Email: rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com



 

Lusty Lady

BLOG OF RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL
Watch me talk about my debut as an author, Sex & Cupcakes: A Juicy Collection of Essays, in this Q&A with my publisher Thought Catalog Books

Friday, December 02, 2016

Act fast: Best Bondage Erotica 2014 is only $1.99! Or, I love BookBub

Short version: for the next three days, get Best Bondage Erotica 2014 for $1.99 for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo. Sale ends Sunday, December 4, 2016.

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Long version: Sadly, sometimes books I love just as much as my other ones don't quite reach their intended audience. But the cool thing is that other times, they get put on sale and through the magic that is BookBub, a site that shares books sale news with its followers, which I truly consider magical, they get catapulted back into the world at a huge discount, $1.99, and instantly, tons of new people discover them. I don't know how the behind the scenes works over at BookBub, but I am beyond grateful when my books go on sale there, because it means that new readers get to discover them, and I never have to feel like my Cleis Press books are dead. I've worked with numerous publishers in my career, some before the ubiquity of ebooks, and those are truly pretty much dead, out of print and probably never to return, so when books get a second chance, I am truly glad.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my labor and worth and value about where I want to go next with my life and career, and knowing that my books will continue on in five, ten, fifteen, etc., years, gives me more reason to keep on brainstorming new anthologies. If you want to now the minute my books go on sale, follow me on BookBub. The other great thing about them is that you can subscribe to your other favorite authors if they participate and also by category so if you're into erotic romance, you can get new ones for free and cheap every single day.

I don't know about you, but I often have a short attention span, which is probably why I love editing anthologies so much. So sometimes I get a book and realize a few pages in it's not my cup of tea. BookBub sales let you sample new authors cheaply and sometimes for no cost, which I think is pretty awesome. And as someone who still makes a large portion of my living from book sales, I am thrilled to have these older books, which bookstores probably won't stock because they want the hottest, newest, shiniest titles on their shelves, get to have a second life and help me pay my rent. One reason why I enjoy and am honored to be working with Cleis Press is that with the exception of one book, Crossdressing and the two that were e-book only, all the rest are still in print. That matters to me, even if the wave of the future is not with print erotica. The reality is, about 80-90% of readers read my books in ebook or listen in audiobook. I personally tend to buy print because it's easier on my eyes but I want my books to be accessible whatever form people want to read them in. I also want them to be available to people who may not have $15.95 to spend on a book, but might have the equivalent of a cup of coffee. As a consumer, I try to balance what I can afford with my print preference, but seeing ebooks I want to read for such bargain prices often sways me. So long story short, if you missed this book when it first came out or want to give it to someone as a gift, get it on sale now. The next one up for sale will be Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica on December 13th, which I'm also thrilled about because that's one of my favorite books I've edited with, I believe, the most variety (I made sure each sex toy was different).

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Monday, November 28, 2016

My next and final LitReactor online erotica writing class is 10% off today only

I am excited to be teaching Between the Sheets, my four week online erotic writing class, at LitReactor again from February 7-March 7, though it's a little bittersweet that it will be my last class. I decided to do that because now that I've reentered the workforce, I won't have the time I need to devote to my students after this class, and I only want to offer classes where I can devote myself to them 100%, as I ask my students to do. Good news, though: if you register for the class today, you get 10% off the price using the code CYBER16 (and same goes for all LitReactor classes this Cyber Monday).

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They only offer sales like this rarely, so if you've been considering taking this class, now's a great time to do so. I love the camaraderie that forms and hearing about all my students' success stories, and getting to keep up with them in my private online group for alumni. I'm so proud of having created this course when LitReactor asked me to several years ago, and of all the wonderful writers who've flourished from taking it. I recommend making sure you have at least five hours a week to devote to the class to get the most out of it, although you retain access to all the classroom materials forever by logging in. In addition to the weekly assignments and critiques highlighted on the site, I also offer exclusive to the class Q&As with publishers, editors, literary agents and successful authors, self-published and traditionally published, to offer personal insights from those who know the erotic publishing business best. I know the class is not cheap, so I've made sure that you get your money's worth and am available through those four weeks to answer your every question. So if this sounds like something you'd like to devote yourself to, I'll see you on February 7th!

