Lesbian and Bi women Fiction Questionnaire Results 2017 |

Lesbian and Bi women Fiction Questionnaire Results 2017

Firstly, thank you to everyone who took the time to complete the survey.

It’s my hope that the results will be read and digested by traditional publishers, independent publishers and authors as well as readers and that, where possible, change can be made to improve the market.

When looking at this data I urge people to remember that this is a small dataset and it was gathered predominantly from social media. This will of course skew some of the data and therefore it cannot be taken as an overall market snapshot. That said, there is a lot of interesting data that can, and should, be used.

I would like to particularly draw people’s attention to the freeform answers where users were given the opportunity to write their thoughts on certain topics. These responses can be seen by clicking on the “Click for Responses" tabs. The summary at the end of this survey is of particular interest.

Obviously more data can be pulled from the raw data, specifically further analysis regarding people’s buying decisions and Kindle Unlimited uses. The raw data is available to anyone who wants it, please fill in my contact form to request a copy.

A.E. Radley

About You


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Book Retailers

Do you MAINLY purchase eBooks or Paperbacks?

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Which retailer website do you MAINLY use for book purchases?

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Which retailer website have you used for book purchases?

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Kindle Unlimited

Are you a member of Kindle Unlimited?

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Do you only read books enrolled in the Kindle Unlimited program? Note: only visible to respondents who had said yes to the previous question.

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Why are you a member of Kindle Unlimited?

Click for Responses

I read so much it saves money

I read a lot of books, so the price is great otherwise I’d have to pay 10-15 for each book

It was on special offer as part of my Prime package, I use it mainly for reading non-fiction self help books.

Because I am on a budget and limit the number of regular book purchases.  This allows me to read more and spend less.

I mostly use it to listen to audiobooks. And to discover things I wouldn’t otherwise read.

I like that I can get new books frequently. I read a lot and it is not always affordable to buy more books.

So I have a larger selection I can read without paying.

I think for me it is to find new authors. If I read someone new and like there books I will seek them out to buy the actual book.

Great value for money and I can check out an author I don’t know. There have been some books that I read on Unlimted that I loved so much that I bought.

More lesbian authors are including their books in KU.

I love to read and it’s a cheaper way to read.

Good offer

I read a lot of books, so the price is great otherwise I’d have to pay 10-15 for each book

because my wife is a voracious reader

To read more lesfic books without the expensive cost of purchasing books. I read on average 2-3 books a day so it is more cost effective

Part of my prime subscription

Affordability of volume of books

To read more, esp indie punned books

I have Amazon prime for free shipping and videos

I read 6-8 books a week and would go broke if I didn’t have KU.

Availability of library books.

The books offered on Kindle Unlimited are often new authors and it is a spring board for me to find new writing styles to read.  Also, Kindle Unlimited tends to offer books that are what I call “fluff reading". They tend to be short weekend reads, often smutty and books I wouldn’t necessarily spend my money on. However, if I do enjoy a particular author or series, I would buy their newer books.

Great value for the amount of books it offers

I read a book a day. Helps keep my costs down.

I can read a lot of books for little money

Cheap reads

I read quite a bit and having unlimited allows me to test out some authors before I commit to buying books in a series. It makes sense for me because I’m often reading 2-4 books a week.

I am a voracious reader and it makes my book $$$ go farther


It helps introduce me to new authors when I don’t want to spend a lot to take a chance.

Many books that I want to read are available through KU.


Chance to read new authors for free.

Initially to sample authors whose work I’m unfamiliar with.  Also, I read about three books a week so it’s a nice way to not spend too much on books.  I also checkout ebooks from the library.

I read an awful lot so it works out cheaper

Because I couldn’t afford my reading habit if I had to buy all the books I read

I’m on a budget

Comes with my prime membership


I use to read books and new authors that I’m not sure I want to buy.

Good selection, cheaper

More books

Thought it would offer better selection.

Love to read…

I read books rather quickly and most ebooks only have a couple of hundred pages which means I can finish a book in a few hours (3-4)

i like variety for a good price and dont always need to own a book

Because I read at least 10 books a week.  I do not watch TV My TV time is reading.

Saves money

Accidental purchase

It allows me to save money, like my local library, but with more LGBT variety

Great value with as much as I read

Lots of free selections

Sometimes it’s cheaper



Access to books quickly.

Came with my prime membership, i dont read books for free, i eeither buy them or not

To save money

Expanding lesfic content available, and I otherwise spend too much on ebooks

because I was looking for new writers to read, and it was the most cost-effective way

Easy access to books, magazine, etc.

Lots of benifits

Seriously.  I have a3 book a week habit.

I found some quality books on Unlimited and although  I buy the book if it I enjoy it I tell myself I can purchase other books because I am getting some books for free. (sort of)

for free items

Deals periodically offered

Came with my Prime Membership.  Have never used it

I can read books for free that I wouldn’t pay for if I’m bored and don’t feel like spending another $10 every time I want to try a new book. I read a lot. Kindle Unlimited’s quality is decidedly worse than most of the books I buy, though.

I use it to get audio books as well as to try books from authors I wouldn’t normally try because I’d not heard of them or they have terrible book covers. I won’t buy a book with a terrible cover unless it comes highly recommended by a trusted friend.

If was an introductory offer so 1/2 price.  Wouldn’t do it again

Find it a cheap way to read more books

I am a voracious reader and it keeps my credit card balance down.

I am an avid reader of lesbian romance and it’s nice to have a large assortment to choose from for one price.

To save money

I read a lot and it’s cheaper than making several purchases


Do you think that lesbian and bi women fiction books are generally... 1 - cheap 6 - expensive

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What is the MAXIMUM price you would be willing to pay for a lesbian and bi women fiction eBook? (in United States Dollars)

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What price do you think a standard-length lesbian and bi women fiction eBook SHOULD be? (in United States Dollars)

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What is the MAXIMUM price you would be willing to pay for a lesbian and bi women fiction Paperback? (in United States Dollars)

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What price do you think a standard-length lesbian and bi women fiction Paperback SHOULD be? (in United States Dollars)

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Does the price you are willing to pay change depending on if the author is unknown to you?

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Do you visit websites when a sales promotion is running?

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Do you wait for a sale in order to by a specific book that you are interested in?

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Do sales encourage you to try a book that you weren't sure about at full price?

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How do you hear about sales taking place?

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How do you feel about sales promotions?

Click for Responses

Two thumbs up!

they’re helpful for discovering new authors

There are so many it is IRRITATING now



they can sometimes be annoying,

I love them

Awesome if the books I like are included !


They are good to have now and again

They are good to make you aware of books you may not have heard of, have bought a few books that way.

Good idea

Like it

Happy to save money

I like it. I can buy more books that way.

I’m often disappointed in the quality of the book. I am more likely to try something completely new if I can get a discount. If the book is interesting and well-written, I am more likely to buy more from the author–sometimes her whole catalog.

Yes, sure, as long as it’s tastefully done.

If I haven’t read a specific author before I hesitate to spend full price.  Discount on book would encourage me to take a chance if it was less expensive.


Love them but I don’t really rely on them.

I like them as it allows me to try new Authors

They’re useful for everyone involved.


I don’t mind them.

It gets me to buy more books as I purchase ones I wasn’t sure about previously

With the cost of book and sometimes if it is a good read it will not take that much time to read. Limited budget for books this helps

Love them

Love them!

They are extremely helpful.

Like them

Like them


they can sometimes be annoying,

Love them!

Love them

I don’t pariculary love them, I prefer reward system.

Good to help introduce readers to new authors

Good idea

I always like a deal

I like them

Good idea to promote a variety of authors

They’re irrelevant

Excellent. More reasons to buy new books to read.

I prefer things on sale to try new authors

I’m not lead by them but think they are good for people on a budget.

