Tunhope

Improving Ace representation in the publishing industry

Recommended Posts

Tunhope

I'd like to send a short list of fiction books that have an ace focus to bisg.org, the Book Industry Study Group. Can you help, please? A bit of background. All books are allocated codes by the author and/or publisher. It's so that 'How to boil eggs' doesn't end up on the 'How to keep poultry' shelf. Most retailers (on line or not) use the BISAC lists allocated by BISG. (Just to complicate things, some big UK retailers like Waterstones use a different set of codes.) The lists aren't static. This year, two new Fiction/LGBT codes were added - one for books with a bi focus and one for books with a trans focus. That's great, but according to BISG, the queer alphabet stops at the 'T'. There's no +, there's no Q, and there's no A - and there won't be any next year either.

I felt angry about this. I contacted BISG and they have sent me a form to complete. It requires a short list of suitable titles, preferably with publisher and ISBN. I checked Amazon's lists, searching for the keyword 'Asexual', but with one exception, all the listings seemed to be non fiction, or fantasy or sci fi. They won't do. They all have their own BISAC codings. I know we have an AVEN thread listing books with asexual characters, but I need to ensure that the titles I submit are about .. how can I put it...normal folk (i.e. not fantasy, not sci fi ) - oh, and not graphic novel format. 

If you know of any titles which fit the criteria, and you feel , as I do, that ace should be represented in the coding, could you respond please? I'll wait a week or so before I send the form off.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ForensicAwkwardness

Let's Talk About Love-- I believe it's a fiction book about a person who's an asexual biromantic

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Elena and Meg

You bring up a very interesting point. Of course, the question of classification is huge, at what point does a story about two men or two women doing something together, (like going to war, or climbing mountains) become lesbian or gay? If they don't have sex, does that mean they are asexual? I know, it's easy with something like gay or lesbian, same sex pair engage in the act of having sex. How do you define something, as you pointed out with the poultry, as a non-act. Does this mean, books that don't mention sex between characters are asexual? It would seem, the classification can only be made by a clear statement in the story that characters don't want sex. If this is the case, it would be a very small classification. It also crosses into puritanical kinds of statements. Unfortunately, sex has been so commercialized, that "normal" is abnormal, and people just wanting to be themselves, becomes a source of self doubt.

 

Good luck with this... I for one, will be very interested to see how, or if, the publishing industry deals with the issue.

 

Meg

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zebrafinch

Apparently The Bone People by Keri Hulme has an asexual character. It won the Booker prize. Haven't read it, though. 

Book Dexter Morgan is pretty ace, but not confirmed as far as I know.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Cicero

How to be a Normal Person - TJ Klune

 

and yes to The Bone People as mentioned above. The main character I think is based at least in part on Hulme, who is asexual herself.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pramana

There is already a published asexuality literary theory paper on The Bone People for those who are interested in overwrought academic writing about queer time and space.

Fedtke, Jana. ““What to Call That Sport, the Neuter Human…”: Asexual Subjectivity in Keri Hulme’s The Bone People.” In Asexualities: Feminist and Queer Perspectives, edited by Karli June Cerankowski and Megan Milks, 329-343. New York and London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, 2014/2016.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tunhope

Thank you @ForensicAwkwardness, @Elena and Meg, @Cicero, @Zebrafinch and @Pramana for your comments and suggestions. I've sent the form in, and perhaps in a year or two there'll be an ace edition to the codings. 

Might as well close the thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now