Here's what a few students have said about the class:

"I will apply what I learned in 'Between the Sheets' to create stories that arouse and connect. With Rachel’s detailed ‘how to’ writing instructions, I completed six stories. My final product is tailored to a specific call for submission and ready to go. Rachel eased this newbie erotic writer into her world providing a comfortable environment to explore sexual ideas creatively. She gave me what I wanted even when I did not know what that was. I’m headed down a new path. Take her, it’s worth it." Donna Jennings

"Rachel's critiques provided me a better understanding of how to write erotica and where my own work was falling short. Her critiques on my first several stories enabled me to move within a matter of just weeks from a complete novice to a writer whose stories were accepted by two publishers. Her suggestions were just what I needed to make the transition. I found her extremely easy to work with and her observations to be right on target. If you are looking to move from unpublished to published, you can't do yourself a better favor than submitting your work to Rachel before approaching a publisher. Her skills as an editor are the best--I couldn't have made a better investment in myself and my writing than to hire her as my personal editor." CeCe Marsh

More by me about the class:

"Why I Encourage My Erotica Writing Students to Submit Their Work"

"How journalism helps me teach my erotica writing classes"

"I love the first day of (erotica writing) school"

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Remember that sexy kissing in the street, naked in the shower book trailer I made? Plus last days of Peep Show $1.99 sale

I know I've been lax in my blogging but as I gear up for what I hope is my biggest book release yet, I am getting back in gear. I wanted to let you know that my anthology Peep Show: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists is only $1.99 this weekend. Buy it for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo. I believe the sale ends tomorrow, Sunday, November 20th, so act fast (it may last an extra day or two so check prices after Sunday).

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There are more sales coming up soon too: Best Bondage Erotica 2014 on Cyber Monday, November 28, and Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica on December 13th if you want to bookmark those for easy buying when they're a bargain. Want to makes sure you can snap up all my sale books? Follow me on BookBub. Then every time my awesome publisher lowers prices to $1.99, you'll get a handy email, and you can follow all your favorite authors there, or follow by genre to know when other similar titles are on sale so you can save money. There are usually several sales a year!

Peep Show is one of the books I got to have a lot of fun with by shooting a book trailer! I'm not usually a visual person, I'm a word person, so making book trailers was a kind of wild adventure, shot by an amazing friend with a little help from other awesome people who made out in public and hit the streets of New York and Central Park to make a really fun video. Also shoutout to one of my favorite bands, Ida, for letting me use their song. I'd almost forgotten all the work that went into this, by so many people, and watching it again helped remind me why I love this work I do, plus I got to flaunt my own exhibitionist side by letting the director film me in the shower (in a sexy but YouTube friendly way, of course). Yes, I want to make a living from it, but I also want to have fun with it, want it to reach people in different ways, and this video was one means of doing that. You can check it out below.



If you like sexy stories about watching and being watched, I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Peep Show!

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Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Orgasmic, one of my favorite erotica anthologies, is on sale for $1.99 this week

My birthday month started by finding out that my anthology Orgasmic is on sale for just $1.99 for e-readers! Get it ASAP before the sale ends (which I think will be on Sunday but I'm not totally sure) for Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo.

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As you can see from the cover, the subtitle is "Erotica for Women" but I 100% believe this anthology, featuring 25 women and 25 different types of and motivations for orgasm, can be enjoyed by anyone. It's one of my favorite books I've ever edited because it has such variety and amazing authors. You can also get it as an audiobook narrated by the wonderful Lucy Malone, which isn't officially on sale but if you have the Kindle edition the audiobook is only $3.99. You can read my BDSM story from the book, "Belted," for free. Here's a tiny snippet; I wanted the belt itself to be a main character and focused the kink around that.

