I've been part of the Lambda Literary Awards a few times. I'm an openly gay author, writing with my own name and not a pen name, who has been writing in the lgbt genre for almost twenty years. I've even been in anthologies that have won Lambda awards. However, this year I'm passing on the festivities and I'm not submitting any of my books. One reason is lack of time and another other is cost.
Most of my books are e-books that sell very well, but they can be downloaded as print books on demand at Amazon if a reader so wishes. But this also means if I want copies of my own books in print, I have to order them just like everyone else and pay for postage. As a reader, I've made the switch to reading only e-books. I save money, enjoy the reading process ten times more, and will never go back to reading print books again. Evidently, the LLF has not made the switch and e-books are not eligible.
My print books sell, but not nearly as well as the e-books. My fan base (thanks to every single one of you), according the hundreds of letters I receive each week, are lgbt as well as straight readers who only read e-books. So for me to take the time out of my busy writing schedule to go through the Lambda submission process and order my own print books to submit to them is costly. I'm just like everyone else in America right now. I have a mortgage. I have bills. I have car payments. I have priorities to consider. And by the time I'm finished adding up what it will cost me to submit something to the LLF for the Lambda's, it runs into the hundreds. And in this economy I'm not willing to part with money as easily as I would have been in the past.
I'm thankful to Elisa Rolle for sponsoring The Rainbow Awards, which doesn't cost authors a dime out of their own pockets. I'm sure the LLF will survive without me this year. Who knows? I may even wind up as a participant in the Lambda's if an editor of an anthology I'm in this year decides to submit his book. And I'm sure there will be some great lgbt books submitted to the LLF by some very talented authors. I wish them all well, and if anyone reading this post is interested in submitting their print books to the LLF for the Lambda's, please follow this link and support them