Thank you! The success of out Kickstarter campaign is owed to so many

First, thanks to you!

To all those who pledged, who Liked and Shared on Facebook, re-tweeted, and all that jazz: this is something that you made possible. We enlisted your enthusiasm and your passion for these books. You made a commitment to Query Books, giving us your trust and your energy to make it all come true. We can’t thank you enough.

Query Books has a volunteer team helping with key elements of the campaign. Michael Starkman did the Query Books logo and design elements. Nathaniel Walters took the raw footage of me droning into a camera and made it watchable! Meg Murray aka Profundity had lots of good advice for the campaign, provided the Drag Queen Coloring Book as a perk, and helped us get some of the videos. Nick Barber had tech advice and social media advice, and oh-so-much enthusiasm. Marcus Perry also helped to handle social media, particularly anything Instagram. And Michael McNamara, who so believed this could work, brought us several of our video PSA’s and celebrity tweets. These people all volunteered their time because of their faith that this is a good project and deserves to succeed.

Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 9.56.58 AMThanks to all those who recorded our video PSAs, including everyone on our campaign team, and also Mr. David aka Glamamore; Grace TowersMx. Justin Vivian Bond; Dr. Carol QueenLynnee BreedloveJim ProvenzanoVirgie TovarKeith HennessyMasen Davis; and Mutha Chucka.

Most of all, I have to thank Mark Freeman, who spear-headed and cat-herded this campaign to success. It’s not in my DNA to do an in-your-face campaign like the kind you have to do on Kickstarter. Mark assigned tasks; reminded everyone about deadlines and guidelines; made phone calls to people who might help; co-wrote social media posts and edited emails; and he filmed some of the videos you shared online. He encouraged, cajoled, and inevitably pleaded with me ‘to do this’ or ‘say that’ and pushed us to make this happen, even on the most discouraging days when it seemed impossible that we might make our goal. Love u, Mark!

Thank you all.

Announcing! Query Books’ first titles will be James Broughton, Coming Unubuttoned

Query Books is proud to announce that one of its first two titles will be Coming Unbuttoned by James Broughton.

bed-the-naked-saxophonist

James Broughton grew up in San Francisco and Modesto, became a darling of the New York City art world, but came back to San Francisco in the sixties to follow his own “weird.” He produced some of the most innovative independent movies of his era; his short film the Bed is still taught in film schools to this day. Broughton was also a poet with a singular vision, writing several books of poetry and prose.

the bed

Scene from The Bed

 

Three years ago, a biopic called Big Joy was made about Broughton’s life, featuring Armistead Maupin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and others. The film garnered several prizes and is now widely available, and interest in Broughton is high!

Coming Unbuttoned is Broughton’s charming, oddly innocent account of his life, told the way only he can tell it. Spanning from his early SF childhood years, military school, life in the New York art scene, and returning to California. He recounts his time spent among the Beat Poets, and talks about his affairs with women and men, including Suzanna Hart (whom he married) and Harry Hay (founder of the Mattachine Society and the Radical Faeries). And of course, there’s the young love of his life found in his latter years, Joel Singer, who has given his blessing to this project. It’s all here, as seen through Broughton’s own quirky lens. Big Joy‘s narrator, Keith Hennessy, talks to Query Books about Broughton and the idea of finding these lost treasures and making them available again:

Keith Hennessy for Query Books

Query books is chosen as Kickstarter Staff Pick

kickstarter-staff-pick-b00a65d2

 

This is fantastic news! Kickstarter has sifted through hundreds of new crowdfunding campaigns and selected Query Books as one they think deserves support. It validates the idea behind Query Books, and also that we are running the best campaign that we can.

We are nearly at 30% towards our Kickstarter goal.

We’re on our way on the Query Books Kickstarter Campaign, which will raise both money and visibility for this project to find and reprint lost or forgotten LGBT books that are classics, of historical interest, or just well-loved! The minimum funding goal is $15,000. We only have until November 7th to reach this goal, and we can do it! Remember, Query Books only gets funded if we make it all the way. We’re on track towards our goal, but only if pledges keep coming in.

Donations as little as $20 or as generous as $1000 can be made right here. Everything adds up, and your donation is a big help no matter how large or how small!
We also need your help getting the word out about this campaign.   . Also, you can copy and paste the link below  into your Facebook, Twitter, or other social media update, with a little note asking your friends to watch the video and to consider making a contribution. Remember, Query Books will only be funded if we reach our minimum goal of $15,000!

It started with a conversation.

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!