by scavola

by scavola - a place to showcase my books, and for readers to comment / contact me if they'd like.

gay fiction written by a gay man for gay men

twitter: @by_scavola / / email:

(the'Duke' series and the 'ATL Engineering' series tabs above.)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

NO GAY FOR YOU! trends in gay & lesbian fiction

Well, I entered Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising into the amazon Prime program to take advantage of its promotions. I was hoping to spur interest in Duke, maybe get some reviews and bleed-through sales. So how did that work out? I ‘gave away’ 700 copies of Duke, got some reviews, and some bleed-through sales so, mission accomplished? Here’s what I found:

(Let’s call books over 200 pgs. NOVELS, books under 200 pgs. NOVELLAS, and books under 100 pgs. SHORT STORIES.)
1) Forget sales rank, because Gay & Lesbian Fiction is fraught with ‘beaters’.

Beaters: 10-20 page SHORT STORIES, typically of one drawn-out ‘scene of affection’, which seem to be gobbled up. Research shows that only 25% of the books listed under ‘Gay & Lesbian’ are NOVELS, 35% are NOVELLAS, and 40% are SHORT STORIES. Six months ago, it was 50% NOVELS, 25% NOVELLAS, and 25% SHORT STORIES.
These ‘beaters’ kept beating Duke down in rank on the ‘Best Sellers in Gay & Lesbian Fiction’ list, (but that’s not why I call them beaters . . . you’ll figure it out.)
2) No gay for you!
I think that there’s a divide, between books written by gay men for gay men and M/M books written by women for women.

Research shows that 75% of the books listed under ‘Gay & Lesbian’ are written by women. Six months ago, it was split evenly men and women. I would like to think that there’s no difference, but there obviously is.

Do gay men enjoy books written by women? I’ve read some posts by gay men looking for books written by gay men because they’re just not satisfied with how women write gay romance. Gay men are my target readers and seem to like my books.
Female readers, while they think it’s a good book, say it just ‘isn’t for them’, as they have different sensibilities. (I wanted to tell them, “Well, I didn’t write it for you.”) This market is taking off in its own direction, there are lots of blogs and book review sites for ‘celebrating the best in M/M romance for women’, which says a lot.

I think we should have a ‘blind taste test’, any volunteers?
(One note, most non-heterosexual fiction, like ménage, is put into the ‘Gay & Lesbian Fiction’ category.)

3) Correlated research from both points leads to the following:

While the prevalence of Gay & Lesbian Fiction NOVELLAS and SHORT STORIES by male authors has stayed relatively the same, NOVELS are being pushed aside, along with gay male preference, by NOVELLAS and SHORT STOIRES written by women for women. (And this is imbalanced, as I’d say that we’ll never see the obverse being true.)
In summary, there is no market for gay fiction NOVELS, it’s all about the beaters and what women want.

But I did ‘give away’ 700 copies of Duke – Book 1: Alpha Rising, which I hope will be enjoyed, so thank you to all of you who do!
(The ‘research’ is from a survey of the Top 100 Best Sellers in Gay & Lesbian Fiction on in February and August of this year.)

Thank you for reading, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this!


  1. Your "give away" got me to read Duke 1, and from there I have bought 2 and 3.

    Although the "stats" are against you with your writing I am sure you will beat the odds - I have been recommending your books to my friends.

    At the end of the day, most of the "beaters" will be read once, and deleted or lost - yours will be ones that people keep coming back to.

    1. To me it's odd, not that women have taken such a liking to M/M Romance, but that, because of this, 'gay fiction' isn't for gay men anymore.

      I never anticipated the reaction I got from women, (or that I'd even get a reaction from women). While they liked the writing, characters, world-building, creativity, etc., they complained that there were no "dangerously sexy" werewolves and that the "frivolous non-monogomy" was ridiculous; it just "wasn't for them." I wanted to reply, "well, I didn't write it for you!" ***

      But I did write it for you, and I'm so glad that you liked it, 'cause I really love Duke and his world.

      I appreciate that you took the time to read and comment, and I appreciate your support.

      Thank you!

      *** in response, I started a group, no girls allowed! gay men only on, no to devalue their interest but to give value to ours.

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  3. "Research shows that 75% of the books listed under ‘Gay & Lesbian’ are written by women." That does not mean that the 25 percent written by men are written by gay men who write gay male fiction for a gay male audience. Many men written books supposedly about gay men are not writing for gay male readers; rather, to sell books to make money they write M/M Romances using the unrealistic characters and situations that appeal to straight women (i.e, gay-for-you, chicks with dicks and bodice rippers that are heterosexual romances with the female character being given a male name.)

    1. So true. I do this 'study' every six months so I'll be doing it again next month (2/13). I'll try to be really discerning as to how much is actual gay fiction.

      Thanks for the comment!