Question: I would like to know why publishers refuse to publish novels with a GLBT theme to them?
I can search the net and find gay/lesbian themed ebooks but novels i can only find maybe 1-3 that is it.
Why is that?
I just would like a solid answer not sugar coated one please and thank you.
Cause if we live in a free country then writing a novel about a gay/lesbian main character should not be an issue.Answer:
First, I must say that I feel unqualified to answer this question for more than one reason. The closest I've even come to reading a LGBT novel was a couple of Robert Heinlein stories, and that was only because I like science fiction. So if any reader has better knowledge, please step up.
If I were to speculate, I would suspect that (like everything in business) the reason has to do with money. If there was a large market for LGBT romance, for example, I would find it hard to believe that publishers like Harlequein would not create a line to target it. They might choose to create a separate imprint (so as to not confuse certain Christian readers), but it would happen.
I mention romance because most novels sold are romances. Obviously, if the readership of a particular niche is small to begin with, a sub-niche targeting LGBT readers would be even smaller. These days, publishers seem less willing to publish anything that doesn't have the potential to be a best seller, which is a problem for a lot of niche audiences.
Of course, there are some other barriers in this genre. For instance, young adult novels are certainly
popular now, and plenty of teens and young adults are interested in sexuality. But while you can get a straight teen romance (with no sex) into most schools, I suspect it's harder to get a similar gay romance accepted. Many school boards, libraries, book clubs, etc. are not even open to YA novels with swear words, let alone gay issues (which they see as more controversial). You'll see more gay teens on TV than on school bookshelves.
I also suspect there has traditionally been less crossover between LGBT readers and readers of other genres. (That is, while there may be plenty of gay people who read other genres, the reverse is not as common.) I'm not sure how rapidly this is changing.
It may be that the situation will not change unless someone can write a big breakthrough LGBT novel that smashes through the barriers and gets everyone - inside and outside the LGBT community - reading it. If a few genius writers can demonstrate they can produce million-copy best sellers in this niche, you will see all the publishers jumping on the bandwagon.
Maybe these writers will rise to fame through self-publishing ebooks, or underground comic books, or some other vehicle that lets them reach their audience by by-passing the gatekeepers. That's how most new genres emerge.
Curiously, I came across this editorial by a writer who feels that the market for LGBT books has actually been shrinking...
Note that he attributes this to the LGBT market being saturated with too many similar books. This may be one sign that the market needs a writer who can open up new territory and get people excited about reading the genre.