The charts for LGBT eBooks this week show that the readers seem to have definite preference when it comes to the niches and trends of the genre.
This week in LGBT eBooks, the trend of historical novels featuring LGBT characters is still going strong. These books include, Dorothy Allison’s, Bastard out of Carolina, Min Jin Lee’s, Pachinko, Donna Tartt’s, The Goldfinch, and Taylor Jenkins Reid’s, The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo. They are in general very literary, with a lot of focus on familial strife and pain. There is a definite lean towards characters who have experienced trauma early on in their life, and have in particular faced grief and violence. Typically in these novels the main character is not LGBT, though this is not a strict rule, but generally the LGBT character’s life is watched from the outside.
Interestingly, in addition to these historically set novels about fictional people, there is also a book about the life of Abraham Lincoln. It is told from the points of view of his long term “roommate” (quoted from the book’s blurb), Joshua Speed, and his future wife, Mary Todd. This is another book which looks at a LGBT person from outside their own words, though it does include Joshua Speed’s point of view, which is more inclusive than some of the books on this list. But still, it continues an uncomfortable trend of cis/straight people telling the stories of LGBT people. However, Courting Mr Lincoln, by Louis Bayard, does seem to b an improvement on that, as well as an important book filling in the gaps of history.
Elsewhere on the charts, A Study in Honor, by Claire O’Dell, is proving popular. As an F/F novel, and a Mystery Novel, set in the Close Future, in a Washington DC with Science Fiction influences, with African American main characters, and as a retelling of a Sherlock Holmes novel, this book sits outside a lot of the normal trends and niches of the genre. This is likely part of it’s strength, there is practically no competition for a book with this list of qualities, so it feels fresh and new to anyone who reads about it. Plus, Sherlock Holmes retellings are always popular, and the LGBT genre has been crying out for more representations of minorities and women.
Continuing from this, LGBT Science Fiction is doing very well in general, with A Study in Honor, and Once Upon a Time, by Alessandra Hazard, and Rika Coronated (Aeon 14: The Genevian Queen Book 2), by M. D. Cooper all selling well and showing that the niche is a solid one for authors of many different types to have a go at writing for. In this niche we have Hard Science Fiction, we have Close Future Science Fiction, we have Space Operas and Space Steam Punk. There is a lot of room for many different books and sub-genres.
The LGBT Romance post will be coming up next, but until then I can tell you that Paranormal Romance is doing well, and Single Dads are high in demand.
Books on women in the LGBT community are doing better this week than they have previously. While it is still not nearly as popular as the books about male characters (Non-Binary and Intersex characters are sadly almost non-existent) there is more choice this week, A Study in Honor is helping with that, as are a small selection of romance novels. There is still a lot of room for growth, the market is criminally under served in comparison to its neighbours.
In short, the LGBT chart is mostly filled with M/M romance, though some literary novels and historical novels are breaking in. F/F is having a harder time of it, but it is making some headway. Sadly, the rest of the community seems a bit left behind by the genre. Anyone writing for it would have to take the risk of this being an indication that there is little interest, but would have practically no competition if they did go for it.
Anything we missed? Leave a note in the comments if you think we could do something differently!