that I'm bound to make in self-publishing before jumping in with a full series, and the one I had in mind is a lesbian romance. I've mostly been focused on a series that is M/F romance with historical and paranormal overtones, but when I needed a break from it this summer I started on a F/F "second chances" contemporary romance that I really would like to put out there and see what happens. Very curious what others have experienced in this market.

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Offline Mercia McMahon

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2015, 06:30:18 PM »
I'm in the final editing throes of a first in series about an immortal primarily same-sex attracted race who live in the midst of mortal opposite sex attracted races. There is no romance although a lesbian love story runs through the heart of the story. Once this is published I begin writing book two for NaNovWriMo. It is a fantasy set in an alternate East Asia with the main race modelled on feudal Japan.

I also need to finish my novel from NaNovWriMo 2014 which is about a young lesbian student accidentally coming out to her father, who is a rather conservative Anglican priest.

I have been known on occasions to have straight characters, but I try not to overdo it.


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Offline Caddy

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2015, 07:40:19 PM »
I always have at least one character in my stories that is gay or lesbian, sometimes a side character and sometimes the main character. So, among other genres, some could be listed as gay fiction. I also write gay (m/m) romance under the pen name Sibley Jackson.
ALSO WRITING HOT GAY M/M ROMANCE UNDER SIBLEY JACKSON

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Offline Shiriluna Nott

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2015, 08:06:09 PM »
I write epic fantasy, with both strong LGBT protagonists and side characters. I've had success pricing at both 2.99 and 3.99. Pretty sure I'm going to launch the third book in my series at 2.99 again and maybe raise the price after a few months. Not sure yet though. I really haven't noticed any difference in sales if I price slightly higher. I don't know if I'd go up to 4.99 or higher though. I'm easily intimidated I guess. :P

Anyway, hi! I LOVE meeting other authors who write in the LGBT fantasy genre, and I think a support thread is a superb idea. :D



Shiriluna Nott, writer of LGBT epic fantasy. Currently writing: Book Four *and* Book 1.5 of the Chronicles of Arden.
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Offline Cap'n Crunch

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2015, 09:05:03 PM »
I have quite a few m/m series in several genres: fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and a sort of steampunkish one. One of my bestsellers is the one priced the highest, but even so, it's not higher than $3.99, and it's contemporary. The rest of my series are permafree with $2.99 follow-through on the series. I had a BookBub at the beginning of the month and the tail has been incredible. I've never seen numbers like these and I pray they last a long time! The key for me as been that permafree and the fact I have lots of books in the series. These are full novels, 50k-100k.

I've dipped my toe into m/f, but it's too early to tell if that's something I should concentrate on. I think you need a full series or at least 3 books in one before readers commit.

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Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #11 on: October 11, 2015, 09:07:05 PM »
I have quite a few m/m series in several genres: fantasy, contemporary, urban fantasy, sci-fi, and a sort of steampunkish one. One of my bestsellers is the one priced the highest, but even so, it's not higher than $3.99, and it's contemporary. The rest of my series are permafree with $2.99 follow-through on the series. I had a BookBub at the beginning of the month and the tail has been incredible. I've never seen numbers like these and I pray they last a long time! The key for me as been that permafree and the fact I have lots of books in the series. These are full novels, 50k-100k.

I've dipped my toe into m/f, but it's too early to tell if that's something I should concentrate on. I think you need a full series or at least 3 books in one before readers commit.

Do you do them under different pen names? I kind of want the freedom to dabble in all sorts of pairs, but due to the lack of crossover between m/f+m/m and f/f, I'm not sure if just grouping them together would work. (Or if it would offend people.)

Offline jimjimtk

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2015, 09:13:19 PM »
Hi Shei,

Thanks for starting this thread.  I am an author of gay fiction (Gay / Literary / a little Magical Realism thrown into one of my books.)  Anyway, I am new.  I just started publishing in Amazon in April.  And getting my books reviewed is a challenge. I was wondering if anyone knows of good websites for getting reviews for LGBT books, or any other suggestions for getting reviews.

Thanks,
James
« Last Edit: October 11, 2015, 10:29:19 PM by jimjimtk »


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Offline JLCarver

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #13 on: October 11, 2015, 09:33:53 PM »
Do you do them under different pen names? I kind of want the freedom to dabble in all sorts of pairs, but due to the lack of crossover between m/f+m/m and f/f, I'm not sure if just grouping them together would work. (Or if it would offend people.)

In my current story, I have both a m/m pair and a m/f pair--there are three protagonists in this story. I don't think it will hurt my novel any. Some of the more iconic LGBT-focused television shows have a mix of relationships. Queer as Folk and Looking have m/m and m/f relationships in them. Then there is How to Get Away With Murder that happily displays both types of relationships, often even within the same episode. Of course, that's television and not books. The audiences are a little different. I think today's audiences, though, are a little more open minded and willing to read through both types of relationships. The only time it might really make a difference is if it's erotica and the story is geared toward one specific sexuality over another. If it's a bisexual story, then that likely lends itself to a wider range on the Kinsey scale.