I don’t mind them.


I appreciate them


They are great for the reader – hope they lead to more future sales for the author.


Appreciate them as a reader. As a writer, I’ve done them on occasion. They are helpful if you have the means to promote them.

Love them. I stock up

Depends on if I can afford it at the time or not

I think they are a good way of authors getting their books to people who would otherwise not buy their books.

They’re good. Gets the author known.

I like getting books at a discount.

I can’t afford to buy without them.

I think it’s great to promote book sales. If it’s good it should be out there.

As long as it’s easy to delete message or even unsubscribe from notices should that be desired, I think they’re a great way to get new readers.



It is a necessary evil.

Helpful, often a good way to learn about new authors



I skim them.

They’re great if they are infrequent and meaningful

Like them


It allows me to buy more book… i buy books at least twice a month so I don’t really wait for sales but when there are sales I’m happy because it means that instead of buying 2 books I’ll buy 2 or 3 more.

Not overly interested but good things

They help me afford the books I want and enable my discovery of new authors.

If they save me money; then great


I love them!

I dont mind them at all, can get some books for cheaper.

enjoy them

They sway me all the time

Not sure really.

Enjoy being reminded of other choices out there and affordability to try.


Sales and promotion are a thing in my country. I have no opinion

I think everyone loves sales!

They have little to no effect on my purchasing.

Love them


If a book is less than a dollar, I will always purchase it.

They are useful.

doesn’t interest me, either I want to read the book, then I am okay with paying full price to support the author/publisher (I’m talking specifically about lesbian fiction here), or I am not interested in reading the book, in which case, I don’t care that it’s on sale.

Thumbs up!

i like the sometimes i See Books but im Not Sure if it is something for me even After Reading reviews bur when it is Cheater im willing to Take the Risk that i might Not like it and spend money for “nothing"

I like them


Necessary sometimes and encouraging to buy

Love them


Good when used sparingly

It’s a great way to introduce new authors

Only if I have subscribed to newsletters.  Otherwise I regard as spam

They really help out.


I like them if I’m trying a new author or want a box set

No opinion

I think it is a great way to promote authors  I haven’t read yet and encourages me to buy without the financial risk


Like them.



I like them

often interests me

It allows me to get more books with the same budget

I think they can be helpful to both author and reader.


They are handy

They’re good as they let me know that there are new books or older books that I haven’t read available


Meh, lower prices make me think the quality is lacking.

i like them



Love them. Gives me a chance to try a new author I may not be willing to take a chance on

good idea

I don’t pay much attention to them

I love them! I always bulk order during sales. Yesterday I found out that one of my favorite publishers is running a sale this weekend, and I purchased 6 books! Before I knew there was a sale I did not plan to buy any books at all!

Sometimes they encourage you to take a risk and try something you weren’t too sure about so I think they are a good idea

I read a lot so it helps me save money so that at the end of the month i can maybe do something else with my life other than reading books and paying the bills

It’s a great way to introduce new authors

An opportunity to try out books I wouldn’t otherwise read/buy

Good idea


They are fine

I like promotions

Understand the need but also find them annoying when they’re repeated multiple times in a single day and week.

Don’t really care.


I like a deal

They’re okay

I don’t chase them. It’s great when it’s there but if I like the book enough and want to support author, I don’t care for promos, I’d buy them anyway.

I encourage them

I often try new authors if they run a promo

I like them

I love sales and promotions because it gives me a chance to buy books I might not have bought otherwise

Depends on how professional they are. Some authors get very pushy and that turns me off.

I think they are good and helpful to draw fans in.

Depends. Sometimes they are a great way to learn about an author I’ve never read before.

Love them


I like them.

I like them. Allows me to try new authors.

Shouldn’t be done too often

They are a good opportunity

Neither good or bad

think they are good for readers, sometimes I will buy a book because of the sale

Comes in handy for me since I’m unemployed

I like them

They’re good for the wallet

They are important

It may make me purchase something

they’re great

They are very effective.

It gets my attention and I’ll buy it if it sounds like an interesting book.

I generally like them

I like them. Gives me a chance to read books I may have not chosen.

Love them

Love them. Particularly for trying new authors.

They are good way to get the word out


U dont get them too often on amazon

Fine if targeted properly

good way to find new writers to read

They are great

Love them. That’s how I get paper books

They are a good opportunity to take a chance in a new author/genre. If I like it, I’m likely to pay full price for subsequent books from the same author/genre.


They are helpful for the reader, author, and publisher

Love them

I can take them or leae them

A good opportunity to try something different

Generally it is to unload poor selling titles

They don’t really impact my purchasing decisions

They are a good opportunity to take a chance in a new author/genre. If I like it, I’m likely to pay full price for subsequent books from the same author/genre.

Tempt me to try a new author or a novel I might not otherwise.

They’re great, if the author agrees.

Good if it’s an author I’m interested in reading. Otherwise not tempted.

grateful for the bargain but guilty for cheating the author/publisher

They are a good opportunity to take a chance in a new author/genre. If I like it, I’m likely to pay full price for subsequent books from the same author/genre.

Nice for me since my cash flow is very limited at the moment but I hate that so many authors feel they have to practically give their hard work away. I try to buy at full price as often as possible.

I like the sales. It gives me a chance to try new books and authors I was previously unsure about. I am more likely to buy a book by an unknown/New author when their book is on the sale.  Once i know I like that author i will happily pay full price.

I also tend to buy books in a sale that I like the sound of but the blurb didn’t pull me on 100%. A book I keep coming back to but never buy because I’m undecided.


They are welcome

I’m very reluctant to try new authors since I can’t find most of these books at a bookstore to preview.


Gets me interested in authors I may not otherwise have read.

generally fine

I really like them because so I will sometimes buy books that don’t have the best page/price ratio like 200-250 pages for normally 10 or more $

As long as I don’t get promotional emails too often – daily or weekly even – I’m fine. Unless it’s something like BookBub.

No influence

I don’t mind sales promotions as long as it is a deep discount on the books

they serve a purpose, but i don’t like invasive advertising.

They keep me informed about new authors  but sometimes feel like coupon flyers

A good way to promote new books and authors

Highlights books I might be interested in.

Good idea

Helps me find new authors I may have just skipped over.

I think they are a good marketing tool.

I don’t rely heavily on them, but one may pique my interest.

It’s a great way of getting good books at cheater prices and getting to known new authors

Sometimes they are good if you are unsure of a genre or story but generally feel they undervalue an authors work

Indifferent mostly since I miss them often


I like them, I’m more likely to visit sites that run promotions.

They let me take a risk on a new author or series, to find out if I like them.

Also, there are books and authors that I want to read, but $9.99 is just too much.

Love sales

They encourage me to buy a book I’ve never heard of if the book’s explained well and pushes my go-to buttons for stories. Need to be sucked in by the description, and the promotion is the thing that gets me to hit that “buy" button.

They’re okay


They’re great for trying out new authors.

Like them


How many lesbian and bi women books do you purchase in an average month?

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Would you agree with the following statements?

I buy all new lesbian and bi women fiction book releases

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I buy all new releases from my favourite authors

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I buy all new releases from my favourite publishing house

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I only buy books that interest me

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Have you ever returned a book you have purchased?

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If you have returned a book, why did you do so?

Click for Responses

I found the subject matter offensive.

Didn’t like it.

Wrong content on amazon

The book was so badly written I couldn’t get past the first chapter.

I would have returned several this year if I’d had to purchase them. If it doesn’t meet professional quality standards, and MANY lesbian fiction books do not, then I won’t buy it, and I’d return it if I found that to be the case after the fact.

Mainly bad editing

Mis-advertised story content , and/or blurb is so different than actual story

Bad editing

Audio-narration.  Digital/boring or bad writing

The book was filled with sex every other page.  It was supposed to be a book about a detective.  I highly suspected it was written by a straight man.

