"Especially in an economic downturn, books are a great resource and that is proven in increased sales," said Aimee White, Business Development Manager of Antitype Press in the UK. "And that's especially true in the lesbian fiction market, where there is quite a stunted growth in formats that break away from the community norm of detective or Mills and Boon type lesbian fiction. We're responding to calls for novels that are more quirky."
The lesbian fiction market has seen a boom over the last few years with an increase in publishers, especially in the US that has filtered through the UK.
One of the main issues facing publishers is attracting a suitable calibre of writer. Ensuring that submission process runs smoothly, Antitype Press has secured a small team of professional editors. Aimee explained, "It's easy for a publisher to want to bulk their books up with authors en masse because of the savings this can have with Print On Demand, but this can also damage your brand and that's something we really don't want to so. Also, with increased authors on your books it is easy to create an impersonal culture and that's not what we're about."
Antitype Press' first signing was E.A.Gray and her dark religious fiction about salvation and redemption in Heaven and Hell.
"I wanted to do something that made Heaven and Hell seem more accessible for the lesbian community," said E.A.Gray, "not for any specific religious beliefs myself, but because the Bible is a pretty good story. So I dragged it all into a modern day setting but kept it dark, following the premise of a Greek Tragedy."
Despite the difficulties faced by some areas in the economy the demand for books remains steady, and in some sectors, it is even increasing.
"I really think it comes down to this, if you're a good writer then you'll go far no matter what the economy is doing," Aimee concluded.