Monday, 22 July 2013

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Discussion: How Do We Convince Publishers/Agents We Want LGBTQ YA Novels?

LGBTQ YA MonthSo there's something I want to discuss. Publishers thinking LGBTQ YA won't sell. In earlier's guest post, B.R. Collins mentioned how her publisher requested that she change the same-sex relationship to a "passionate friendship". Earlier in the month, Jane Eagland talked about her book Whisper My Name where she removed the same-sex relationship at her editor's request. These aren't the first ones we've heard about either; we all know about Jessica Verday's problem with being requested that the same sex couple in a short story for an anthology was changed and ended up refusing to contribute. There were a lot of responses and some articles about it. And there are others. Do a Google search, you'll find them. Ok, so Non Pratt of Catnip Publishing mentioned earlier in the month that sometimes editors may request the change of sexuality of a character whatever their original sexuality (i.e. gay to straight or straight to gay) if it makes the story more believable. But there is the idea from some publishers that readers simply won't buy books that have LGBTQ characters in.

We need to change this.

The only thing is, how? How do we really let them know that we want these books? Would comments on a post like this, tweeted out to the world and to publishers be enough? An image on Pinterest that we try and get our followers to repin? Should there be a petition? What can we readers do to make sure publishers and agents know we want LGBTQ YA novels? I'm serious, because I want to do something! You would have thought hearing about what happened with Jessica Verday and the response to that would have been enough, but obviously it wasn't. I'm not foolish enough to think that simply running a month about LGBTQ YA is going to do it. There's got to be something more, something we can all do and all get involved in, that will make publishers and agents take notice. I just don't know what the best move is.

Your thoughts, people?

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