indie voice

Once Taboo, Gay Characters Are Taking Over YA Fiction

Once Taboo, Gay Characters Are Taking Over YA Fiction

in Broadly. (Oct 30, 2016)

Gay characters remain a minority in television and film, but they have become a sensation in young adult fiction over the past seven years. Teenage readers have gobbled up books with titles like One Man Guy and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Queerness has always existed between the lines in novels about teenagers. Authors like Nancy Garden, Jacqueline Woodson, and Francesca Lia Block all highlighted gay undertones in their young heroes and heroines. In 2003, David Levithan—the author of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and now the publisher and editorial director of Scholastic—ushered in a golden age of gay young adult (YA) fiction. His debut novel Boy Meets Boy told the classic boy-meets-girl love story, but with two boys. The book became a cult classic among both queer teens and adults, inspiring a new generation of YA authors. “It just showed me there was an openness to the YA LGBTQ world that was very flexible and cool,” says gay YA author Jeffrey Self. Novelist Simon Curtis agrees: “[Levithan’s] phenomenal. He’s kind of like the fairy godfather [of gay YA].”

Throughout the 2000s, publishers released more gay YA novels, but they remained controversial. “A book called Boy Meets Boy was easy to attack, since you didn’t have to read it to know what it was about,” Levithan says in an email. “And many people thought it would be easier to attack gay characters and gay books rather than gay people, thinking that books wouldn’t fight back.”

Read the rest here and find a list of great indie YA titles (many with gay characters, here).

For most of the people in the world who love YA novels as much as I do, if you want a book, you head to the bookstore or boot up whatever online retailer you like to get your ebooks from. Thankfully, major publishing houses have got us covered in finding something to pique our interest, but the world of self-published young adult novels shouldn’t be counted out. When you hear of success stories like Fifty Shades of Grey going from fanfiction to self-published book to mainstream novel, no matter how much your opinion of that book might vary, you can’t deny that there are a lot of amazing, undiscovered books out there just waiting for someone to discover them. At least, that’s how I felt, and, luckily, I wasn’t proven wrong.

NaNoWriMo for publishing folk

by Bree Weber in BookMachine (November 1, 20016)

On November 1st, the publishing industry will get a little quieter, all thanks to a month-long “contest” steadily growing in participants and controversy. Writers outline and plan novels in preparation for November aka NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) when they commence writing 50K words towards a novel. And in December, many of them descend on literary agents and publishers with their first draft manuscript, thereby inducing the publishing community to silently close their submissions (or wish they had) until well into the new year.

Is this why there are so many hate letters to NaNoWriMo written by literary agents and editors? Exhibits A and B.

There’s a plethora of tutorials, tips, and pep talks designed for writers to help them prep for, participate in and ideally pull off the incredible feat of 50,000 words in 30 days. But what about the rest of the book people? Authors are our creative collaborators, and around half a million of them are becoming super-writers for a month. It seems like it might be time for publishing folk to get in on this annual hoopla, because really, at the core of this writing project is simply the promotion of creativity, which sounds an awful lot like the intention of copyright law.

So here we go, a 3-step guide to #NaNoWriMo for publishing folk:

Read more here.

Why Most Amazon Reader Reviews are Worthless

A longtime agent dissects the Amazon reader review

Scribd Adds Magazines and News to Subscription Service

Scribd announced today that it has added magazines and news articles to its subscription service, which also offers users access to ebooks, audiobooks, comics, sheet music and documents.

The magazines Scribd is adding are as follows: archive and current issues from Time, Fortune, Money, People, Bloomberg Businessweek, Entrepreneur, Foreign Policy, New York Magazine, Newsweek and The Atlantic (coming soon).

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