Somewhat Random: On LT3’s Submission Guidelines

This recently came up in various places, and my brain works in mysterious ways and won’t let it go. So, new post time! This is not my usual type of blog post, so feel free to skip this one if you don’t care about non-writing stuff. ^^

Being a publisher is pretty cool. I really enjoy my job and a lot of what goes into it. I think I would go stir crazy if I were just (hah) an author. It’s also interesting some of the things people don’t often realize? For instance, publishing is a very specific business, particularly at the small press level. LT3 is very much a small press with one focus: LGBTQ romance. We don’t publish literature, poetry, YA, etc. Our brand and what our readers expect is sweet (sometimes explicit, sometimes not) romance featuring queer characters who end up happy at the end of the book.

You should run screaming in the other direction if a publisher touts that they publish every genre (unless they’re HUGE and have multiple imprints and such). If it’s a 3-person operation that does, say, (1) LGBTQ erotica, (2) het erotica, and (3) LGBTQ YA, that’s not a good thing. The markets for a het erotica book and an LGBTQ YA book are two entirely different things and it’s a sign of being stretched too thin or not devoting anywhere near enough resources to marketing the books.

This is one reason that LT3 has not branched out into YA. We don’t have the resources or the time to devote to building a YA imprint, so we don’t publish YA. Likewise, our core market is sweet (typically non-explicit) LGBTQ romance. Hence we also tend to stay away from books that are heavily erotic and/or include non-consensual sex that’s been eroticised (spell check is telling me this is not a word, so that could be a terrible spelling on my part, and if so uh, blame the fact that I got less than optimum sleep last night).

So when you see a press that has very specific guidelines about what they do and do not take, there’s usually a practical reason for it behind the scenes, even if it’s not entirely evident what the reason is.