A couple of days ago, Victoria Elliott send an email to us and asked for support for the IndiGoGo Campaign she and her wife created. We are very happy welcome her on Rainbow Gold Reviews to tell you about their ‘adventures in creating diverse LGBT Covers’. Book covers are so important and a campaign to create covers with diverse gay and lesbian couples is something that we are very happy to support. Especially since the authors have vouched to pay everyone their fair due <3.
Check out their Guestpost and IndiGoGo Campaign below and maybe even support them in this wonderful undertaking if you can. There are great rewards for supporters from gay or lesbian eBooks or print books to starring in gay or lesbian romance.
Adventures in Creating Diverse LGBT Book Covers by Victoria Elliott
My wife and I write and self-publish LGBT interracial romance, but there’s something missing. We know from our reviews and our sales that we’re good writers, and people like our stories. We feed the hunger of those looking to read about couples who aren’t always commonplace in romance fiction.
What’s missing more often than not is a hot photo of the interracial couple starring in our story. We do our best to create sexy covers within our budget. That means using stock photo libraries, but stock photo libraries, all too often, do not have photos of the people we write about.
They don’t have photos of sexy middle-aged interracial gay couples with hairy chests and bulging biceps. They don’t have photos of a sexy pair of 65-year-old lesbians–one Caucasian and one Asian-American–sharing a kiss. They have few photos of African-American/Caucasian lesbian couples, and all-black LGBT couples are very tough to find.
If you saw the world through stock photos you would think that a white person had to be blond to date someone of another race. Is it true that Caucasian brunettes only date other white people?
We did find one good photo of an interracial lesbian couple, which we used on Lesbian with Dog Seeks Same. However, we continue to write interracial romance and, therefore, need more photos like this.
We’re tired of resorting to using symbols of the romantic action in our books on the covers instead of images of the couples we love. We’re tired of using images of sexy singles or splicing them together (never looks right), and we’re tired of changing our stories to fit our limited selection of images. This does not mean we are going to change our writing. We’re going to change the images available to us, especially since we’re starting to write stories that are diverse beyond race. Our next lesbian love story, Roll With Me, will be a romance between a runner and a wheelchair racer. According to stock photo libraries, all wheelchair racers are men. I don’t know why I bothered looking.
We have decided to take the DIY spirit of the self-publishing revolution that we love, and create photography for our own book covers. My wife and I have launched an Indiegogo campaign, We Need Diverse Book Covers, to raise the money. Everyone involved in our project will be paid appropriately.
But this campaign is about more than just making covers for our books. A few years ago, the #weneeddiversebooks campaign launched to advocate for improved diversity in children’s literature. This was followed by #weneeddiverseromance with a similar aim for romance fiction. (Both are great. Check them out.) Our Indiegogo campaign will start with improving the covers of our books, but we’re hoping it does much more than that and ripples outward. We need diversity in what we read, but we also need diversity in the images that we see.
When you don’t see yourself reflected, it’s like you don’t exist. You know you do, but you can feel invisible. We know how that feels. Or maybe there are images that are like you, but they are so distorted that you feel ugly. We need images that reflect how sexy our characters are.
Consider being a part of our Indiegogo campaign in some way. Share it on social media. Blog about it. Talk about it. Contribute. Perks include signed and advance copies of our books as well as opportunities to be the star of our next romance story. Sign up to be one of our models.
A wide array of couples belong in romance fiction. They belong on book covers too.
Elizabeth Andre writes lesbian erotic romance, science fiction and young adult stories. She is a lesbian in an interracial same-sex marriage living in the Midwest. She hopes you enjoy her stories. She certainly loves writing them.
Kendall Morgan | Amazon Author Page |
I started writing gay male erotic romance stories in the early ’90s, but only gay male porn magazines would publish them. I’m so glad things have gotten more respectable and the readership more broad. I am a lesbian in an interracial same-sex marriage, and I love writing interracial romance stories. I love flipping stereotypes and challenging myself to write characters that are ever further from who I am. I hope you enjoy my stories. I certainly love writing them.
Danielle Summers is a dyke in an interracial same-sex marriage living in the Midwest. She loves well-drawn characters but hates stereotypes. She lives for a good plot. She wishes her characters were real.