It was one time and I bought it by accident

Disappointed in quality of the writing.

It was sold as lesbian but wasn’t

Purchased it in error. I’ve only done this a couple of times, and returned the book within 10 minutes of purchasing it

The story was lacking and the editor should’ve done their job.

Didn’t like it and/or poor editing with lots of mistakes

It was an audible and I didn’t like the narration. I don’t return books or paperbacks I just don’t buy that author again – unless there’s a sale.

It bought it on amazon and returning it was easy. The book just wasn’t good.

It wasn’t as good as I was hoping

It wasn’t what the blurb made it out to be or it was a terrible book

The grammar, sentence syntax and the overall poor editing spoilt it

wrong book (same author, different series – got a book from the series i wasn’t reading)

Bad spelling or grammar

Didn’t interest me when I got it

Poor quality either print is illegibile or grammar/sentence structure is very bad

Topic wasn’t as expected

It was incomplete. Text referred to photos that weren’t in the ebook

poor quality story, poor editing

Miscategorized as Lesfic/with men

Bad quality, or started strong then became a mess, or wasn’t the premise promises, or suddenly had hetero sex in it and that was not in the description

Wrong ebook format

Poor editing

I didn’t really like it, and it was purchased online with a “return for credit, no questions asked" policy. So I exchanged it for a book I liked better.

Terrible writing – implausible story

Only due to an accidental purchase. If the book is obviously written by a straight person and is intended as porn for men…unrealistic sex scenes etc…Or if the blurb and category etc says that it is a lesbian book. Then they introduce a male character to have a threesome with the lesbians. Or they have the man watching the lesbians for his pleasure etc.

I’ve wanted to when I tried a new author and discovered it was written in 1st person pov or it was porn with no plot.

duplicate purchase

Accidental purchase and one was so badly written with really poor grammer I couldn’t stand to read it

Terrible editing or formatting. Or a narrator who is terrible for an audio book.

It was terribly written.

Buying decisions

When thinking about purchasing a lesbian and bi women fiction book, what relevance are the following elements:

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Are you aware of the publisher of a book?

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Who is your favourite lesbian and bi women fiction publisher and why?

Click for Responses

Bella. They tend to have higher quality books. Although, they don’t seem to be keeping up with the times.

Bella Books. Have a lot of their books, they provide good quality and fair prices.

Ylva Publishing, high quality

Regal Crest – they have more variety and not just the same ole tropes

Ylva, high quality in editing

Bold strokes

Ylva publishing


I don’t have one favourite publisher.

Boldstrokes. They publish my some of my favourite authors.

Ylva – they have a good stable of authors amonst whom I have quite a few favourites, plus they publish good stories.


Bold strokes books


I have more than one.

Affinity and Bold Strokes.  They represent my favorite authors.

Ylva, because I know their books have been edited and uphold industry quality standards.

Bold Strokes Books. I find a lot of my favorite authors are with them.

Do not have a favorite

Many of my favorites are independent, but many of my books, both print and ebook, are published by Bella, Bold Strokes and Ylva.

Bella. Easy to buy from. Regular sales and you can save Bella bucks.

Ylva was the first publishing house that I was routed to as they have a number of authors I know personally

Bold Strokes, Shadoe Publishing, Sapphire. Several others as well. Depends on the author.

All of them

Bold strokes because has two of my favorite authors.

No favorite publisher

No favorite


A.E Radley because her books are awesome!

I don’t have a favorite

I don’t have a favorite. But I only buy LGBTQ book publish my LGBTQ publisher. F*ck queerbaiting

I don’t have one

Ylva. Variety and quality

Bella books best quality authors

Bella–I like the reprints and the mix of authors.  Bywater is a close second.

Ylva. I like two of its authors a LOT

Bold Strokes and Spinster Ink because of quality writers and wide variety of subject matter

Heartsome – they have my fav authors

Yvla. Most fanfictions are adapted to titles from this publisher.

Bold Stroke Books and Bella Books

Don’t have one

no favorite, favorite authors, but not publishers.

Ylva Publishing. Their editing quality is great and more variety. Not so many cookie cutter books like with Bella or Bold Strokes. Also tend to get longer books for your money.

Bold Strokes and Ylva: Both carry authors I enjoy and a variety of types of book/storyline/author.

Comfortable Shoes Press, great small publisher

Bella Books – Loyalty due to Naiad history

Bold Strokes Books, most of my favorite authors are published there.

Don’t have a favorite.

Depends on the month

BSB – I found my favorite lesbian characters there.

Don’t have a favorite

Don’t have a favorite.

Radcliffe only because I enjoy crime novels.

Most of the ones I read are self-published, but I like Ylva and Bella best.

Bold Stroke Books- good editing

Ylva Publishing they have the flights series. And good authors.

Bold Strokes Books – BSB – quality writing and very few errors

Gerry Hill because i like the police drama

I don’t have one.

I don’t have a favourite publisher.


I don’t have a favorite. The world of lesbian and bisexual literature is somewhat new to me.

Bold Strokes

Bold Strokes. Great selection of my favorite authors in print and audio.

Bold Strokes – horsalways good books and aut

Bold strokes – most well known, best editing, has my favorite authors

Ylva publishing. This is a independent publisher which publish very differents kind of books and I like a lot searching for the next release I’ll buy.

Ylva and Boldstrokes for their quality

Bold Strokes Books: I believe they have the strongest and most consistent quality, but I am biased, as I am a BSB author.

RE Bradshaw; YLVA

Bold Strokes Books. Daily sales and most prominent in social media.

Bold Strokes Books

Desert Palm Press because I own it. LOL Sapphire Books

Ylva, because they’ve published my favourite fanfictions

Bella- I like the vibe, the quality is consistent.

I don’t have a favorite

Ylva. Ease & quality of website and their newsletter.

Wicked-my publishing company

Bold Strokes Books. Their books are consistent in quality and they have a wider selection than most queer women’s publishers.

I don’t have one.

Haven’t got one

Bold Strokes, they have a good track record with me and some of my favorite authors are with them.

I’ve purchased directly from Bold Strokes, Bella, Ylva, and Riptide.  Everything else has been via Amazon and I’m not sure about the publishers…maybe a few by Bywater and certainly some self-published.

Ylva so far they published lots of books i like althru i usually dont like their covers

Bold Strokes & Bella – because they have my favorite authors

Bella. Quality.

Ylva. The length of the books and the variety of themes

Bella Bella, their books have a wide range of subjects

Don’t have one

Bold Strokes Books. Because they have great choice of authors and books

Ylva- best quality right now

BoldStrokes because they have many authors to choose from

Boldstrokes Books.  The best lesbian editor on the planet is Cindy Cresap.  I prefer to only buy books she has edited.

bold strokes

Bold Strokes Books and Ylva. They have quality books, a lot of work go into the stories, editing and quality.

Bold Strokes – most of my favorite authors are there

Bella Books because looking at my bookshelf that’s the publisher I have bought most if my print books from. No idea about my snook publishers

Melissa Good

Bold Strokes. To me, they have the best talent in the business and put out a great book that’s well written and edited

Don’t know

Bella and BSB because have fav authors

I like Ylva, Bella, and Bold Strokes because they tend to put out a quality product.

Bold Strokes Books because they almost always put out high quality books

YLVA, Quality ; Bywater, Quality

I don’t have one

Shadoe, just because i have read the majority of books by this publisher

I buy most of my books from ylva mostly because my favorite authors publish there

Don’t have one

Bella books


KA Moll & Ali Spooner

Bella books

don’t have a favourite

Bold strokes they have most of my favourite authors

Rebekah Weatherspoon because she writes women of color who are queer. Lesbian tends to be too cis and white for me so i like reading authors who write diversely.

