I’ve fallen woefully behind in reviewing these different lesbrary resources, so I’ve decided to review a bunch at once: the category that I think is probably the most useful in the whole list.
Title(s): Amazon’s Lesbian Fiction Community, Bella and Spinsters Publishers Forum, Lesbian Fiction Forum, LesFic_Unbound Yahoo Group, Virtual Living Room: For Writers and Readers of Lesbian Fiction (Yahoo Group), Librarything Lesbian Bookworms
Amazon’s Lesbian Fiction Community: This pretty much speaks for itself. It’s a community on Amazon that talks about lesbian fiction. There’s also the Amazon group the Gay and Lesbian Community. People start topics on anything related to lesbian fiction and other Amazon users reply.
Bella and Spinsters Publishers Forum: This is a forum hosted by the publishers Bella Books and Spinsters Ink. There are three general categories: The Parlor, where book discussions take place; Open House, where off-topic discussions take place; and Authors’ Gallery, where news is shared about authors from Bella Books (lesbian books) and Spinsters Ink (women’s books).
Lesbian Fiction Forum: I don’t mean to be partial, but this is my favorite. Discussions are split into Admin, General Discussion, About Books, Writing Resources, Members Only, Private Workshop, and Pros’ Space.
LesFic_Unbound Yahoo Group: A Yahoo group dedicated to lesbian fiction. News, reviews, and opinions are all shared here. I get a daily email with everyone’s messages, but you can get them email by email or, I suppose, follow in at the actual site. This group has been around since 2006.
Virtual Living Room: I have only joined this Yahoo group for a couple days, but it seems very similar to LesFic_Unbound in structure and idea, but it’s a little newer, started in 2008.
Librarything Lesbian Bookworms: Alright, I’ll admit that this link is mostly just included because I love Librarything. People post any topic related to lesbian books, and others reply.
Bella and Spinsters Publishers Forum: What’s cool about this and the Lesbian Fiction Forum is that authors are active on these forums. The moderators of Bella’s Library in the Authors section are authors KG MacGregor, Terri Breneman, Karin Kallmaker, Therese Szymanski, Claire Rooney, Gerri Hill, Josie Gordon, Tracey Richardson, Jackie Calhoun, Jeanne GFellers, Linda Hill, Ursula Steck, Marianne Garver, Kenna White, Ann Roberts, Julia Watts, Pol Robinson, Frankie Jones, Megan Carter, Dillon Watson, saxon bennett, Robbi McCoy, Peggy J. Herring, Nat Burns, Baxter Clare, Amy Dawson Robertson, Kate Christie, Elizabeth Hart, Lynn James, Diana Simmonds, and Amy Briant: a pretty impressive list by any standards. They also have a fair number of active members (I’m going to randomly estimate about 20, depending on your definition of active), and get at least a dozen or two dozen new replies a day, I think.
Lesbian Fiction Forum: LFF is also made up of a far few authors, including L-J Baker, Sandra Barret, Jove Belle, Barbara L Clanton, Sacchi Green (editor), Megan Magill, Andi Marquette, Paula Offutt, Fran Walker. This a forum with fewer members than Bella/Spinsters forum, but the members are very, very active. It’s a close-knit community, which I think gets more replies daily that Bella/Spinsters, despite the smaller number of members. It’s also a great resource for writers, because authors often discuss and debate techniques for writing. There is also boards for doing random quizzes, and usually a few active topics concerning politics or just random internet things. They are also incredibly friendly, and every time anyone joins the group, someone starts a welcome topic and all the members post welcoming you.
LesFic_Unbound Yahoo Group: This is also a group that’s very, very active. I get a huge long email every day to read through, and it also includes authors, descriptions of author events (like GCLS), reviews of books, speculation about where lesbian fiction is heading, etc. It also seems like a close-knit group, and I assume they are very friendly, but I have been a little too intimidated by both the unfamiliar Yahoo group setting and how familiar everyone is to each other, so I have only been lurking! This is definitely a great resource for author news and events.
Virtual Living Room: Again, I have only joined this Yahoo group for a couple days, but it seems very similar to LesFic_Unbound.
Librarything Lesbian Bookworms: As opposed to the forums and Yahoo groups listed above, Lesbian Bookworms is more general in scope, encompassing all lesbian books, without any particular focus on modern lesbian fiction/romance.
Amazon’s Lesbian Fiction Community: This is not a very active community (you can probably only expect replies every couple weeks) and seems a little disorganized to me. The Gay and Lesbian community is more active, but it looks like the gay posts often outweigh the lesbian ones.
Bella and Spinsters Publishers Forum: This is hosted by two publishers, so the focus tends to be on the books that are published by them. I, personally, find the layout of the forum a little disorienting. I usually bookmark the “active topics” page, and I just like how it’s laid out on LFF better.
Lesbian Fiction Forum: This is a small group of users. And like Bella/Spinsters, the posts tend to be about modern lesbian fiction/romance, but unlike them there seems to be a few more posts about other lesbian books.
LesFic_Unbound Yahoo Group: Personally, I am confused by Yahoo groups and don’t really know how I’m supposed to reply or follow them. But that’s not their fault. Again, this has an emphasis on modern lesbian fiction/romance, like the kind published by Bella Books and Bold Strokes, so if you’re looking for something else, you probably won’t find much.
Virtual Living Room: Ditto.
Librarything Lesbian Bookworms: This is a very, very inactive community.
Do you belong to any of these communities? What do you think of them?
Do you have any resources you think should be added to the Lesbrary?