Today I received the email that many authors dread, the publisher decided to pass on The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3). They didn’t feel that it had an audience. You see, since the heroine is bisexual, she has relationships with both men and women. So with both M/F and F/F pairings there was no “specific” market for it. They also felt that the readers of the first two books wouldn’t follow this one since generally readers of M/F romance don’t like F/F and vise versa.
Yeah you read that right.
If that’s the case, then why is it there are readers of F/F romances searching high and low for the books they want to read? There is a demand for them and yet it’s being ignored. Some publishing houses actually won’t even consider manuscripts with F/F pairings unless it’s minor. The main pair has to be either M/F or M/M. The prejudice towards the all girl action is really annoying to put it mildly. There is no reason to cut out this group of readers other than someone’s misguided notion that women don’t wish to read about other women having sex and getting their happily ever after.
How do I know the sex of the readers of romance? Well, I don’t know that every single last one of them is a female, but the vast majority of them are— even for the books classified as “manlove.” It’s women who write and read the most M/M romantic fiction so why is it so hard to see that there are women who write and read about two heroines getting it on? Times have changed. The rules of romance have and continue to change. Gone are the days where the hero has to be a rich, ruggedly handsome alpha male who chases after the sweet little virgin in her early twenties. Now we have heroes and heroines of all shapes, sizes, colors and species. There are pairings of the usual two and all the way up to five or more. How one keeps track of all the action in the extreme menage pairings is beyond me, but boy is it fascinating to read!
I’ve written many posts concerning the prejudice erotic romance authors get from the romance community in general, but the biggest problem we have is within our own ranks. The large and small publishing houses who carry erotic romances still resist publishing lesbian fiction. If you embrace the LGBT tag for your house’s books, you should embrace all that it stands for: lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. All people, regardless of their sexual orientation deserve to have romance in their lives. Mainstream and erotic romance novels give all of us that escape.
So stay tuned for the news of when The Surrender of Julia (Now and Forever 3) will be released within the next few months from…Sassy Vixen Publishing. Julia’s story will be SVP’s very first novel published with them. So far I’ve only published my poetry listing Sassy Vixen as the publisher. I can’t tell you how excited and just over the moon I am about this whole new venture for me and my writing. Now I can move forward with this series as I see it in my head and not have to follow “the house” rules any longer.
I’ll always be grateful to Siren Bookstrand for helping me to realize my dream. They took a chance on a complete unknown with a HUGE story to tell. The editors and support staff taught me more about the publishing world than I could ever or will ever read in a book. The most important and valuable perk of all? I got to meet and work with some of the most fascinating authors who’ve mentored me, reassured me when I had my doubts, and picked me up when I just wanted to quit. Without them, I would not be starting this new phase of my publishing career and I wouldn’t have some of the best friends any woman could ever have.