Apparently, according to the folks over at the Fussy Librarian, only straight people can have contemporary romances. Everything else is just gay and lesbian whatever, all rolled into one big category to fight it out on the shelves and screens of the literati.
A friend of mine who’s a very erudite and readable author just finished a romance novel and submitted it to TFL. Unfortunately, They won’t run the book in the “contemporary romance” category because it’s about a romance between two men. Now I’m sure that this is probably de rigeur for a lot of these fly-by-night promo places (and, as far as I’m concerned, they’re ALL fly-by-night since they’re vampires sucking the money out of indie author wallets), but if you’re paying money up front, you’d like to think that’s one thing in a capitalist society that can overcome those outdated and moronic social mores. In this case, they refunded half of my friend’s cash and are going to run it in the “Gay/Lesbian” category.
Now, mind you, there is nothing wrong with having a separate category for LBGT works, but if a writer is just writing a story and doesn’t necessarily feel the need or desire to put in that category, why should they have to? A simple romance story is a simple romance story, no matter who the imaginary participants happen to be.
Sure, the Fussy Librarian is within their rights. They are the Fussy Librarian, after all. Yet another of the vampires that prey on the promotional needs of writers, with stringent review requirements, since having a lot of reviews always means you have a better book. Not.
But c’mon, people! We’re paying you to promote our work. WE should be the ones who decide where it goes, not you and your homophobic instincts. If you want our cash, fucking listen to us! The customer is always right, right?