I know we have all grown accustomed to e-readers and enjoying the immediate satisfaction of being able to read books because we can download them so easily now, but I do enjoy paperbacks myself when I can get them. Before Covid-19, I used to wander around in Barnes & Noble and just look at all new releases in romance, mystery, paranormal, whatever books caught my eye. I don't know about you, but I adore the smell of a bookstore and the new pages in the books, and the quiet hushed tones people talk in while there. Even though it's a retail store, they still treat it with reverence like a library, ya know? So I really miss that. Even just the experience of being in a bookstore without buying anything.
Sadly, B&N is the only brick and mortar store in my area, even with how big of an area I am in, and they also, unfairly, don't carry LGBTQ books. The only ones I could ever locate were more self-help for parents or for an LGBTQ individual on how to approach the topic with their family and friends. I love that they at least had that section originally. Only the last time I was in there toward the end of last year, that section was completely gone as well.
But they also don't/didn't(?) carry LGBTQ fiction books. (Covid has definitely impeded my ability to validate that statement right now.) I would comb the romance section, hoping to find an author I knew or a book that screamed gay romance. Never did find one. Of course, with Covid-19 still trying to locate that diamond in the weeds is not really probable/possible. Though, I would truly doubt, despite how popular the LGBTQ genre has grown these last ten years I've been published, they would carry a section strictly for Gay and Lesbian Fiction/Romance.
Another question there would also be, what about LGBTQ YA? They deserve to have characters they can identify with, characters they can imagine they are, and be instilled with hope that someday they can walk down the street holding hands with their beloved without slurs and dirty looks being slung their way. Yes, there are many LGBTQ YA books available online now, but there are also a lot of teens and young adults who can't gain access easily to those books. Their situation could be strict parents, unable to have an e-reader, forced to hide who they are from their family. A book store with physical paperbacks gives them a chance to find those books and discover those characters without fear of discovery. Especially since those stores allow you to sit in chairs and read! Most of them anyway.
I think my biggest wish as an author would be to walk into a brick and mortar store and see my own paperbacks on the shelf. But for now, I am satisfied with the quality job Amazon does with the paperback printing they are doing. I've done proofs for each of my books so far that are in paperback. Beautiful glossy covers, quality paper and inks inside., and there is no issue with blurring, smudging, or anything of that nature.
On that note, I can proudly announce my release from yesterday Chasing Seth is now available via paperback on Amazon as well. Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08J5HNDQL/