BSB – always have good authors

Bold Stroke Books as they have a strong brand and good authors

I don’t have a favourite, all the authors I like work with different publishers

BoldStrokes because they have many authors to choose from

Bella Books as I have read a lot of their publications, but like a lot of them (Ylva, Bold Strokes etc)

Bold Strokes

Mj Duncan- Her books are relatable

Former – Women’s Press, Current Boldstrokes or Bella

Have no favorite

Not sure

Flight Sqa I like the characters

Bold strokes books

AE.Radley because I love her fanfiction stories. Gerri Hill because she is an amazing writer


Ylva. Quality. Never crap.


Bold strokes

Ylva only because I have purchased a lot of books from them and they have released some really good books.

Ylva Publishing. They have a great range abd their editing is excellent

There are two: Desert Palm Press and Bold Strokes Books. Both of them because some of my favorite authors publish with them.

All of them – everyone is a gem.

Emma Donoghue / LJ Baker

Bold Strokes – Because they have published the majority of the books I’ve read.

Bold Strokes.  More familiar with their authors.

Bold Strokes Books

cannot pick one I buy from a few

Bold strokes books. It has 90% of my favorite authors

Bella Books, for consistently high quality of their books

Bold Strokes – quality and variety of genres

Don’t have one

Bella and Ylva – very easy to work with

Bold strokes books. Ylva. They are delivering to a smaller market than mainstream publishers and doing it well.

I don’t have one

I don’t have a favourite.


Bella / BSB/Ylva. All are edited well. Most of

I don’t have a current favorite.

Too many to list

Don’t have one

Bokd strokes and yvla

Bold Strokes, Ylva, Bella bc quality

Bold Strokes. They have a variety of gay/lesbian books available.

Bella and bold stroks but do enjoy independent  authors

I shop more according to author than publisher

Bold Strokes Books

Don’t have one – I don’t pay attention to publishers

dont have one

Shadoe Publishing. I like K’Anne’s stories.


I don’t really have one

Bywater Books, quality

Supposed Crimes

Phoenix Rising Press.  Owned and operated by my favorite author.

Bywater because they are literary.

Ylva – high standards for story and editing

Don’t have one. I follow authors and blurbs. Don’t care about who published it or how. Indie or pro doesn’t matter if the writing is good.

I like BSB & Bella Books because they have some of my fav authors who have been writing for years. I also enjoy books by Ylva.  I think editing and proofing is very important. I trust these publishers to give me a book i will enjoy and find pretty clean. I know mistakes are always going to happen. But they cab definately pull you out of the story.

probably bold strokes and ylva because they have better authors. bold strokes publishes more interesting books but ylva publishes better quality writing/editing

Bold Stokes books. Many authors I like are published there

Ylva Bc they have a bunch of my favorite authors & they partner with Amazon for paperbacks

Bold Strokes Books – easily accessible and lots of choices

I have mostly been buying from Ylva recently

Ylva because mostly their books high quality writing and great covers

I don’t really have one at the moment. I have some that I refuse to purchase from either because of past experience with poor editing or the publisher or author comments/statements on social media.

No favourite

no answer

I don’t really have a favorite. They all do something the big houses won’t–provide books about characters I’d like to read

I don’t specifically have a favorite. However, I tend to avoid Boldstrokes books unless it’s a favorite author

Supposed Crimes, because they publish me!

No favourite

Don’t really have one

Georgia Beers. I just love her stories.

Bold Strokes…..authors

Bella books because they publish some of my favorite authors.

Ylva because of their quality – well-written and well-edited books with very few typo errors

I don’t have a favorite but I do enjoy the possibility of choosing among different options.  I don’t like typical plots so something new is always a plus

Bold stroke books as they have a wide range of genres not just romance

Ylva. They tend to have more hits than misses from what I have read

I don’t have a favorite

Bold strokes books. They have tons of authors I like and sells mainly lesbian books. If their price matches Amazon or is only a dollar or two higher, I’ll pay to support lesbian authors.

Yoga because they publish my favorite author (Jae) and publish a lot of fiction that is all over the spectrum (historical, fantasy, etc)

I mostly read cheaper Indie books.

Ylva, I usually like the authors and the stories from this publisher. They also try to bring diversity

Ylva for the quality of the covers

Bella,  Ylva and BSB. Affordable and generally well edited.

Ylva – high quality

I like Ylva, but they overprice their books.

Bella Bold Strokes

Do you think lesbian and bi women publishing houses charge the right amount for their books?

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Do you favor books published by professional publishers over independent authors?

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Do you sign up to publishing houses email newsletter?

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Do you follow publishing houses on social media?

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Book Covers

How important is the book cover to you? 1 - not at all important 6 - very important

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What do you think about the overall quality of book covers in the lesbian and bi women fiction market?

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How important is the blurb to you? 1 - not at all important 6 - very important

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What do you think about the overall quality of blurbs in the lesbian and bi women fiction market?

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How would you rate the quality of the editing of lesbian and bi women fiction books? 1 - very bad 6 - very good

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Do you feel that you notice POV within books?

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Do issues with POV negatively effect your enjoyment of a books?

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Do you feel that you notice Show, don't tell within books?

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Do issues with Show, don't tell negatively affect your enjoyment of a books?

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Thinking specifically about spelling and grammar mistakes, how would you rate the overall quality of lesbian and bi women fiction books? 1 - very bad 6 - very good

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How many spelling and grammar mistakes in a book is an acceptable amount?

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Finding Books and Marketing

How do you find out about new releases?

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Do you pre-order books?

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If you don't pre-order books, why not?

Click for Responses

Just cannot afford it.

I get to a book when I get to it, there’s no rush.

because there are so many books I can take my time to choose what I want

Might change my mind

I don’t know

I still have to wait for it to be released so why pre-order.

I’d sooner wait to hear what some of my FB friends say about the books in the book groups.

Happy to wait

I’ll buy a book whn it’s available. I only pre-ordered ones or twice.

I prefer for the book to wait and see if there is a promo sale and what the reviews say about it.

I prefer to wait until a book is published.

It just really depends on the author and the book. If it was part of a series I would. Otherwise I would just wait.

Because I’m patient.

Because I buy from my local bookshop and they don’t know a lot about LBGTQ book, I just give them list and usually the book are already availabe. No need for pre-order.

Unknown quantity

I wait for other readers to review first before considering to purchase as books are  somewhat of high prices.

I wait to see the preview on Amazon

My backlist is so long I just wait

I wait till I have Money to purchase it and sometimes get a better Price when I buy later.

I’m a reviewer so I get author copies

I might not have time to start it on the day it comes out/plan to read it at a later time.

Monetary reasons.

I preorder very rarely; I’m not sure why I haven’t gotten into the habit of doing so.

I don’t see the point.  They will be available later.

Why should I when I can just get the book when it comes out.

Habit. Never have.

It’s not important to me to have a book the moment it is released.

I only pre-order books from authors I know I like.

Haven’t seen one worth preordering

If I’m interested, I can wait til it is published.

i Never thought about it since i Read eBooks and it is not the same as with a book or Music i order via Amazon to get Lucky to her it a Bit earlier if i want something i remember the date and Buy it ans if i pre order ans dont have Time to Read the Moment i can download it i get annoyed with myself that i have it gut dont have Time to Read it

Mainly read ebooks. No need to preorders for faster delivery.

Since the books take a while to be sent, I feel like if I pre-ordered it it would take longer. It’s bad enough to bad around two weeks

Only pre-order from my favorite authors; otherwise wait for reviews

To many books not enough money

They’re usually eBooks, they won’t run out.

Depends on author and sample chapters

If the money would come out when I pre-order, I would.

I’ve preorder a book and never received the book.

