LGBTQ romance is booming – The New York Times

The cover of another, The Perks of Loving a Wallflower, looks a lot like your typical historical romance novel—period outfits, elaborate hairstyles—until it’s not. The two embracing people are women.

Photos for the cover were shot in New York City in December 2020, a difficult time to photograph cuddling models, but executives at Forever, the book’s publisher, felt they had to find a way.

“Believe it or not, there’s not a lot of stock for lesbian regency romance,” said Leah Hultenschmidt, the book’s editor.

Forever hired two models who were a couple in real life so they could snuggle up to the camera without breaking Covid safety protocols. The book was widely distributed, not only in bookstores but also in pharmacies, grocery stores and Walmart.

One book often cited by booksellers and publishing executives as a turning point for the genre is Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue. A love story about the Prince of Wales and the son of the American President, published by St Martin’s Griffin in 2019 with an initial print run of 15,000. The publisher said it now has more than 1.3 million copies in print across all formats.

McQuiston, who uses she/them pronouns, said her books are written for and about queer people, but they’ve also heard a lot: “Oh, my mom and her book club read this.”

“If a book has the ability to be embraced and accepted by mainstream readers and be more pop culture friendly, I think that’s really important,” they said. “It’s sad to say, but there’s still that level of humanization that we need.” LGBTQ romance is booming – The New York Times

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