We recently covered how bookstore employees often aren’t paid a living wage, but it might surprise you to know that a lot of authors face the same issue. One queer indie bookstore is working to change that, especially where LGBTQ authors are concerned. This marginalized community has been hit particularly hard by increasing anti-LGBTQ laws and book bans. That’s not all: according to ShopQueer.co, most authors only receive about 10% of the profits any time their book is sold.
Many write on the side of a full-time career or juggle multiple jobs just to make ends meet. Tiktok superstar author Xiran Jay Zhao recently posted about how they weren’t paid enough for their first book — despite hitting The New York Times Best Seller List — to work full-time on the sequel without working other jobs.
ShopQueer.co is working to combat this issue by splitting profits with the queer authors they feature in their store. Not only that, they’re working to make LGBTQ books more accessible for everyone by creating a safe, queer-focused book community. Just wait until I tell you about the rainbow book bus that’s in the works! (More on that down below.)
There’s always an influx of articles and social media posts about supporting queer authors and creators every June, but LGBTQ authors need to make a living year round. Pride Month is a greate opportunity to intentionally focus on reading, requesting, promoting, and purchasing queer books written by queer authors, yes, but May, July, August, and even September are as well. Especially in light of the transmisogynists and anti-LGBTQ crusaders who have become increasingly loud and emboldened in recent years. Proudly supporting queer books, queer authors, and queer bookstores is a great way to fight back against all that hate.
Now please allow me to gush for a moment as I go through all the other things I absolutely love about ShopQueer.co:
You know I love a signed book, and the signed book section of ShopQueer.co offers a stunning array of beloved authors to choose from: Steven Rowley, Freya Marske, Adam Silvera, Carmen Maria Machado, Sarah Waters, Emma Donoghue, TJ Klune, Kosoko Jackson, and our very own Susie Dumond, just to name a few. According to ShopQueer.co “over 100 authors have signed their books for you, at no extra cost” to show their gratitude for supporting their work.
Book Selections and Recommendations By Both Genre and Identity!
Wow, wow, wow, can I just say how much I love this? As someone who writes — and reads — about queer books a lot, it’s so helpful to be able to search for books by identity. You can browse books based on gender identity, sexual identity, and racial identity to find exactly the representation you’re looking for, as well as searching by genre or age group.
I love the bright pink packaging ShopQueer.co uses to ship books, but it’s an unfortunate reality that publicly reading queer books isn’t safe for everybody. Maybe someday that will no longer be the case, but until then discreet packaging is available upon request during the ordering process.
Rainbow Book Bus!
Because opening an indie bookstore and supporting queer authors isn’t enough for the brilliant minds behind ShopQueer.co, they’re also working with the nonprofit wayOUT to fund a rainbow book bus that will bring queer book fairs to towns all across the country. You can support their efforts on Patreon and even snag a discount on all ShopQueer.co orders while you’re at it. Don’t mind if I do!
There’s so much to love about ShopQueer.co, and I know I’ll be doing a good bit of my online book purchasing from them going forward. Now, please excuse me while I go get even more books for my already overflowing rainbow book shelves.