As we are approaching Pride Month, people on social media are starting to share their Pride Month book stacks, and book-related websites are posting their “books to read for Pride Month” lists.
And that’s great because with all the anti-LGBTQ+ laws, we need visibility more than ever.
However, as I’ve pointed out in previous years, I often see the same dozen or so books from big mainstream publishing houses being promoted, while books from small queer presses and indie authors are largely ignored.
It’s great that mainstream publishers are now publishing books with LGBTQ+ characters, and I’m happy for each and every author who managed to get such a book deal.
But please let’s not forget the small presses and indie authors who are publishing the majority of sapphic books and have been publishing them for decades, back when mainstream publishing houses assumed books with LGBT+ characters wouldn’t sell and refused to take a risk on them.
If you’re a reader, Bookstagrammer, Booktoker, blogger, or reviewer, please make sure you include books by indies & small presses when you share your Pride lists. Pride Month is the perfect time to look beyond mainstream-published LGBTQ+ books and give some love to books that have less visibility. There are so many good books out there that deserve some attention!
Top 10 places to find sapphic books by small presses and indie authors
What if you have no idea where to find these books (or you want to find more of them)?
Every now and then, I see someone lament online “there aren’t enough sapphic books.” People, there are thousands of them out there, and I wrote this blog post to help you find them.
Instead of just sharing my own favorite sapphic books (which I did in this blog post, by the way), I thought I would share my top 10 places to find sapphic books by small queer presses and indie authors:
1. Sapphic Book Bingo
I’m running the Sapphic Book Bingo, a year-long reading challenge for readers of sapphic fiction, featuring books by hundreds of authors. Even if you’re not into reading challenges, the weekly blog posts with book recommendations will help you find new authors and new favorite books.
2. I Heart SapphFic BookFinder
TB Markinson and Miranda MacLeod from I Heart SapphFic have put together a searchable database of sapphic books. You can search by genre, trope, setting, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. Right now, the database contains nearly 4,000+ books, and it’s growing every week!
3. Publisher websites
Visit the websites of small LGBT+ presses such as Bold Strokes Books, Ylva Publishing, Bella Books, Bywater Books, Desert Palm Press, BLF Press, Interlude Press, NineStar Press, JMS Books, Launchpoint Press, Triplicity Publishing, Affinity Rainbow Publications, Sapphire Books, Bedazzled Ink Publishing, Flashpoint Publications, Painted Hearts Publishing, and others.
You can check out their new releases, take a look at their backlist, or subscribe to their newsletters.
4. Facebook groups
A lot of readers and authors of sapphic fiction are still on Facebook, and with very few exceptions, you’ll find mostly indie-published books in these groups.
MyQueerSapphFic is the Bookbub of sapphic fiction. Every Friday, they send out a newsletter with sapphic books that are on sale.
6. I Read Indies:
I Read Indies is a collective of indie authors of sapphic literature, run by KC Luck. Every month, they post their members’ new releases on their website and in their newsletter.
7. Literary awards:
The two biggest award programs for sapphic fiction are run by the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) and by Lambda Literary. Their lists of past award winners and finalists are a great starting place for anyone looking for well-written sapphic fiction.
8. Review sites and book bloggers
Book blogs such as LGBTQReads, run by Dahlia Adler, and ReadsRainbow, run by Charlotte & Anna, post curated lists of LGBTQIA+ literature. Their book lists also include a lot of mainstream-published books, but they have made an effort to include books by indie authors and publishers, and their book lists are very diverse, which I appreciate.
9. Amazon best-seller charts
I’d be remiss not to mention Amazon since many indie authors are exclusively in Kindle Unlimited, so you can’t find their ebooks anywhere else. The Amazon best-seller charts for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance are filled with sapphic books published by indie authors and small presses.
10. Websites featuring books by authors of color
Authors of color are, unfortunately, still very underrepresented in sapphic fiction. Of course, you will find books written by authors of colors at all the resources I mentioned above, but you’ll have to really look for them.
More resources to find sapphic books by small presses and indie authors
There are many more places to find indie-published sapphic books. I couldn’t list them all, and I didn’t mean to exclude anyone. If you are a publisher, reviewer, book blogger, or a reader who knows a great resource to help people find sapphic books from small presses and indie authors, please leave a comment and share a link below!