Founders of LGBTQ Book Publishers
There is a passionate and diverse community of LGBTQ book publishers today that is committed to the queer literature genre and supportive of queer writers. This, together with supportive technology, has made queer literature popular and accessible in the developed world.
LGBTQ book publishing has a fascinating and complicated history. Publishers devoted to printing works by LGBTQ authors writing with LGBTQ characters or themes were initially created because of the reticence of traditional publishing houses to enter this field. This was due principally because of censorship and general homophobia within society. As these barriers began to be dismantled, competition came through larger and better capitalized publishing houses. Today, the major threat to the industry is dwindling mass distribution opportunities because of the dominance of online sellers such as Amazon, and the rise of digital e-books.
A benefit of this change has been the reduction in the cost of production and smaller capital costs to enter the industry. This has allowed a wave of new firms to be created catering to this niche market, with many catering to the author who wishes to self publish. This includes publishers of LGBTQ poetry, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, and more.
Despite these different challenges over time, there remains a large number of book publishers who focus principally on LGBTQ books. Several which have survived are well known, such as Alyson Publications, Saphire Books and Women of Colour Press. The industry is international in scope, though the publishing companies tend to be small and locally owned since each country has its own challenges and often relies on a small cadre of supporters. Customs rules in many countries still prohibit the importation of LGBTQ content books based on obscure obscenity rules and legislation.
As a result, LGBTQ authors themselves have to do more work with the publishers to be successful. This includes marketing, promotion, pricing, and more. so there are pros and cons to the use of technology in publishing today.
Lambda Literary plays a big role in the support of the industry in the United States. Not only does it provide a forum for the dissemination of information pertaining to LGBT books, it also provides prominent awards to writers and an annual Visionary Award to publishers. Other awards include the Stonewall Book Awards, the Green Carnation Prize, the Publishing Triangle Awards
We have identified many LGBTQ individuals who have participated in the history of the LGBTQ book publishing industy. To read their fascinating biographies simply click on their names.
- Genevieve Pastre, Les Octaviennes
- Bruno Gmunder, Bruno Gmunder publishing house
- Friedrich Radszuweit, Bund für Menschenrecht E.V. (BfM)
- Aubrey Walter, Gay Men's Press
- Assotto Saint, Galiens Press
- S. Andrea Allen, BLF Press
- Sasha Alyson, Alyson Publications
- Lynn Ames, Phoenix Rising Press
- Jess Arndt, New Herring Press
- Steve Berman, Lethe Press
- Elizabeth Bradfield, Broadsided Press
- Hal Call, Pan Graphic Press
- Charles 'Zan' Christensen, Northwest Press
- Jameson Currier, Bywater Books
- Qwo-Li Driskill, Dragonfly Rising Press
- Roxane Gay, Tiny Hardcore Press
- Barbara Grier, Naiad Press
- Eloise Klein Healy, Arktoi Books
- Gordon Hoban, Omnium Publishing
- Michele Karlsberg, Amethyst Press
- Kevin Killian, Small Press Traffic
- Richard Lafortune, 2SPR (Two Spirited Press Room)
- Donna McBride, Naiad Press
- Mary Meriam, Headmistress Press
- Lisa C. Moore, RedBone Press
- Cherrie Moraga, Kitchen Table/Women of Colour Press
- Patricia Nell Warren, Wildcat Press
- Charles Shively, Fag Rag Press
- Barbara Smith, Kitchen Table/Women of Colour Press
- Christopher Stoddard, ITNA Press
- Christine Svendsen, Saphire Books
- Ralph Sylvester, Sylvester & Orthanis
- Don Weise, Querelle
- Ken White, Query Books
- Herman Lynn Womack, Guild Press