For my novel, I think I'll be able to get away with having both. So far, everything is just the relationships between the characters. I don't even have any sex scenes in this first book, and there aren't many opportunities to put one in without it seeming gratuitous. I suspect that if/when they do happen in the next book, I'll write them up to the moment they stop being meaningful to the story, then fade to black. I'm not a prude by any means, but I want the character's moments together to make sense in the story and to be the payoff to a relationship building up instead of having a sex scene just to get one in.

But I don't know. This will be my first book. What's the consensus on mixing the sexual orientations in the same book?

Offline Cap'n Crunch

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2015, 09:42:02 PM »
Do you do them under different pen names? I kind of want the freedom to dabble in all sorts of pairs, but due to the lack of crossover between m/f+m/m and f/f, I'm not sure if just grouping them together would work. (Or if it would offend people.)

Yes, I write the m/m under my own name and the m/f under a pen name. I do have a m/m/f that I left under my own name because it weighed slightly more toward the m/m part of the threesome. I do follow a popular author who writes it all under one name.

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Offline AixenPixel

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2015, 10:06:57 PM »
Omg I love this thread. My new mystery series deals with a closeted detective fostering a rogue orphan. Ive done other lgbt in other pen names. I wonder how I can contribute to this thread!
I love the lgbt category. Looooove it. Yazzz.

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Offline Jarmitagetheauthor

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2015, 10:21:50 PM »
My books main Characters are lesbian although one of the girls brother has a huge crush on the other girl so it's a bit of a love triangle. It doesn't help that the girl has to have a baby with the guy whilst being in love with his sister. It's a paranormal fantasy story but above all it's a love story.


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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2015, 10:26:46 PM »
I've been building up the side characters in my books, and have plans to release a m/m novel as the fourth book in my Bad Reputation series. Most of the m/m fiction i read are by authors who write both m/f and m/m, so I don't know if it would actually be detrimental.

With Faithless, my novel about a stripper and a preacher, there was a very important third character, and it was revealed closer to the end, that the three of them were in some kind of relationship. I had a few readers who were taken back by those scenes, but for the most part, they still loved the story.

Modern audiences are much more accepting, and I've noticed LGBT fiction surging.

Offline elizabethsade

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2015, 10:42:30 PM »
I've been building up the side characters in my books, and have plans to release a m/m novel as the fourth book in my Bad Reputation series. Most of the m/m fiction i read are by authors who write both m/f and m/m, so I don't know if it would actually be detrimental.

With Faithless, my novel about a stripper and a preacher, there was a very important third character, and it was revealed closer to the end, that the three of them were in some kind of relationship. I had a few readers who were taken back by those scenes, but for the most part, they still loved the story.

Modern audiences are much more accepting, and I've noticed LGBT fiction surging.

The downside is lesbian romance (which is what I'd like to write primarily, while doing some stuff in m/f and m/m) is still less popular than the other pairs, but I have seen more and more LGBT couples getting involved in books that sell better.

If I did write multiple couple types, it would probably end up with a series that contained all types of pairs, with the main thing they have in common being the world they live in. Or it'd be a group of friends, etc. I dunno. So many decisions! I just want to write, not worry about how to market things as much. Alas, the life of an indie...

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2015, 11:04:42 PM »
The downside is lesbian romance (which is what I'd like to write primarily, while doing some stuff in m/f and m/m) is still less popular than the other pairs, but I have seen more and more LGBT couples getting involved in books that sell better.

If I did write multiple couple types, it would probably end up with a series that contained all types of pairs, with the main thing they have in common being the world they live in. Or it'd be a group of friends, etc. I dunno. So many decisions! I just want to write, not worry about how to market things as much. Alas, the life of an indie...

Yeah, unfortunately, I think readership isn't catching onto f/f as quick as m/m. However, if you're writing a standalone series, where each book could be read separately but they're still connected, I'd personally opt out of splitting the f/f into a pen name.


Offline AngryGames

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2015, 11:38:59 PM »
Yay!

So, I'm a "straight, white, cis" male but my I've grown up around LGBT persons and I'm a very vocal supporter of LGBT rights. My father is gay (he's from the previous generations where gay men and women married the opposite sex and hid who they truly were thanks to society being far less tolerant back then). My first wife was bisexual. My adult son and adult daughter are both bisexual. Tons of family and friends are LGBT, though these days they are using terms such as "sapiosexual" and "heteroflexible" and such.