Don’t know if I will have the money when they are released

I have so many books that I am interested in, I don’t feel like it is necessary to pre-order. I know that I will have plenty of other books to keep me occupied until said book is out.

I only pre-order if the story seems captivating and original, does not follow clichés and/or when my favourite authors have a new release

I tend to wait for reviews to make my decision to purchase or not

I wait to see reviews

I prefer to be able to load books on my Kindle and iPad at the same time

I am a blogger and I receive a lot of new releases as ARC.

Honestly I usually wait to hear from friends who i know are getting the book to see if it’s worth getting.

See no reason to.

I don’t like to wait. If I pr-order I get impatient & upset with it all.

No instant gratification

Wait for sale

I have to really like the story to do that. I mostly read non-fiction.

I want reviews first

I have so much to read I’ll buy when the book comes out.

never thought about it

I like to get the book instantly when I pay for it

I’m patient, I’ll get it when it comes out.

I’ll just wait.

I like to wait until they’re available so I can read them straight away

I buy ebooks what would be the point

no particular reason

Prefer to read reviews of the books I am interested in.

Not the anxious for new books that would buy I couldn’t immediately read.

Rather wait for it to come out.

I have not pre-ordered an ebook. I never thought about it but I usually order a new release the first week it is released. I also like reading the first several reviews of a book to get  an idea of how it is received overall but bad reviews do not necessarily deter me from buying.

I’m not in a hurry

Don’t like the wait. I will order when a book is published.

There are so many already published that I want to read. I can wait.

I wait for the release.

Budget Planning

I like to read the “Look Inside" pages and at least some reviews before purchasing.

I only pre-order paperbacks & by a couple of certain authors.

I don’t pre-order ebooks as I honestly don’t see the point. Plus I would forget about it…especially as you pay when the book is released. I’d rather wait and so when I click to buy it I know the money will go out immediately. Not in a couple of months when I will have forgotten about it and may not have the extra money.

I always buy books when they can be found at a low price

What is the point

Lesfic can be expensive so normally I wait for some reviews

I am patient. It’s not like they will sell out

I have an extremely limited budget. It might take years before I can actually afford a book I want to read. Pre-ordering anything just isn’t possible.

I’m impatient and don’t like waiting. I also don’t like having the orders just sitting there waiting.

I usually get ebooks and im not worried that the company will run out of them. So I wait til the book comes out.

Have enough books on hand so can wait for book to become available online.

I have a habit of spending too much money on books each month, so I avoid pre-ordering because I don’t need to spend the money yet.

I can wait, there’s always plenty to read

Nothing specific

Pre-ordered books will come at the maximum book price.

I don’t feel an urgency to read as soon as it is released

I don’t see the point. I don’t have so much time in my life to read that I’m likely to be able to read a book the first day it’s available. And I read a lot of e-books on my Kindle. With e-books, there’s an endless amount of them, so it’s not like not preordering will mean they might run out and I miss my chance to get my hands on something. The only time I’d preorder is when I hear about something months in advance and am really excited about it and think that I might forget about it coming out. But that’s rare.

Because I’ll get round to reading it eventually

Never have, no particular reason.

I wait until the book is out and my Kindle is WiFi connected for download

Regarding the marketing you see for books, do you think that...

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Do you connect with any authors on social media?

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Does interacting with authors on social media affect your buying decisions?

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Do you sign up to author newsletters?

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Post purchase

Do you review the books you have read?

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Where do you review?

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Do reviews factor into your decision to buy a book?

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Are you an advance reader copy (ARC) reviewer?

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Do you trust advance reader copy (ARC) reviews as much as a standard review?

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If you don't review, why not?

Click for Responses

If a book is badly written I won’t review. And if the current reviews are all positive and I don’t think they are true, I’ll say nothing

No free time

As an author I don’t want a perceived conflict of interest

Never though about it

Never really felt that passionate about a lesbian/bi book.

I only review if I can give a 4* or 5* review as you can find yourself being black balled on FB if you give less!

I’m not one to give my opinion. I’ll read a book bad or good and still like it.

I’m relatively new to the genre. Might review in future.

If I can’t say something positive I don’t review.

I don’t do it often, mainly because I work with books for a living and when I read for pleasure, I don’t want any kind of work associated with it. Manuscript critiques are something I do professionally, so reviews feel like work.

Never thought to.

Not confident in how to accurately review

Most already point out what I thought.


No opportunity

Never though about it

I am a serial reviewer, but new to the LGBTQ english book.

I have been trolled in the past; very negative experience

lack of time, and not in the habit of doing so

I feel less educated overall than most readers and I don’t want to embarrass myself

I’m hard to please…

I don’t know how to write one.

See above. Amazon doesn’t like authors reviewing other authors.

I’m not good at getting the actual review done.  I also want to read only the books that suit my tastes.

The only reason I don’t review is if I thought the book was truly terrible. It’s someone’s work, and opinions can be very subjective. Someone else might love it.


Not enough time

Cause I’m lazy

When I review on my own, I review either books I really liked or really disliked, but most books that I read fall somewhere in between.

I hope to publish myself, and I’m not comfortable reviewing books that could potentially be competitors.

Not sure

If you  get something for free for a review, most reviews are going to be slightly slanted. I compare the ARC reviews with other reviews for the books

*Don’t leave text reviews, always leave a rating.

Time. Don’t know what to say.

I said “No" because I am doing my first one right now so I don’t consider myself an ARC yet

Not sure I have enough experience

Not good with words

Nobody asked and if I’m not thrilled with the story

I feel all reviews are subjective opinions of readers. I don’t necessarily trust them since I don’t know the reviewer.

They often seen like publishers are stacking reviews by giving their favorite readers copies to manipulate sales.

I only review when I feel strongly (positively or negatively) about a book. If the book did not impress me (again, in a good or bad way) I am not interested in leaving a review because it is not useful to other readers to know that from “awesome" to “hideous" my thoughts were “meh, cute but would not read again"

Honestly…sometimes I don’t review for the simple reason I’d tear the work to shreds and don’t want to put that much negativity out there.

Not sure how much my input matters.

No time

Everybody’s opinion differs if they dislike a book that doesn’t mean I won’t like it

Time to read and compose review.

Never offered

I don’t think I write well enough to put it into words

Not sure

I just usually don’t think to do so.

I love to read and if I did review a book how could I say I didn’t like it ? Although I do say which books I’ve liked .

too lazy

Quite often they aren’t standard readers, they can be biased

I’m Lazy

I don’t review much of anything I buy.

I don’t review often, I thought you would ask about why I don’t always trust ARC reviews. Some are trolling, intentionally trying to hurt and author/book.

Can’t spell for s hit. Don’t want to hear all the educated people hitch about my grammar or spelling. People are brutal

Online reviews are mostly rubbish. They are usually based on individual opinion rather than any structured criticism, and most people are frankly idiots. I feel like my reviews get lost in the noise.

I try to review a book if it is, in my opinion, outstanding.

Online reviews are mostly rubbish. They are usually based on individual opinion rather than any structured criticism, and most people are frankly idiots. I feel like my reviews get lost in the noise.

Real Life

I only post positive reviews. If I can’t be encouraging, I keep quiet.

Online reviews are mostly rubbish. They are usually based on individual opinion rather than any structured criticism, and most people are frankly idiots. I feel like my reviews get lost in the noise.

I don’t review books I feel weren’t targeted at me as the preferred audience because I feel that I would leave an unnecessarily critical review for something that wasn’t meant for me to read in the first place.

I do review…mainly The ARCS I get  (Only by one publisher ylva at the moment and soon to do so for another DRB) and a few others if they really stand out.

I don’t review books that I don’t enjoy.

Also I selected about trusting arc reviews sometimes because for example if the book has all 1 or 2 star reviews and then there is one arc review with a 5* review. Then you know that it must be pretty fake.

