Further to the post on the editor’s panel, one member asked them a question from floor. She asked if any of them looked and male / male romances.
The ‘big four’ sat in shocked silence. It took one of the HMB editors – who used to work for Ellora’s Cave – to explain to everyone that it was a very popular niche genre, and very lucrative for those who genuinely wanted to write it (as opposed to someone not interested in the genre but thinks it is good for quick bucks). She also confirmed that the majority of this genre is written by straight women for straight women. The fiction written for gay men is a different niche again, and they are quite specific in what they want (and authors they look for). She didn’t say outright that noone in the room could meet that markets requirements, but it was fairly obvious it would be hard for anyone there to do.
The silence from the rest of the editorial panel was quite palpable. They can barely admit they are accepting romance (and 3 of them even said ‘I don’t want to to know who is going to end up with who by reading the first page’). The thought of non hetrosexual romance – and written by straight women at that – may not have occurred to them, and seem to visibly shock some of them to contemplate.