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Kathy Smith’s online bookstore SCP Books is closing. As Smith proudly and correctly states, her store gave access to lesbian books for many who could not find them anywhere else. I’ll let you read Smith’s announcement in full:
As most of you are aware, the book publishing/selling industry is changing by leaps and bounds, and at a very rapid pace. Eight years ago, when I started SCP, there were no online bookstores specifically for lesbian fiction. In most cases, someone looking for books that spoke to their experiences/realities would have to brave a trip to a ghettoized section of a big box bookstore, travel unreasonable and impractical distances to find an independent or gay/lesbian bookstore, or sift through layers of categories on Amazon. It was my dream to give lesbian readers a home – a place devoted exclusively to their books – a place where they could order from a sister without fear and with pride. I am exceedingly proud to say that, for the better part of a decade, SCP was THE one-stop online shop for lesbian fiction. And, together as a community, we thrived.
More recently, publishers in our niche have adjusted their business models to fit the changing times. They have set up and opened up their own online stores to sell their authors’ books. And readers have responded by supporting their favorite authors and publishers. As an author, former publisher, and proud community member, nothing could make me happier.
Unfortunately, in these difficult economic times, and given the changing landscape, I have concluded that sustaining the SCP online lesbian bookstore model is no longer economically feasible. In addition, last year I was diagnosed with degenerative bone disease in my spine. The rapid progression of this condition led me to the hard realization that it is impossible for me to continue to meet the physical demands that are required to run the business.
While it saddens me to say goodbye to so many loyal customers, I am most grateful for the enduring friendships I have made in this community. I take great pride in having accomplished my dream of providing a singular place for lesbians to browse and buy the books – from every lesbian publisher – that speak directly to them. And I am glad beyond measure that there are now so many outlets for us to find our stories. I urge you all to continue to purchase your books from lesbian-owned booksellers and publishers, and to continue your loyal support of this phenomenal community.
Thank you for giving me the honor of satisfying your lesbian fiction needs for so long. It has been a privilege and a highlight of my life that I will always cherish.