Welcome to Purple Books Publishing!

Purple Books Publishing illuminates the lives, history, and scholarship of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and our allies of all ages.

Divisons include: memoir and biography; history, academics, research and commentary; youth and young adult; and poetry, scripts and art books.

Portions of sales, both online and in print, are donated to various LGBT youth, aging, university, and health organizations. When your non-profit organization hosts a reading/book signing, proceeds from sales that day, both online and in person, go to directly to your group.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Purple Books Publishing and Purple Distinctions: A history

I have had the privilege of being a professor at UCLA and director of the LGBT Center at UCLA and at the University of Michigan, and I’ve been an activist for LGBT equality for over 30 years.

When I was young, I would search books in the school library for a reflection of myself as a lesbian though I didn’t know that word. I found nothing. After losing custody of my children when I came out in Florida, 1979, my world exploded with learning about my history, my culture, my story as part of the lesbian and gay community. Later, while at Michigan, I learned similar stories of bisexual and transgender people as well. Later still, at UCLA, I was able to design the new LGBT Center. I wanted it to include a library, a place where any person dealing with sexual orientation or gender identity issues could find themselves, could see reflections of their lives, their histories, their heroes.

I retired from higher education but still had the undying desire to help other LGBT people – like my son who is gay, like my granddaughters who are simply free thinkers –  find and write the stories of their lives.

Purple Books seeks quality literature for more traditional primary publication, and I enjoy reading the many manuscripts we receive every week. Of course not everyone has the gift of writing in a way that appeals to publishers…read sales.  We publishers put lots of money into getting a book to market, sometimes thousands before we see the first penny, IF we see that penny at all. It’s a marketing gamble but one I’m willing to take if a book is of the quality Purple Books believes will sell.

Not everyone, of course, has the gift of strong creative writing in a way that publishers, Purple Books included, are willing to take the financial chance, yet I want to help everyone see the dream of their book come true.  To that end, I created Purple Distinctions, a self-publishing concept that’s a bit different from the others. Purple Distinctions has several levels of packages an author may purchase, ranging from a very basic one-vendor e-book to a full-on print book and e-book with multiple vendors and designed full color covers. There are no other products. We won’t suck you in with more expensive services or gimmicks or things you don’t need. Wee simply produce your book, your vision, your way. The only expense to us you may elect is to purchase your print copy books from us at half the retail value. That’s it.

And I donate 10% of all the publishing income to various LGBT-serving organizations. To date , beneficiaries have been:

Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Jacksonville, Florida, for their great work in providing scholarships to LGBT college students.. pflagjax.org

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Professionals for their work on college campuses . LGBTcampus.org

Vox Femina Los Angeles Women’s Chorus for their great lesbian-identified music. voxfeminala.org

Let me know what you think of this concept and then think about writing that work that’s been in your head for years. You can do it!

In the meantime, the story of this very young company continues. I hope you become a part of it.

Keep writing!

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