The belt is able to speak in ways that even the both of you, wordsmiths by trade, cannot always do. The belt is not a “toy” for “foreplay” but a separate part of your sex life, one that may appear at any moment. Its presence lurks while you casually sip your drinks at the bar, hidden but powerful;, your fingers are itching to stroke it, if only so they can be slapped away. You never know if he will bring it out, how he will use it, how much of the belt, and himself, he will give you.

If you like Orgasmic, please consider passing on the news of the sale and/or adding a review, which can be as short as a sentence ("I liked the story ____ because ____" or whatever you want to write), to Amazon or Goodreads. It might seem like it doesn't matter, but the truth is, those reviews are one of the top ways people learn about my books due to Amazon's algorithm, so they truly do help, the positive, the negative, the neutral. It shows that people are reading them. And stay tuned: another book of mine goes on sale next week!

Here's the full table of contents:

Introduction: Let Me Count the Ways...
The Waiting Game Elizabeth Coldwell
What's in a Name? Jacqueline Applebee
Chemistry Velvet Moore
The Chair Lolita Lopez
Fixing the Pipes Susie Hara
Share Dusty Horn
Hurdles Rowan Elizabeth
Seeing Stars Louisa Harte
Old Faithful Sylvia Lowry
Paying It Forward Kendra Wayne
The Big O Donna George Storey
Moon Tantra Teresa Noelle Roberts
Feet on the Dashboard Rachel Green
Frosting First Lana Fox
All She Wanted Andrea Dale
Making Shapes Lily Harlem
Rapture Angela Caperton
Belted Rachel Kramer Bussel
Rise and Shine Heidi Champa
Taking the Reins Vanessa Vaughn
First Date with the Dom Noelle Keely
Animal Inside Neve Black
The London O Justine Elyot
Fight Charlotte Stein
Switch Jade Melisande

You can keep up with all the sales by following me on BookBub and do the same for other authors so you can always save money on our titles. Want to enter to win free books? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter - in October I offered every single one of my 2,000+ subscribers a free copy of my next anthology, Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 2 and many of them took advantage of it (I'll be going to the post office next weekend with some very heavy bags of mail!). I plan to do the same with Volume 3 next year, and do other special subscriber giveaways each time. Next up are audiobook giveaways in November and December.

Lastly, if you want to know why I'm such a big fan of my publisher, Cleis Press, it's because a book like this, which came out in August 2010, sees new life every day because it's available in so many formats, has a brilliant narrator for the audio version (sadly, some of my books don't and I actually discourage people from buying them because I know if that's the only taste of my work they'll get, they'll never return), and is about a topic that apparently people continue to love. I of course want my books to do well when they launch because that's what helps determine whether I get to edit more (speaking of which I just signed the contract for Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 4, which you can read in December 2018!), but when books continue to find new readers long after their release dates, it not only helps support me and my business, it means that the books truly matter. That they aren't just here in a flash and gone tomorrow. It makes me extra proud when that happens and I'm so grateful for these sales because I want all of my authors to be avidly read. I think these stories totally stand the test of time and are as hot today as they were when they were first published and will still be hot in 2026. I've had plenty of books I edited go out of print, never to be seen again, not available in any other format. That's happened less as publishers have realized that ebooks are forever, but it's happened and it's made me incredibly grateful for the books that do stick around, that readers have patience with, that maybe they discover for the first time or rediscover, the ones that remind me to take my copy off the shelves and marvel again at the beauty of the wordplay or wildness. That's useful when I sit down surrounded by huge stacks of submissions and have to whittle them down into a new book. It helps remind me that I can do it, that I've done it before and will keep doing it as long as I'm given that opportunity. Okay, sappy almost-middle-aged rant over. Thank you for your support of Orgasmic and if you haven't read it, now's a great time to try it!

