So, I decide to do a little tour of 40+ of my favorite epublishers to see just where gay and lesbian romance fits and how publishers typically say 'yes, please' and 'no, thank you'. My first comment--15-20% of people hitting sites like these are still on dial-up modems, as am I. Please, for the love of Mike, design your sites to open in less than five minutes per page.
My second observation is that in a period of only a few months a very encouraging change has occurred. Only 24% clearly do not take gay fiction, although another 26% are less than clear on the matter. But for the rest, gone is the plethora of semi-insulting ephemisms like "alternative lifestyles" (with the promonant exception of Ocean's Mist Press). Genre or theme is now plainly referred to as "GBLT" (6%), "Gay/Lesbian" (35%) or "Gay/Bisexual" (3%) and last but not least... "Lesbian/Gay" (thank you, Freya's Bower!).
It must be noted that most publishers still seem to have gay and lesbian as a category only for their erotica imprint and not the mainstream one--or they automatically rate gay content as highly erotic (3-5 on a 5 point scale). But on the whole, it must be said, that things are looking up. We just need to get across the gay love can be just as sweet as m/f--it is a sexual orientation not just a particularly perverse kink.
But regarding the yes's and no's....
Wild Rose: "No homosexuality (our romances celebrate heterosexual monogamous relationships)" (Bully for them)
Amira Press: "The only types of books we don't accept at this time are horror, children's stories and erotica. For romances, please, no BDSM (bondage), m/m, f/f, multiple partner and horror. Please, no golden showers, pornography, bestiality, rape, or exploitation of children." (um, okay)
Better... (sort of):
New Concepts: "While personally, we have no problem with homosexuality, we cater to a specific audience, and so are not accepting books that focuse on homosexuality." (um, okay--I'm not your sort of customer then. Thanks for clearing that up. p.s. "focuse"?)
Aphrodites Apples: "Stories should have romance as a key element in the plot, whether they are a traditional romance, GLB romance or erotica. Please note, we do NOT have a poly line." (Great, except for the red, bolded, capital NOT--why be so emphatic?)
Thank you :):
Asylett Press: "Currently, we are not accepting manuscripts containing Erotica or Gay/Lesbian themes."
Aphrodite Unlaced: "Additionally, we are not accepting manuscripts featuring gay/lesbian storylines, though experimental/multiple partner sexual couplings within the framework of the stories are acceptable."
p.s. Stardust Press, your website has a popup saying: "The server www.stardustpress.com at Password Protected Area requires a username and password." That won't go away.