Whenever I agree to an arc in exchange for a review…with publishers or indie authors, I always make sure that they know that I will give my honest opinion…the same as if i’d paid for the book. It’s only fair to the authors and the people who use reviews to buy the book.

people tend to be generally ruder and harsher as if to prove a point, plus they seem to review books they don’t like just because it’s free. if someone purchases a book, i’m more likely to trust they first of all wanted to read it and second are giving it a fair chance.

I’m lazy

too intimidated

No particular reason

I generally read for enjoyment, not for the purpose of writing a review.

If there’s something I truly enjoy about a book, I’ll write something about it. If not, I’d rather stick to the old maxim of, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all."–that is, unless the author personally requests it of me, and then I try to give them critical feedback.

I just dont take the time to do it.

No time

Did not consider it

I’m afraid I don’t know how to write.

In summary

What improvements do you think can be made in the lesbian and bi women fiction market? (optional)

Click for Responses

More non-romance books.

More advertisement, more diversity, less sucking up to the super popular authors and giving ‘new’ authors a chance.

There’s always space for improvement. We should all just do what we can to do that. I think I would like to see more diverse representation and expansion in genres. There majority is still romance or part-romance, and I think we need to expand on the stories that do not involve romance.

Better stories, and less of the same old same old. BUT there are more and more good books so that is excellent. Also need to reach out to the many women who read nothing at all.

Quality is there for some indy and most publishing houses but there are a lot of crappy books out there

More advertising of books

There needs to be more books and more options. Also they need to be less about the sex and more about how these two people met and interacted or what the main character is going through etc.

More authors on social media

More women of color, older and plus size as the main character and getting the H.E.A

A bit less romance, these can be a bit Mills and Boonish. More imaginative stories and more professional editing.

Diversity of characters and storylines, less formulaic romance

More books

Quality of writing and editing. I am interested in more depth of character and interesting plots with greater depth.  While I am new to the genre, I am finding it hard to find books that are much deeper than being about romantic relationships. For example, Sarah Waters’ books are quite well-written and weave a tale beyond romance. Sarah seems to be a rare exception. Open to suggestions!

For new authors publishers should put up a low promo price to garner readership or allow 30 days on KU.  Reluctant to spend money if I might not like authors work.

Books should NOT be published without being edited. It’s unprofessional, makes both authors and publishers look bad, and brings down the entire industry. And I read SO MUCH GARBAGE in this genre (much of it with immense potential) it makes me want to weep

I think there is still some work to be done in editing and quality of writing. Covers are generally improving, but I’d like to see less similarities in covers. I think publishing houses need to start paying authors a higher royalty rate. Without authors, publishing houses have nothing.

Blurbs should be honest regarding content. For instance, when I buy a lesbian book I don’t expect it to contain m/f sex scenes. Editing in some cases could be improved.

I think overall if authors lowered the price they would sell more and IMO make a better profit margin. I think that goes for everything in the world. Books no exception.

Lower prices on ebooks by publishers.  Better editing from self-published authors.

More up to date info on goodreads regarding trends and authors, it’s where I get a majority of book info.

More appearance by authors would be nice and I would like to see more of them on the east coast, such as NY.

More mainstream visibility

More diversity of main characer. More disable character, woman of color, transwoman etc.

I think making books more affordable and just maintaining editing standards. A lot of kindle unlimited books have horrible editing and grammar. However some authors on kindle unlimited are excellent with minimal issues. I have my favorite authors and I’m always looking to find more. It’s hard to make lesfic more wide spread and noticed but maybe some new story lines that aren’t always the same as what other authors put out… be a little more creative and realistic

I get bored with formulaic “girl meets girl" stories.  I want a wider depiction of lesbian experience, beyond sex and romance.

It is too cliquey. I don’t know how to fix it. But friends always rate their friends’ books five stars no matter how bad. And, on the flip side, people who hate people will mark good books down, affecting averages on ratings as a means of revenge. I hate this about lesfic.

More diverse characters in race/ethnicity, religion, country/culture, abilities. Also broader plots that cover politics, history, social and global issues.

I do enjoy stories based on fan fiction characters, because my interest in those characters is already established.

More stories and more promotion for readers in other parts of the world to read.

change general public perception that lesbian books are only erotic when their are some exceptional stories on par with mainstream stories in all genre. That requires general public exposure.

Artwork and editing. I can get past the artwork if I’ve heard good things but bad editing or amateurish writing, will stop me finishing a book. Too many stories are the same. Distinct lack of originality that seems to show publisher’s want to churn out quantity over quality or writers are afraid to alienate readers as it’s such an insular market/community. Publisher’s seem to promote themselves over the writers but it’s the writers I’m interested in. I never pick up a mainstream book because of the publisher. It’s the writers name that matters. Books that come from fanfic should say so IMHO as I’ve picked up many, recognised characters from TV shows immediately and then not been able to continue as the originals stick in my head too much. Disappointing when I think I’ve paid for an original story/characters. Also very American dominated.

I could write a whole article on this question. Improve quality; better editing; better writing; better covers

Continued growth with more books and great authors

Sometimes authors write six to eight books a year. And there are a lot of bad books out there. I wish the quality of the stories were better. I would wait for new books a Little bit longer when I knew they were better edited.

More cooperation between authors, publishers and fans to hold the community together.

Covers for sure.

More lesbian/bi-only marketing opportunities (there has been some movement lately on that subject). Most author services are geared towards a general audience, or the G in LGBT.

Move more to audible

There simply aren’t enough books out there. And of the ones that do exist, there are too many that follow herteronormative tropes or fall into the lesbianism equals unhappiness trope (whether it’s a tragic ending or an ambiguous ending that’s closer to sad). I read to escape,  and I want that escape to be a happy place.

If a book is about lesbians, make it clear in the blurb.  If a book has transgender relationships and/or sexual activity, make it clear in the blurb.  If a book has rape and/or incest scenes, make it clear in the blurb.  If the book has straight sex scenes between men and women, make it clear in the blurb.

Publishers need to advertise lesbian women more. It’s a big market and they’re missing out.

My number one complaint is that indie authors don’t edit or don’t hire good enough editors/proofreaders.

Don’t limit good books to. 250 pages, avoid amateur covers, writing and editing. It’s really heartbreaking to buy my once a month book and wind up with something like bad fanfiction.

I’d like to see more books in stores not just online. Like walmart and stuff like that.

Fiction that challenges the reader. Not so predictable with happy ever after all the time. Not such formulaic stories, fewer perfect and totally lovable characters. More reality, or at least reality from an LGBT perspective. Keep traditional romance, sure, but maybe have a category of non-traditional romance, so readers know it’s not going to be the usual “fall in love instantly – have one little problem – get back together – the end." There’s a place for that, but there’s also a place for stories with a little more depth. I love Lesfic, and I’m so very grateful it’s out there. It just needs to keep growing

Visibility and accessibility to hard copies in high street stores.

I would like lesbian and bisexual book recommendations and availabity to be more accessible through sites such as Goodreads and Book Riot. As someone who is new to this type of literature, knowing what to look for in terms of authors and publishers can be overwhelming.

I would like to see more historical fiction and continuing series

Grammer, spelling and incorrect words usage are very big to me. I will stop reading a book with missing words or no page breaks showing a change of scene. Self published authors need to let a set of fresh eyes proof read their book before it goes out.

Better reach to local market bookstores.  Buying on line is great, perusing a book in a physical store – even better.

Maybe the isolation from low cost erotica expecially on Amazon. Amazon has to be convinced not to mix lesfic with other genres

Broader representation in libraries and an overall increase in marketing would be helpful, but libraries do not have infinite space and funding, and marketing can be financially challenging.

