Let’s start by putting an end to unreasonable and completely untrue rumors about sales of lesbian fiction. Lesbian fiction, or maybe it is better to say lesbian romance, sells well. And in some cases, it sells very well. How should I know? Because I am the author of a lesbian novel whose lesbian credits bring me so much money that my goal is to write and publish more lesbian novels than an M/M or direct novel in the coming years.
My inspiration for this post was Jessica from “Read React Review”, who had an interesting post “Friday Links”, where she raises the theme of lesbian fiction:
“We still do not see in the world of romance anything special in terms of writing, reviews or conversations. And, I hurried to add that I don’t read it or show any interest in it, despite the fact that I sometimes read m/m.”. Carina Press, Harlequin’s first digital print, publishes some m/m, but not as far as I know, f/f. Isn’t it for sale? Or is it one of those self-fulfilling prophecies (“if you don’t publish it, they will not come”).
She thought about it, based on the blog “Only what you hate is needed” and on post-gay women. In the middle of the month we would like to know why it seems that there is an M/M YA, but no lesbian YA.
“Lesbian appearance is pretty damn awful in the fiction that I like, or even in the fiction that I do not like. So what is this thing those graduates of fantastic YA writers who have ever so praised for their wonderful wonderful inclusiveness? That’s nine times more than ten times more than hot, hot gays. Hot, hot gay boy. You are lucky to have one of the girls in the background. …somewhere… loves other girls… somewhere… honest.“
It was also discussed how publishers like Riptide exclusively publish M/M and how Carina Press has a section for M/M but not for F/F. The public consensus is that the lesbian novel is not for sale.
I am here to tell you that a lesbian novel sells well and that a lesbian fiction that does not make money is a lie. I would like to know why people believe in it? Where are the facts that make it true? Is it because F/F-fiction is not discussed and revised as straight or M/M-fiction? Once upon a time, M/M-fiction was underground, and now look at how successful it has become. There are such M/M authors as Ryan Field, Josh Lanyon and C.A. Mitchell who make a great career out of it and are on par with their sales, as well as authors who write direct fiction. I really believe that F/F fiction (or at least romance) will soon go mainstream, just like M/M.
How would I know this? I know because I am writing F/F romance, and it has brought me the most money of all my publications that I have published since June 2010. I’ve only been published for a year and a half and during this time my lesbian publications represent over 80% of my sales. I earn good money by publishing F/Fromance that next year most of what I write and hope to publish will be F/F fiction.
I have 4 lesbian publications. Of these 4, two are my best money creators. My three best sellers out of the 9 books I have published:
- The bride of the princess
- For the love of Molly
Two of my three best-selling books are F/F “Romance”. Lovestruck was in the top 50 bestsellers of Amazon’s GLBT and erotic fiction for a month, and The Princess’s Bride reached #2 in Amazon’s Lesbian fiction bestseller (I would have been #1, but at that time #1 was a self-published book about a woman and her love affair with a horse) and remained in the top 10 for almost 3 months. The “Scandal in the Wind” was released in November and is currently in the top ten best-selling F/F romance books “Ravenous Romance”, and if you remove 5 anthologies from this list, my book would be #2. Ravenous Romance gave me a $200 advance for each book I published with them. I was able to pay my advance for “The Princess’ Bride” and “Sleeping with Fresnemia” within a month after they were published.
Usually the first 6 months after the book is published become a hit or a miss. At first I thought “The Princess’s Bride” was a failure, because in the first 5 months after the book was published, I saw no movement or sales. But then, when I received the first quarterly application for royalties (January-March 2011). In 3 months I earned $1,360 from one title – “Princess Bride”. Lovestruck continues to sell well, where I range from $50 to $80 per month. Sleeping with Frenemy’s advance was paid within the first month after it was released and it makes quite good sales wise. The scandal in the wind, which comes out only in mid-November, is on the way to sell its advance.
