I expect bigotry from conservative Christians and from the Republican Party, but I have to say that I’m surprised by the bigotry I’ve witnessed in the book promotion business. Books reach the top of the charts in three ways: the author is already a celebrity, everything goes right and the author gets a big publishing deal with a big advertising budget, or the author works his/her ass off and succeeds against the odds.
My latest book, “Time Is Irreverent,” has climbed the charts because I’ve been working my ass off to succeed against the odds. Part of that work includes running specials and advertising them via book promotion sites. I’ve done this with my previous books, but a big difference with my latest is that one of my main characters is Nellie Dixon, an outrageous, snarky, confident lesbian. Because of her, my book has become an Amazon #1 Best Seller in LGBT Science Fiction in both the United States and Canada.
Even so, while placing my ads, one book site, eBook Discovery, refused to run my ad, claiming they didn’t have a large enough LGBT following, and another, the Book Cave, ran my ad but felt it necessary to warn people that my book had prominent gay/lesbian characters.
In the latter, shouldn’t the Book Cave instead have warned about the actual villains in “Time Is Irreverent”? In 2056 theocracy-ruled America, religion, conservatism, and those who enforced those beliefs were the ones to watch out for, not a feisty lesbian who simply wanted the freedom to be herself without getting thrown into jail.
“Time Is Irreverent” projects 2056 as a time of conservative extremism. Here in 2018, life isn’t quite as backward as it will be in 2056, if conservatives get their way. Nevertheless, I’m shocked to live in a country where gays and lesbians are so scary that some still think they need a warning label.