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Today I received suggestions to make my novel ‘more marketable’ to agents & publishers. The big one: Remove the main LGBT romance. Thread!
Name of helpful suggester withheld for privacy, of course, but I will say they are traditionally published author, and they did mean well.
They explained agents (& publishers) would be afraid to pub my book 'cause it doesn’t appeal to a wide audience since it’s LGBT and Sci-Fi.
Side Note: They assumed since the main is gay there will be erotica in it. This isn’t the first time I’ve hit Gay Romance = Hardcore Sex.
They questioned how the human/A.I. romance would work then said, “I don’t see that (the book) can seriously address these issues.”
2nd Side Note: They have read the first 5 pages of my manuscript, nothing more.
“I also felt that the LGBTQ inclusion really seems to cloud things.” - Direct Quote
So they described LGBT Sci-Fi Romance being as mainstream as “Marzipan Modern Art Owls”. AKA nearly impossible. Also a great band name.
Their solution? Based on 5 pages of writing? Change the book to an Action Spy Thriller and make the male-identifying A.I. a sexy robot lady.
No really, they said that.
A “Sexy robot, confused about whether she’s a robot or a person, is a selling point.” – Yet Another Direct Quote.
In the end they helpfully suggested I figure out the largest target audience and “reshape” my book for the maximum amount of sales.
“I just can’t see who this would appeal to. It has elements that attract one readership but then immediately turn them off.” - Final Quote
Of course, they're right. I would get published faster with the LBGT elements removed. But that only shows we need more diverse books.
Our world is filled with people that don’t fit into ‘White, Cis, Straight’. So our bookshelves should be full of stories that reflect this.
I’m fighting for a future where LGBT isn’t considered a risk in the publishing world. I won’t stop until all of our voices are heard.
There is so much more I could say. I’ll make a blog post about this soon. This issue deserves a lot more press than it gets.
Until then I’m starting my new band The Marzipan Modern Art Owls. Catch us next Open Mic Nite! Thanks for listening. And buy #diversebooks!
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