As readers, most of us pay no attention to that first inside page unless we have to cite the book in an essay. Why should we care who published the piece? Actually, knowing the publisher of a book can tell you a lot about the title before you even read a chapter. With these 5 American LGBTQ publishers, for example, you know the authors and the characters are going to be perfect for queer representation.
First is Blind Eye Books. Started in Bellingham, Washington by Nicole Kimberling, Blind Eye Books has a vast collection of fiction novel genres. Their content includes sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and paranormal romance. On their website, they say they are dedicated to publishing novels with LGBTQ protagonists.
The featured books won the Gaylactic Spectrum Award winner for best novel, the Lambda Literary Award Science-Fiction/Fantasy/Horror winner and the Rainbow Award for Best Fantasy.
Next is Manic D Press. Jennifer Joseph opened Manic D Press all the way back in 1984. The publisher is out of San Francisco, California and is one of the oldest LGBTQ book publishers. As such, their range is huge. Fiction, poetry, children’s books and art are only some of the titles provided. Manic D Press claims their purpose is to publish stories which lack commercial viability in traditional publishing.
The featured books won the Firecracker Book Award for Fiction, the American Library Association LGBT Award for Literature and the Lambda Literary Award.
Issue 37 from Winter 2022
Third is Gertrude Press. Eric Delehoy started the longest consecutively published queer journal in 1998 in Portland, Oregon. Gertrude Press is a non-profit organization which features regularly updated issues. Each release contains creative non fiction short stories, fictional manuscripts and poetry. Works are collected from 12 different countries including the United States.
The journal also has a book club, book reviews and podcasts available on their website.
Fourth is Elysium Press. For the historians, David Deiss started Elysium Press in 1980 out of Norwich, Vermont. The publisher dedicates itself to printing works which were neglected or overlooked by commercial trade, usually due to taboo content such as LGBTQ characters. This publisher is quite expensive because each book is hand-printed and bound.
Elysium Press also sells antiquated rare books that are hard to find.
Books to read:
Before and Afterlives by Christopher Barzak
by Bogi Takács
by Julian K. Jarboe
Finally is Lethe Press. Steve Berman founded one of the largest gay publishers in 2001 in Maple Shade, NJ. Lethe Press is a self-proclaimed specialist on “the strange, the eerie, and the uncanny.” This publisher focuses on “speculative fiction.” They say they care about ideas which have been forgotten or neglected by the mainstream.
The featured books won the Shirley Jackson Award and the Lambda Literary Awards.
Many publishers include an LGBTQ section in their published works. However, not a lot focus entirely on this genre and the sub-genres within. Perhaps if we give these five publishers and their content attention it may encourage others to pop up. If you were looking for LGBTQ novels, read our article about 20 new LGBTQ novels that publishers just released.