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

I wrote about my partner not telling me who they're voting for

I'm a little late getting this posted (I do post all relevant links on Twitter and Facebook), but I wrote a piece for the wonderful DAME (I highly recommend bookmarking the site) about how it feels to be supporting Hillary Clinton but my partner not wanting to tell me who he's voting for for president, which could be Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, a third party candidate, a write in candidate, or nobody. I miss writing essays and have been trying to carve out time to write more of them, but this is a start.

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On the career front, I'm mostly a copywriter these days, and I'm proud of learning a new skill/career path at 40, but I don't want to give up "me" writing entirely, though the steady paycheck thing more than makes up for any downsides. It's a daily challenge to figure out what's feasible in terms of managing my time, what's worthwhile financially, what matters to me. I'm catching up on pieces that have fallen by the wayside so I can make room for new ones. I'm also getting ready for what I hope is my biggest, best and most successful book launch ever (December 13th is the big day!). Though my books, thankfully, have long legs and tend to sell even years after their release, that first release month is so vital and I dread messing it up. So that's what I'm up to, and trying to make writing from the heart something I practice more often. I'll be at writing conference BinderCon in New York this weekend, so if you're there, say hello, and if you're interested in this fabulous event for women and gender nonconforming writers, check it out. They also hold an L.A. version in March. I'll be doing something I've never done before, a theme for me of this year: pitching editors in person.

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Monday, October 24, 2016

Body positivity in romance novels: my ode to Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton

Over at Lady Smut, I sang the praises of romance novel Cream of the Crop by Alice Clayton, part of her delicious ode to the food and men of the Hudson Valley.

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I wrote about her size 18 and ultra confident heroine Natalie, who knows what she wants in the bedroom and on the job and goes after it with this attitude I wish I could possess even a small fraction of. Here's a small sampling of her attitude, from the book:
Size-eighteen women were supposed to be timid. Size-eighteen women were supposed to be shy. Size-eighteen women were supposed to be grateful for any male attention, and to feel especially honored if a good-looking man paid attention to them.

Fuck all that noise. I took the best-looking guy home with me whenever and however I pleased.
I got very personal, more so than I intended when I started, sharing my weight and my body image issues and hopefully by doing so, helping break down that social custom that says either we shouldn't talk about our "numbers" and/or that we must all always be perfect feminists who love our bodies every second of the day.

I got to meet Alice Clayton this weekend at romance novel convention Shameless Book Con in Orlando and when she saw my name tag, she leapt up and hugged me for writing the post. Plus she was wearing an I'm With Her Hillary Clinton t-shirt. Both those things made my day, as did people telling me they were going to check out the book based on what I wrote. If you like humorous romances, food and amazing characters, definitely check out Cream of the Crop. I recommend her other wonderful books too; I started Roman Crazy (set in Rome) over the weekend and am loving it.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Supporting my community by backing Sexy Little Pages and Sex Down South

My two biggest goals this year were to get my financial life in order (I have a list of specific goals around that, but they basically amount to increasing my income, raising my credit score, upping my savings and amping up my retirement account) and to get pregnant. So far I've had zero luck on the latter, though I haven't given up, and am working diligently on the former. Five years ago, in October 2011, I was laid off from my full time magazine editing job and I really had no idea what I was going to do. My forays into the job market yielded nothing and that was depressing and demoralizing and I quickly realized I needed to simply adapt and rather than look for another full time job, I had to hustle as hard as I could.

That worked for a while, and last year was a good year financially, but it also came at a cost; I researched an article for a print magazine I'd dreamt of breaking into while on vacation in Thailand. I worked many odd hours and always felt like I was scrambling to read every last news item to see if I could pitch a story on it. So this year, when things got rocky in my little freelance world, I reached out to people I love and trust and told them I was looking for work, and lo and behold, I got part-time jobs writing for OMJ (Oh. My. Jersey.) and doing copywriting. Both have amounted to pretty much a full time job, and I still pour my heart and soul into editing and promoting my anthologies, teach my online erotica writing class at LitReactor, do occasional freelance writing and consult with writers about erotica. At the end of this year I will be formally assessing what's working and what's not so I can figure out my next steps.