Editing, better covers, convince Amazon to remove lesbian porn from lesbian fiction offerings

the use of editors and proofreaders especially for indie authors

More representation

The biggest improvement I would like to see is to get away from the rigid formula book. I get that it is a comfortable consistency that readers like, but I would like to see some risks taken with that format to shake up the status quo. I think this will allow lesbian an bi work to hit the mainstream market, too.

I think there could be tighter editing. I’ve come to accept the errors as a new norm and that is a bad thing.

Better book covers is a good place to start.

Stronger storylines, better research, more variety as far as MCs appearances, ethnicity, age, body type.

I don’t read enough of them to have  a strong opinion but i would say be more strict in the editing process to avoid pov hoping and too obvious tropes. Also more genre variety.

I would really love to see more books that aren’t contemporary romance; more books featuring characters of color, trans characters, and characters of other marginalizations; more speculative fiction; and more marginalized authors. Overall, I think lesfic publishers are paying more attention to cover art and editing, which is awesome, but some indie authors and indie publishers still neglect both.

Overall, the writing quality is below what I would like, whether it’s from lesfic publishers or independent authors. I feel like Kindle Unlimited and Amazon have allowed a “glut" of authors to flood the market, and the quality has suffered. Also, I find lesfic romances to rely too heavily on tropes (which is also an issue in straight romances, to be fair.) I would like lesfic to focus on greater diversity and to bridge the gap from old-school lesbians to the younger LGBTQ community.

They are hard to find. Searching for a particular story type is difficult. Reviews play a big role in decisions. Not enough series books, and a lot of books are too short.

I wish that when Amazon sends me emails about sales in the “romance" genre it had the sense to see that I read LESBIAN romance. The same would go for any genre.

I feel too many authors/publishers follow format and rules that are how a book “should be", thus I find many story lines to be boring and of the similar structure. I’d like to see more authors/publishers brave enough to take risks with topics, structure, story lines etc., dare to break the molds and be different. I’d love to have a “Wow! That was different and amazing!" moment.

More varied stories and writing styles.

more books it should be as normal als hetero market…much better Cover …better Storys i wish for a Lesbian Story to be so outstanding ans brilliant and well known Books like Twilight and Harry Potter

Mostly the price of paperback. They are a bit expensive

Price according to value- don’t undersell. Edit and proof books- every single one. Use a good editor. Use more than one proofreader that isn’t the author. Edit the book until it is actually ready for publication.

Decent editors.  There are not enough of them around.  I will more often as not buy a book edited by Cindy Cresap and ignore books edited by others too numerous to name.  The ‘too numerous to name’ I would regard more as copy editors, and even in that role they are slack.  Editors need to read a book from start to finish without distraction so that glaring mistakes are picked up.  I also feel that some editors are more concerned with their personal relationship with their clients than they are with their professional roles.  Too frequently I have read books that jam every stereotypical trope or cliche into them that I am incredulous the publishing house has let the book slip through.  Recently I read a book that had every single happy ending you could imagine shoved into the last 5th of the book, ruining the whole experience for me.

I think publishing companies should stick with people specifically trained as editors and not employ authors to fill that role. I do not regard them as strong enough to wield the red pen nor impartial enough to potentially hurt an author’s feelings.

I am not looking forward to the day when Cindy Cresap retires.  (I do not know this woman, never met her or contacted her in any way)

Better editing!

More author readings around the country, more visibility at book festivals and book stores like Waterstones WH Smith as well as online make sure when I search for lesbian romance I don’t end up with porn DVDs on my recommendation lists and get onto podcasts so I can hear readings from books and reviews.

Lower price or free; mobile option

Marketing is the biggest thing that could be improved.

Self publishers need quality editors; get graphic artists to create book covers, write blurbs that more accurately represent the novel, more diverse characters

More mainstream-type lesbian and bi books. I want the sexual orientation of the character to be a normal part of the story, not some huge deal.

more cross over into mainstream market is needed

Inclusion of representation of more intersecting identities. More focus on genres outside of romance.

Better writers. Not everyone can write even if they have stories in their heads. Great imagination does not equal great writer.

Either write longer stories to justify pricing especially outside the US or reduce the price. Independent authors need to ensure that they have great beta readers and that they have a good editor prior to publishing

Better advertising, publishers manipulating reviews, aggressive readers batting for their favorites and bad mouthing other authors and publishers

Getting more on the shelf at more places then book stores

More women of color authors writing women color heroines and others boosting these sort of books.

When an author is writing a series, they should get their sequel out in reasonable time not a year later.  When it’s too long of a wait I forget what the story is about.

Marketing could focus more on the stories and make them more mainstream, while I read them because they contain these characters I come back to favourite authors because they are well written stories. I feel that they are seen as niche markets because they are marketed mainly as gay stories

Overall, most stories follow cliches and are unoriginal; on top of that sometimes the editing is bad: there are plot inconsistencies or bad spelling/grammar mistakes. Sometimes the plot does not even exist.

Covers are not important to me but having nicer ones would not hurt (I mean, photoshop anyone?!).

Better front covers!! Generally the cover designs are terrible and I think it detracts from the book because it makes people take them less seriously or not want to buy them, even if the quality of the writing inside is good. More affordable options so that people are more likely to ‘take a chance’ on an author they don’t know (generally I will buy something if it’s cheap or on offer – and if I like it then more likely to buy the authors other books at a higher price). Generally the publishers websites are difficult to navigate and have poor categorisation. I would prefer to buy from publishers or authors directly, but Amazon tends to be much easier to use so I often use it for practicality reasons. It is easier because it has clearer reviews, more reliable recommendations, better categorisation and easier purchasing options. I use the “send a free sample" option on Amazon **A LOT** before I decide whether to buy.

New books summary online

Better editing

Better editing

Realistic and professional editing!  More original work from good fanfic authors rather than an original veneer painted over a genre specific already posted fanfic.

More books. There aren’t enough

Better editing and more marketing. I would like to see ads everywhere.

More books would be good

over all quality

Lower cost. More availability.

Higher standards to match mainstream writing, better judging for awards, less acceptance of bad writing just because we need to read about lesbian/bi characters, readers should expect as much from a lesbian/bi book as they do from a ‘mainstream’ book.

Better editing in indies. Too much crap out there. You didn’t ask if there are authors I avoid: yes, there very definitely are and it’s generally poor writing/editing

better editing, better reviewing

Most of it isn’t a good narrative quality. I’d really like better quality works with real themes and decent pacing.

I’d like to see better editing in general. There have been quite a few books that had a decent story but a good editing would have made them good or very good. A nice, professional cover says a lot about it. What I would like to see less of is the ones with half naked women on them.

Quality of the writing

More audiobooks

It would be great to see other genres, apart from romance

Unfortunately the market yet muddied by books disguised as less thick when they are really just aimed at Hetero f/f Interest

Covers are my biggest problem with the market

I hate spelling mistakes that even I notice.

More realistic and lusty content that shows more lesbian passion instead of old 1980s style Harlequin Romances.

Books are way to short, in the 300 or so titles I own only a handful are a true book length, character development is short and it means it’s all over far to quickly. I now apply the rule if the book is less than 300 pages long I can’t buy it.

Create awareness of genres other than literary and romance.

Characters with more diversity of age, race, nationality, socioeconomic status. Better editing for self-publishing/indie authors.

Publishers have too much formulation, books standard length and everything has to fit in limited  240 pages. Bold Stroke Books really bad for this plus too expensive, about $17 for those little pages. Looking at authors and publishers with books over 300 pages. I also buy used a lot since retiring.

Less spelling and gramatical errors.

More advertising. More ways to put the product out there.