F/F-romance is on sale. I am the proof of this. People may continue to deny it, but if they have no solid facts, they do not know what they are talking about. I am open and honest about the number of books I sold and my fees and I welcome anyone who asks me about them because I have nothing to hide. F/F romance is gaining momentum in the publishing industry, and the authors writing it are more than you think.
The three publishing houses I work with – Decadent Publishing, Noble Romance and Ravenous Romance – all publish F/F Romance, not just one or two titles here or there. F/F “Romance” has become a regular category among other listed genres. Rene Rocco, the owner of Lyrical Press is dying for a more lesbian novel. Lyrical Press can be considered a small publisher, but one of its authors, who writes F/F “Romance”, sells 1000 books a month for it. Samhain Publishining and Ellora’s Cave are actively looking for a lesbian novel. Bold Stroke Books is well known for its F/F fiction.
Evernight Publishing decided to publish the F/F-romance. My friend Kelly Yickle published her first F/F romance with Evernight. She is their first F/F romance author. She did well with her first F/F novel, which she writes more. My editor and decadent author, Kate Richards, writes and publishes “F/F-romance”. The author of Raven’s Novel, Luisa Bacchio, also writes F/F-romance, and I believe she sells even better than I do.
Lee Ellwood has been writing an F / F novel for many years and is successful. All these authors I mentioned are similar to me. We write a variety of genres, and our bestsellers seem to be lesbian fiction.
Kathy Pegau sold Carina Press a romantic science fiction movie called “Rulebreaker“, which was well received, but from what I see, it’s just one of two lesbian titles in Carina Press. Funny, they have a lesbian title with Rulbraker, but why not write it in the section “Lesbians in Books”: Shop by Genre. It is in the section Romance of science fiction. They have an M/M section, but no F/F section. I find it strange, unless their 2 F/F titles sell well. Lucy Felhouse also writes a lot of fiction, including F/F, and also edits several F/F-centric anthologies.
Some publishers will not publish lesbian fiction. Loose-Id does not publish. Also, many of the episodes I was interested in to send my F/F fiction do not accept it. I find it strange because F/F romance can make a profit for both the publisher and the author. And I am not talking about a penny or a few dollars. I am talking about hundreds and thousands of dollars.
When 2011 is over (depending on my sales in Q4), I will earn somewhere between $5000 and $6000. 90% of what I earned are my lesbian novels. Last year my goal was to earn $1,000 from June 2010 to June 2011. As a result, I earned much more and tripled my sales this year mainly because of my lesbian novel.
F/F is not for everyone, as well as M/M is not for some or in some cases a direct novel. This is what is great about publishing, especially in terms of publication, because publishers are open to all kinds of different genres and stories. As I said before, I try to accept being recognized as an author. When I publish my Direct Stories, I get more references than my Lesbian Titles. But the funny thing is that I earn more money by publishing a lesbian novel. I want recognition, but if I earn more money, I write for a genre that people openly do not recognize or read, it is not difficult to understand that I will write more. A greedy girl that I want money, so if I have to give up recognition, let it be so, because again the lesbian novel sells well.
A few weeks ago I talked to someone about author branding. Author branding has become so important, and if you don’t have a brand, you won’t succeed, or so I was told. I feel like I don’t have a brand. If somebody asked you what is a KT Grant brand? You’d probably be staring at an empty look. Partly it’s my fault, because I don’t stick to writing for one genre or a certain category. My books are either staged in some kind of historical or contemporary setting. I also try to sell Steampunk (straight) and Paranormal Romance (lesbian). I also signed a new contract with Ravenous Romance for a new lesbian novel for next year. I am everywhere.
Surprisingly, a friend said that I have a brand. I am known for writing a hot lesbian pirate novel. And you know what, it works for me.
If anyone knows another publisher who is open to publishing a lesbian novel/fiction and F/F authors, leave a comment here and I will add it to this post.
Other publishers who publish lesbian fiction:
Books about pink petals
Lunar Storm Press
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