But since this year has mostly gone well and seems to be on the upswing, I wanted to take a small amount of the money I've earned and find ways to both give back and spread the word about my books. I pour most of any extra income that doesn't go to bills or debt or savings back into promoting the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series, and that's paid off in the sense that I'm about to sign a contract to edit a fourth volume. That means I can plan and grow the series and really think strategically about what my goals are for it.

Additionally, I also plan to make an end of year donation to one of my favorite nonprofits, the New Jersey based Bridge of Books Foundation, which provides books to children in need. I used to volunteer helping sort books for them when I lived in Red Bank, and miss that experience but am so glad they are out there helping kids get their hands on books.

So while I'm still in the midst of really getting a handle on my money, when I have had a surplus due to especially good months, I've been looking for ways to give back, and two of those have been by supporting the sex positive community. I just backed my first Patreon, for the UK based publisher Sexy Little Pages. I've really enjoyed the books of theirs I've read, especially their tattoo erotica anthology Inked, and think it's wonderful for the genre to have new publishers, new voices, new ways of drawing in readers and new outlets for authors. I encourage my students to check out their calls for submissions and am always thrilled when one of them gets an acceptance.

The bottom line is, publishing is a business, and I believe we all have to support each other. This may be with money, by buying books or backing a Patreon like this, or by reviewing books on Goodreads, Amazon, your blogs, etc., by asking your library to buy an author or publisher's books, etc. There are really an infinite number of ways you can support the publishers and authors you love and want to see stay in business. I find that when a publisher closes, there's a lot of disappointment, but I think we then all need to ask ourselves, what were we doing to support them? So I wanted to use the blessing and gratefulness for what's been a good year so far to support a publisher I think is doing great things, and I encourage you to as well. If you back them for $3 a month, you even get a link on their site, so there's something in it for you too.

I have heard wonderful things from participants in the Sex Down South conference in Atlanta. I wasn't able to attend this year but I wanted to both support them and reach out to a community I think would enjoy my books, so the Best Women's Erotica of the Year series is now a sponsor of the conference. It's really an honor for me to be able to do this, and while large sums would have been out of my reach, theirs were very reasonable. So if you're in or near Atlanta, I encourage you to attend the conference this weekend and think about submitting to speak next year! Their lineup covers a wide range of topics, they bring in fascinating speakers and it looks like a wonderful event that I do hope I can experience for myself at some point.

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My erotic romance anthology Irresistible is $1.99 this week with stories by Tiffany Reisz,

I'm thrilled to share that my anthology Irresistible: Erotic Romance for Couples is only $1.99 on Kindle, Nook, Google Play, iBooks and Kobo this week. I hope you'll check it out if you missed it the first time. It's a very special collection that really pushes the boundaries of hotness and says something broader, in my opinion, about women's sexual desires. Happy reading!

Irresistible-Book-Promo

Blurb:
This Irresistible read features stories of couples turning their deepest fantasies into reality for uninhibited and imaginative sex. You'll delight in discovering all the exciting erotic possibilities, and ways of getting and staying turned on. It all starts with a little sexting in A.M. Hartnett's sizzling "Safe for Work" office tryst and Cole Riley's moving "Same As It Ever Was" shows that makeup sex can be the start of something new and better. Dirty talk leads to lustful surprises and inspiration for the neighbors in "The Mitzvah" by Tiffany Reisz. Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel notes that the lovers in this daringly romantic anthology are "able to open up in the ways they do is precisely because they have another person to rely on, coax them, challenge them, tease them and seduce them into traveling down a new sexual path. Whether that means outdoor sex, kink, a trip to a strip club or a very sensual massage, we get to see how the layers of trust that have been built up get used to stoke the fire that burns between them."
Table of contents:

Introduction
Twice Shy Heidi Champa
Safe for Work A. M. Hartnett
Repaint the Night Janine Ashbless
Same As It Ever Was Cole Riley
Out of Control Karenna Colcroft
Warrior Kate Pearce
Hypocrites Alyssa Turner
The Pact Elizabeth Coldwell
Exposing Calvin Rachel Kramer Bussel
Six Eyes, Two Ears Kris Adams
Renewal Delilah Night
The Netherlands Justine Elyot
Predatory Tree Craig J. Sorensen
The Mitzvah Tiffany Reisz
After The Massage Kay Jaybee
Pink Satin Purse Donna George Storey

Introduction

A lot of the erotica that comes across my desk focuses on the spark of attraction when strangers meet, the cataclysmic sensation of falling, hard, for someone new and exciting. That makes sense, because there's built-in drama and erotic tension when two people discover there's intense chemistry between them. With this anthology, though, I wanted to explore what happens after that, once those people have been together a while (even a short while). I wanted to see what sparks fictional couples could produce on the page, and the results are, well, scorching.

The couples in this book explore all sorts of exciting sexual possibilities, and one of the main reasons they're able to open up in the ways they do is precisely because they have another person to rely on, coax them, challenge them, tease them and seduce them into traveling down a new sexual path. Whether that means outdoor sex, kink, a trip to a strip club or a very sensual massage, we get to see the ways the layers of trust that have been built up get used to stoke the fire that burns between them.

In addition to enjoying naughty, wild adventures, the couples here also work out differences between one another and handle issues like infidelity in ways that ultimately strengthen, rather than destroy, their relationships' longevity. In Cole Riley's "Same As It Ever Was," Joanne suspects her husband of cheating, but with a little help from her best friend, manages to recapture the sensual spirit and passion that's been missing as both husband and wife make amends and move on, knowing what it was they almost lost. Rekindling a romance that's threatened to go stale is also the theme of "Renewal" by Delilah Night, where she writes, "That touch sent a long-missing ripple through my body. I hesitated, hoping he'd remember what I love."

In "The Pact" by Elizabeth Coldwell, a woman rediscovers a man she'd once passed over, only to find that the years they've spent apart have made him someone she's sorry she overlooked. How a couple deals with a death in the family, as well as religious tradition, is the subject of "The Mitzvah" by Tiffany Reisz, as Grace and Zachary find that embracing desire can be healing. Kris Adams takes us into an African village and some complicated relationship dynamics, along with a lot of voyeurism, in "Six Eyes, Two Ears." Kay Jaybee takes a common fantasy, that of a man watching two women make love, and breathes new life into it by showing both halves of a couple as they live out this dream. Individual characters work through their own issues with the help of their partners, getting support, love and, of course, very hot sex. "Repaint the Night," by Janine Ashbless, is about public sex, but, even more, a woman who is conquering a fear of the dark after being mugged ten years before. The erotic power of that story is heightened by Leah's awe at being able to enjoy what she and Callum are sharing, as she recovers a part of herself she lost and deepens the level of trust between them. For those who likes things a bit spicier, there's "The Netherlands" by Justine Elyot, in which a nude Loveday serves guests tea and takes orders, while fulfilling a longtime fantasy of being "used," with her true love there to watch. Make no mistake: though these are stories about couples, they are not light or fluffy. They are full of joy, lust and kink, as well as realistic elements of mistrust, uncertainty and confusion, which the couples work through in ways that don't gloss over or ignore their differences. These couples, however long they've been a team, push the envelope by pushing themselves to try something new, even when they're not sure where it will lead them. They go to those exotic, erotic places, to those recurring fantasies, because they know they have someone who will travel there with them. I hope this book will inspire nighttime reading--out loud--and erotic adventures, as well as conversations that have been bubbling under the surface, waiting to be exposed, just like the fantasies in the tales you're about to read.

Rachel Kramer Bussel
New York City

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