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For Writers: FF Chicken and Egg Problem


Today’s writer topic comes from QSFer Heather Rose Jones:

I’m trying to stick to topics rather than plunge into actual discussions, but one major logistical issue in broadening a primarily M/M venue is that it’s hard to attract more diverse content providers if you can’t offer them consumers, and it’s hard to attract more diverse consumers if you can’t offer them content.

Hypothetically: an established M/M publisher wants to add a F/F line. They put out a call to authors. The authors look at the existing product and ask themselves, why would my readership shop here? Who will find me in this context?

Or their book gets published but it doesn’t sell because it’s only been marketed to the existing M/M readership for that publisher.

The publisher says, “Hey, we gave it a shot, but F/F just doesn’t sell.”

The author says, “Don’t bother publishing with so-and-so, they don’t support your books.”

The experiment goes nowhere and everyone’s pre-existing assumptions are confirmed.

There can be a useful lesson in looking at the very active discussions in the SFF community about how to attract and retain a more racially diverse community.

What do y’all think? How do we break the cycle?

Fair warning. Topics like this have been hot button issues in the past, but I know y’all can handle this one. Just keep it civil. :)

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