Can you believe it? This has been an awesome year in sapphic fiction!
The calendar doesn’t lie. No matter how hard it is for TB and Miranda to believe, we just celebrated the one-year anniversary of launching the new I Heart SapphFic website and BookFinder.
We started planning for the new site and sapphic fiction database all the way back in early 2022. The old site was growing fast, and we wanted to offer more functionality for lesbian fiction readers and authors. This necessitated hiring a website designer to build us a new home with fancy features, like the BookFinder database.
We hoped we’d be able to launch during the summer of 2022, but the project was a lot more time intensive, not to mention expensive, than we’d planned. Ultimately, we were able to go live on October 3, 2022.
Our new website launches with great success
The day it launched, we had 1,000 women-loving-women books in the database.
As of today, October 5, 2023, we have over 4,500 sapphic books in the BookFinder!
During the entire year of 2022, the number of views on both the old and new sites totaled 615,875.
At just the third-quarter mark of this year, we’ve already had 1,075,214 views!
We’re on track to double our 2022 views before the end of the year. We’re also on track to exceed 5,000 books by the end of this year. If you’d told us a decade ago that 5,000 sapphic books existed, let alone that we’d have a searchable database of them, we would have said you were nuts! This is such a testament to the power of lesbian, queer, and women-loving-women voices to change the world.
Running I Heart SapphFic takes a lot of work. It’s not odd for TB to climb out of bed before five in the morning to get going, while Miranda usually burns the midnight oil.
Readers frequently make requests to expand the capabilities of the BookFinder, and we would absolutely love to deliver. In fact, we have exciting future plans to make it a more robust system, but we need to recover from the initial investment first. We didn’t simply invest our savings, but also hundreds of hours of our time and energy that we weren’t able to dedicate to writing our own books. Since writing is how both of us support ourselves, it’s a big financial hit to publish fewer books.
At this time, IHS still costs more to run than it brings in, meaning neither TB nor Miranda’s time is compensated. In fact, we pay out of pocket for all the extra expenses, which can run thousands of dollars every year.
This isn’t a complaint. Both of us passionately believe in the longterm importance and success of the IHS mission. Our entire goal from the very beginning when the website started back in 2017 has been to boost the visibility of sapphic fiction.
Representation for Queer Voices and Fighting Book Bans
Readers want to see themselves in stories. Visibility and representation are vital.
With the increase of book bans, our desire to do our part to fight all the hate in the world has drastically increased. Just this past weekend, Miranda and TB were in a bookstore in Vermont, and they had a banned books table. It broke our hearts. It also lit a fire under us.
Book bans are evil. The books being targeted the most are ones written by or about LGBTQIA+ people and people of color. If you ever doubted how important our voices are, the fact so many are trying to silence them should be proof enough. This week, October 1-7, 2023, is Banned Books Week. It’s imperative for the sapphic community to come together to fight book bans.
Not only do we want to help readers today find sapphic books, but we want to safeguard them for the next generation. Miranda is a single mom of two daughters. This spurs us to fight for a better future. We can’t stand by and let our voices be silenced.
This passion powers us through all the early mornings and late nights.
We couldn’t have done this without all the fantastic readers and authors. So many of you have helped us fund I Heart SapphFic through donations, buying advertising, and purchasing their books with our associate links. Put simply, without this support, we wouldn’t be able to keep the website going.
We’re excited to see what the next year brings, and we’ll take a moment to celebrate this year. It’s been an amazing twelve months and we’re both thrilled we survived. There were moments when we wanted to throw in the towel, but we’re stubborn and don’t want to let the haters win.
Sapphic fiction forever!
Want to support IHS? Here’s what you can do!
Here are ways EVERYONE can help out. Most of them are free!
- USE OUR AMAZON LINKS to grow our affiliate earnings, especially before a big purchase. Before you shop at Amazon, click on the heart icon that got you here, then on one of these Amazon links to get to the click through.
★ Please note, “Get it Free” buttons are NOT affiliate links and do not count, so please click the Amazon logo links.
- BUY YOUR BOOKS FROM THIS SITE. Please use a link on this site. But please note: if you find your book here and add to your wishlist for later, we will not receive the credit. Also, we don’t get anything if you buy gift cards, but we do get the credit if you spend the gift card after clicking through from this site.
- Join our close-knit community of sapphic fiction lovers, and you’ll get exclusive content, including funny stories, silly photos, behind the scenes, and so much more. JOIN OUR PATREON! We have several different membership levels starting at $3/month.
This is not a literal coffee but a clever way for you to donate money to help us keep the lights on. Even small amounts, like the cost of a cup of coffee, can add up over time. Thanks!
BUY US A COFFEE! Donate directly to IHS by clicking on the coffee icon wherever you see it throughout our site→
- SOCIAL MEDIA! Spread the word! When people are looking for book recommendations or want to find more sapphic books, please send them our way!
Here is how AUTHORS and PUBLISHERS can help even more:
- Become a sponsor! Whether it’s a new release, a sale, or an older book that needs some love, advertising with us is a great way to get eyes on your books and support IHS at the same time. We even make the ad graphics for you!
- Spread the word! Whenever you can, whether it’s in your newsletter, on social media, a podcast, or a live event like a booth at your local Pride, let other authors and readers know about IHS.
PS: If you ever need a refresher on how to best support IHS, click on the heart icon in our header or footer and it will bring you to the support page. We’ll be sure to keep it up to date.
Why do we need this support?
People often ask why we do so many things for free, including valuable services most sites would charge for. The reasons are simple. As readers, we know the joy of finding the perfect book at just the right moment. As authors, we know the pain of being blocked from potential readers because of gatekeepers and lack of funds.
With that said, we could really use some help. We have big plans for enhancing our offerings. But every addition costs money.