The very first review of the very first story I ever published was from someone who claimed it was "gay propaganda to further the gay agenda." I totally thought it was about the fall of humanity after an alien invasion that also had a husband-husband and wife-wife included. I was pretty upset for a while until everyone in my circle who read it said they never even noticed it had "gay stuff" in it.

This made me realize the hard truth that not everyone is going to like what I write, which is a pretty damn good lesson for a noob. The people I associate with on a regular basis didn't point out that the story was "pretty gay" because a m/m or f/f couple is such an integrated aspect in our collective lives that it doesn't stand out (ie: we don't gape at two dudes making out or grab our bibles when two women show up to the courthouse to get married). My wife and I have shed tears more than a few times when we see/read stories about the two old men or women who finally get to be "legally" together after 40+ years of hiding in plain sight.

And since I've discovered the "open relationship" or "polyamorous" crowd, I've had to adjust to the new reality. I guess I always knew there were such things as triads (mmf or mff and now even tff/tmm/tmf/etc). Quads were always "swingers" to me, but now I get to explain how swingers and polyamorous partnerships are very different things (I'm fun at parties as I end up talking about this or my experiences working around the porn industry during my previous career in tech). All these new descriptors like "pansexual" and the intricate webs of poly relationships... there's a ton of stories waiting to be told to an audience who is either in the "lifestyle" or is an ally to those who are part of it.

Fifty Shades made BDSM a mainstream phrase. I have no doubt there will be more than a few of you in this thread who will bring the same attention to these other terms/lifestyles (and I $#@$ guarantee all of you will write something that is actually readable without cringing).

Not all of my stories have LGBT characters. Most usually at least reference LGBT persons or relationships in some way, while some have LGBT persons as main character(s). It doesn't matter whether I write a science fiction story about aliens, time travel, vampires, horror stories, crime fiction stories, drama, romance. In my worlds, humanity has (for the most part) moved past bigotry toward race/gender/sexuality.

If readers don't like that a main character is black, lesbian, and in charge of NASA... well, I like it. I write stories for me. I just happen to be lucky enough that once in a while someone else with a brain injury enjoys reading the low-brow fiction I produce.

Right. I apologize for word vomit. It's a good thread. Hopefully I didn't ruin it.
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Offline Annette_g

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2015, 03:16:28 AM »
I've written m/m fanfic mostly in the Harry Potter fandom, m/f fanfic in the X-files, one f/f fanfic, some genderbending and a lot of in between.

I've written an m/m fantasy novel and a couple of m/m erotic romance short stories and I did have a lesbian side character in one of my m/f novels. It just depends on the character. I tend to write everything under one name as I would not be able  to keep up with many different personas :)

I've read a lot of fantasy that has lgbtq characters, it seems to be more accepted there in fantasy and sf. There is a fantasy series by Richard Morgan that had three main characters - one was gay, one straight and one lesbian and none of them felt out of place. There were some sex scenes, but it wasn't a romance. So I think perhaps you can mix various orientations on the one book, but I suppose it depends on the reader.

I know I've read some fantasy or sci-fi books where it isn't mentioned that they had any lgbtq characters in the story, so it was a nice surprise as I was reading. But I would read more if I knew beforehand that they were in it :) Adding it to the book's description might put some people off, but it could enable more people who actually want it to find it.


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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2015, 04:48:55 AM »
Quote
Yeah, unfortunately, I think readership isn't catching onto f/f as quick as m/m. However, if you're writing a standalone series, where each book could be read separately but they're still connected, I'd personally opt out of splitting the f/f into a pen name.

Addressing this specifically, I would never mix FF with anything else. There are some lesbian women who will read anything that appeals, but there's a significant number if not a majority particularly among old school 2nd wavers who want to know they're reading books by and for lesbians. If you start mixing in MM or MF, they'll write you off. And on the other side, I really don't see much crossover from the MM side. So you have a lot to lose and very little to gain.

Addressing the FF market vs. the MM market. FF books are read by lesbians. MM books are read by straight women. They are completely separate markets, not part of a LGBT market. That's the real issue. If you take the good old kinsey 10%, then your audience is 5% of all readers for FF and 50% for MM. I love the genre so I write in it, but it's not something where even a bunch of best sellers are going to let you quit your day job--unless it involves asking if the customer would like fries with that.

Offline Cap'n Crunch

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #23 on: October 12, 2015, 05:13:53 AM »
I love the genre so I write in it, but it's not something where even a bunch of best sellers are going to let you quit your day job--unless it involves asking if the customer would like fries with that.

Not true :)

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Offline Sarah Ettritch

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Re: LGBT Authors Support Thread
« Reply #24 on: October 12, 2015, 05:41:36 AM »
All my books except one have at least one lesbian main character. I write science fiction (sociological), fantasy (urban, epic), and mystery (cozy, supernatural). Some of my books have romantic elements, but not all of them.

It's good to see so many authors writing LGBT characters! :)



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