Some need to be better developed for character and plot (too short/light)

More interaction between authors and readers, rather then a flood of buy links and giveaways.

lose the “us vs. them" attitude. Some writers/publishers cause too much drama

Better marketing and advertising

Most publishing housed have a “box" that all books must fit in. Look at a book case filled with lesfic books they are all the same size. Houses edit books to fit the box sometimes at the expense of my enjoyment of the book as in a rush to the end. Independent authors don’t have the same box restrictions. I realize cost of publishing is a factor but would love to have longer books. I would be willing to pay more for a longer book.

Write faster.

Overall quality of writing and grasp of language; better/more beta-reading and editing; more care for product – particularly formatting of ebooks.

It seems some readers think the books are too expensive but I disagree. I find a book I enjoy and will read that book 2-3 times a year, year after year. It’s entertainment that keeps on entertaining.  Mini syndication if you will.  Well worth the money.  I do like when authors visit independent book stores to promote new books.

Better editing – nothing spoils a story more than finding errors throughout a book.

Better covers – they do affect my decision on which book to check out.

Find a way to ensure that reviews can only be left by someone that’s read the book.

Have more authors out for book signing sessions.

Writing needs to improve and better editors are needed.  The market will remain small until the overall quality improves.

I have never found one in a bookstore. Making them more available would be good.

Editing and improvement in author writing skill. Some writers are greatly improving their craft, while too many others seem to be staying with the old lesfic formulas, cliches and tropes. I believe the genre can grow far beyond the “romance genre" into top notch storytelling that doesn’t rely on the old models, focused on sexual situations and overt characterization based on sexuality.

More historical fiction. Modern romances and coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen, but lesbian historical fiction makes me imagine what it must have been like for gay people in an era less supportive than ours. There have been gay people throughout history, but they weren’t always visible. How did they live? How self-aware were they? Were they punished for it? Did they have a community? Much more interesting.

Bi women are generally ignored in Fiction–by straight and queer readers alike, and I am not certain why.

More originality, more  diversity (age, genre, POC, gender and orientation), and MUCH better writing

Avoid tall dark/short blonde fanfic. Unique stories. Quality story and line editing.

More historical fiction. Modern romances and coming-of-age stories are a dime a dozen, but lesbian historical fiction makes me imagine what it must have been like for gay people in an era less supportive than ours. There have been gay people throughout history, but they weren’t always visible. How did they live? How self-aware were they? Were they punished for it? Did they have a community? Much more interesting.

I’d like to see more positive images of other sexualities as a whole. I’d like to see more gender representation too but that might be straying too far from the “lesbian & bi" category. Just feels a lot of the time like bisexuality is looked down on by the lesbian community or it’s represented in a very narrow and often derogatory way, which honestly turns me away from the writers and publishers who do that. I understand you can’t have token characters or be overtly positive about every little thing ever, that’s not what I’m saying. It’s just that nine times out of ten, the bi characters are described as serial cheaters or non-committal and “confused" and honestly I’m sick of it. Every bi person I know, both male, female and non-binary, are in long-term relationships, raising families etc. and yet in books they’re all represented very unfavorably. Don’t mean to rant about it but that’s how I feel.

better plots, editing, less toilet humour

Making more books that are available in your local bookstore.  Also, being very selective with your choices in authors.  I prefer to read authors who I have read and liked their fanfiction bc I know their style.  I pick up new authors through the Hootenanny bc it’s a chance to check them out at no risk.

Not certain if improvement can be made. Pricing is an issue  in most marketable goods but logic shows that price is not indicative of cost usually so no solution The genre is deeply familial. Authors know each other;readers know each other; reviewers know each other, thanks to social media and gatherings. It is hard to trust all the 5 star ratings because we all tend to rate our favorite authors very high and at the minimum, we’ll give 4 stars because we associate with the authors so don’t want to hurt anyone feelings. An author writes in her blog that she got low Amazon ratings because of a pricing error, emotes that food will not be on the dinner table because of this, and then miraculously, the title is nothing but 5 stars. Like the Lannisters in GOT, so much love that shouldn’t be taken for face value. Is there a solution for this? Not bloody likely because we love what you authors do. I’m just a reader so I haven’t a clue on what you may be looking for in this survey or what you hope to improve. Good luck all the same.

Easier accessibility in book shops – there is only one in Dublin that sells a very limited amount of books.

The standard of pages or word counts could be higher, 10-14$ for an ebook with only 190-240 pages is a little bit much

Better editing, covers, and marketing. Also more inclusiveness for the non-white, non-rich, bi and trans members of our community.

To be honest the length of a book will more often determine the likelihood of buying it. I am more likely to pay $12.99 CDN for a book 260-300 pages than 220 or less. If I can sit and read it in a couple hours , I am not likely to buy it unless it’s a favourite author.

It generally doesn’t matter what the book cover looks like.  I buy books because of their stories.  What improvements would be would be the editing.  I would also like to see longer books and I would be willing to pay for longer books.  Paying 15-25 dollars for a short book just isn’t worth it to me because money is hard to come by these days.  Thanks for putting together the survey.  I hope this helps.

Less focus on perfect, rich, beautiful characters. Less focus on sex as the main plot of the story. More fantasy and science fiction. Better cover art. More advertising of different genres. Happy Endings are good.

I realize romance is the big money maker but they all start to feel like there is a required formula (Boldstrokes). I’d like to see more crime/mystery

Better advertising

Have books available for purchase on a number of platforms.


I’m  an avid reader,  I  can read 2  books per week and I would like to have a cheaper option in ebooks. It’s surprising how expensive they’re compared to the paperback ones.  I would love to buy paperback format but it is impossible and I struggle with ebooks’ prices

Ensuring that the characters are fully developed and grounded in reality. Even in sci fi &  fantasy there has to be some reality to enable you to believe the unbelievable.

Better editing and better quality. The rest will follow.

More social media info on new books

I would like to see more diversity in the stories. Every woman is skinny and white. I would also like to see more butch/femme and stud/femme stories.

I get why they are priced as they are, but it’s hard to spend $15-18 on a paperback.

Re: POV and “Show vs. Tell". Prescriptive rules are ridiculous.

If a character has a distinctive voice, first person can be great, think _Tipping the Velvet_, Bear’s _Karen Memory_ or Lorelie Brown’s recent _Far from Home_.

“Head hopping" may not work smoothly for mystery or romance. But an skillful author can use an Omniscient Narrator to tell a grand story (and “head hop" while doing it.)

Also, the more unique the book and farther from standard tropes, the more the author may need to TELL, not show. Particularly with OwnVoices.

Needs to be more advertised. Once you know some publishers and authors is easy to find books, but for people starting with lesbian fiction it may not.

I think that overall the quality of the covers would make a difference to more casual readers or to readers just finding queer fiction for the first time. I remember when I first started reading I was hesitant about a lot of books because of the covers. Even with the saying don’t judge a book by its cover – you can’t help but wonder at the quality of the writing and editing of a novel when the cover looks cheaply made. As a casual reader you may be less likely to pick up a random book for the sake of it. As someone who reads a lot – I know the books are quality inside and I’ll read any author I like regardless of the publisher and the cover. I just remember how hesitant I was when I first dove into lesfic.

I might be in the minority here, but I’d say tell more stories in more genres that do not ultimately make the most important storyline a romantic one. There are plenty of those around already. And yes, have the relationships in there, but it’d be nice to not always have the romance end up being the main protagonist of the story. Even worldbuilding medieval fantasy and sci-fi stories feel the need to center around a romantic tension, and thus the epic battles with the aliens from Centauri-3 ends up becoming far less important than whether or not they’ll end up with the hot woman on the flight deck. I’d like to see more stories that were simply about lesbians and bi women are doing cool, interesting things, surrounded by a world in which their sexuality is seen as normal, positive, and a rich part of their lives, the way we never get to see much in mainstream fiction. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy romances too. I just wish there were more diversity of storytelling out there, and it didn’t always come down to sexual tension.

Warning label if a book contains rape and extreme male violence against women.