You’ve heard me talk about this micro-publishing project, Query Books, for a few months now. But it’s finally happening! You can be one of the first to know what our first couple of offerings are, follow the links onto our Kickstarter page and keep reading.
While hosting a brunch for NYT bestselling writer Emma Donoghue, she mentioned her first book is out of print. Dismayed, I went back to my office and looked up LGBTQ books I remembered from my days as the Buyer for A Different Light Bookstore. Many of them seem to be no longer available. It looked as if, in these heady days of newly-won acceptance, some of the books that shaped a community for decades (before the appearance of positive LGBTQ characters on film and television) might never be passed to new generations of younger readers.
Query Books is, at heart, an effort to bridge that generational gap. The mission of Query Books is to find and reprint lost or forgotten LGBTQ books that are classics, of historical interest, or even just well-loved. We want to make sure that these seminal, groundbreaking works are still available for those who care about their community and its unique stories, culture, and sensibility. And to reach larger audiences in other communities, as well as schools and libraries.
But Query Books is also a curated series, so the cover designs will have a family resemblance. That way, someone who enjoys one will easily identify other books in the series. We want the books to reach larger audiences in other communities, as well as schools and libraries.
Query Books needs your help! We are running a Kickstarter campaign, so that we can cover the up-front costs of the first few books and get the ball rolling for this project. We need to raise at least $15,000. In the world of publishing, that is not a lot of money. But this is a new way of doing the book business—crowd-funded and social media propelled.
To do this, we need you to join us in support, both financially and to help spread the word.
Whether you can afford $20 or $250, your donations will add up as you tell your friends and network. We’ve been coming up with some great ways to say thank you!
Right now is the right time for Query Books! What used to be ‘the love that dares not speak its name’ is now talked about everyday on every news channel. But how did we get here? This is the moment where people are starting to look back on the early years of gay life, lesbian community, queer organizing, and transgender visibility; and making connections back to the women’s movement and the civil rights era.
Some examples of ‘looking back’ are Alyssia Abbot’s memoir Fairyland, about her childhood growing up in 1980s and 90s Castro and Haight Ashbury; Sean Strub’s book Body Counts, reliving the height of the AIDS era when he began his activism in New York City. And Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, her story of being a lesbian with a gay father which is now one of Broadway’s biggest hits of the year. My point is, gay is in the air, and everybody’s interested.
If you’re a young person that is curious what LGBT life was like in the 1980s—or the 50s, or the 20s for that matter—this project is for you.
If you’re an older reader who remembers that books were the first place where you saw your life reflected, and the only place you could see yourself for decades, than this project is for you to pass on your legacy and your life story.
Please consider giving financial support to Query Books. And even more important, please share this campaign to your lists, friends and family, and on social media.
I am totally excited about creating Query Books. I hope you are too! As we are doing this campaign, I am also busy at work on our first couple of books. We hope to have the first one or two out in time for this holiday season, with your help!