Email: rachelkramerbussel at


Lusty Lady

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bluestockings' Sexy Pride Erotica reading was a success!

Many thanks to Brooke at Bluestockings for inviting me to read there. The store is awesome; there were so many books I coveted, but I settled on Ariel Schrag's amazing senior year of high school in comic form Likewise and a copy of $pread magazine.

Baked by Melissa mini cupcakes
I bought 100 mini cupcakes from Baked by Melissa for the reading and they were a huge hit, plus I heard about two new (to me) places to get cupcakes, in Queens and Brooklyn.

Bluestockings had a fabulous selection of my and the readers' books

Sinclair Sexsmith read hot poetry (and has a chapbook for sale)

Charlie Vazquez read a hot gay erotica story about street baseball from Fast Balls: Erotic Stories About America's Favorite Pastime

Kathleen Warnock read about old friends who share a very steamy phone call

Bevin Branlandingham read about fisting in the woods (sorry about the blurriness)

Thanks to everyone who came out!

I read my story "Fist First" from Up All Night: Adventures in Lesbian Sex, my very first book (and it shows) from back in 2004. I had brought two other potential stories, but when I saw the book there, I decided to read that. That story is pretty old, and took place in, I think, 2001, but still held up. One woman told me afterward that she related, which made me feel like it had done its job.

It was so strange to see it in the store. I don't blog about it much because I was very naïve and took a $1,000 flat fee from Alyson to co-edit the book with Stacy Bias (though in reality, I did almost all, if not all, the selecting and editing). It was presented to me as a done deal (Stacy had signed her contract that way). In retrospect, I'd be thousands of dollars better off had I taken no advance and asked for royalties, but I didn't know back then. I also have no idea how it's sold...because I don't get royalty statements, though a few years ago I had someone check on Bookscan and had heard via word of mouth that it was doing well.

The point is, I'm so glad I know better now, and that Cleis Press would never think of asking me to edit books for no royalties. (I do get royalties for my Alyson anthology First-Timers, and would on the Fetish Chest series of Ultimate Undies, Sexiest Soles and Secret Slaves...if anyone had bought them. Oh well.) That's why I like editing anthologies, because even if you mess up, there is always a next time, a chance to figure out what went wrong, sales or marketing or topic-wise, and do better.

And even though I only got that measly $1,000, having that book become a Lambda Literary Award finalist and just having it out there helped put me on the map as an erotica editor and get me other gigs, so in many ways, it was worth it, but is a shame and I wouldn't recommend anyone agree to those terms unless it's strictly a work-for-hire type thing, or you don't expect it to sell, or whatever. Also, having someone advise you in those situations (not necessarily an agent for $1,000, that also doesn't really make financial sense), but someone to look things over and point out anything you may have missed in the contract, is probably a good idea too. Said all in hindsight, of course.

I'm working on finalizing a date for a fall reading at WORD in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and would love to teach Erotica 101 in NYC again, if I can find a host. I'm reading at Charlie Vazquez's PANIC! reading series at Nowhere Bar (14th Street between 1st and 2nd) on August 26th too.

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At June 24, 2009, Blogger Mad said...

I just spent a good 2 minutes or so trying to figure out what shape the cupcakes were supposed to be formed into before realizing that it was probabaly just a snap showing how *few* were left.

..if it really was a shape that I just missed, you'd say so, right?


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