In the past four or five years I've watched many changes happen within the publishing industry. All good changes, at least I think they are.
But I think the most wonderful change I've seen is how the M/M romance community has pulled together and formed such a solid, positive bond. Every day when I open my in-box there's a nice e-mail from a M/M romance author talking about a new book. These e-mails are always filled with positive energy, which is the best way to start off even the rainiest, cloudiest day of the week. I look forward to seeing who is doing what, and how they are doing it. Everyone seems to be doing something different, but just as interesting.
I used to dread opening my in-box in the morning. I never knew what to expect. If it wasn't spam, it was a political e-mail from a disgruntled friend with too much time to waste. And now when I open my mail I can't wait to see what's new and what's happening within the M/M romance community. There are so many wonderful books from which to choose my TBR list becomes longer each month. I have two Kobo e-readers, the Look Book and the regular Kobo, and my libraries are filled with more books than I ever dreamed I'd read.
I've also seen M/M authors bond together in ways I never could have predicted four or five years ago. We used to be set apart from each other and didn't have opportunities to communicate. But I've seen contests like The Rainbow Awards grow into positive representations of what all M/M authors are striving toward with their hard work. This includes cover artists and models as well. And no matter how busy anyone is, there's always time to help out a fellow author. Sometimes it comes in the form of offering advice, other times it comes in the form of providing support. The energy has become explosive; you can almost feel it everywhere you go these days on the Internet.
From social networks to personal blogs, almost all M/M authors are selflessly dedicated to creating changes and making positive moves that promote a better quality of life to the entire lgbt community. Some have become involved in wonderful organizations that provide support for people living with HIV and AIDS. Others have offered support to PETA and other animal rights organizations. I can't list all the organizations; it would take too long. Readers benefit, too. They get chances to win free digital readers and free e-books and communicate one on one with their favorite authors. And publishers are working with their authors in order to please their readers.
And the wonderful reviews sites that have popped up in the past four or five years that support the M/M community have become positive places where authors and readers can browse and learn information they wouldn't normally be able to find in bookshops and newspapers. In fact, there's so much information out there I set time aside to read these sites for pleasure most of the time. What used to be hard work is now something we look forward to doing.
If the changes that have happened recently are any indication of the changes yet to come, there's a lot to look forward to in the future. And I think that's what's going to happen. I get e-mails at least three or four times a week from new M/M authors asking questions about publishers, social media, and how to get started writing M/M fiction. And from what I've seen, there are a lot of great writers yet to come. They have fresh voices, creative concepts, and new approaches that haven't been done yet.
It's probably one of the best times to be part of a publishing community in the history of publishing. I don't know what it's like with other genres, but I hope they are experiencing the same exciting energy we're all experiencing in the M/M romance community.