Thursday, 22 July 2010

Alyson Books: Book Ends?


An interesting story - Is Broke Regent Media Unloading Destitute Alyson Books? - from Queerty - who we should stress are hardly independent observers on this.
Alyson Books, "the world's oldest and largest publisher of LGBT literature", was founded by Sasha Alyson in 1980 - originally it specialised in LGBT-themed books for children.
It was bought by Regent Media/Here Media in 2008.
Regent/Here also own The Advocate, Out and gay.com
A few years ago gay.com could bankroll them all - it was the US equivalent of Gaydar; the most popular gay "dating" site by far.
They were making out like (bum) bandits!
Then American gay men defected en masse to Manhunt who were doing the same thing but much better, and the river of money slowed down to a trickle.
The Advocate and Out also started to really struggle financially when the recession began in 2007.
British gay publishers Brilliance Books, Third House, Gay Men's Press and Millivres Books have all closed down.
Harrington Park Press - publishers of famously bad "academic" LGBT titles - went tits-up in 2007.
Which means if Alyson goes under, apart from coffee table soft porn and one-handed reads, there will only be one gay publishing house left, Cleis Press.

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