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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

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Thoughts as I edit Best Bondage Erotica 2014

I'm reading submissions for Best Bondage Erotica 2014, which will be out in December, and realizing yet again that balance is one of the biggest challenges to me as an anthology editor. Especially in a themed kinky book like this, I have plotlines to balance—men being tied up, women being tied up, transgender people being tied up, and all of those doing the tying up, as well as which implements are used, motivations, newbies verses seasoned pros and settings. Then there's style—ideally, I'd like a mix of present and past tense, the POVs of the person tying someone (or several someones) up and the person being tied up. Anyone who can pull off the second person will almost always stand out since it's such a rarity in the submissions I get. Of course, this is all presuming I have any control over what comes into my inbox—I'm always at the mercy of writers. If nobody sends stories, I have no book to edit.

There are many other ways I hope to add balance and diversity to my books, and sometimes it's a struggle because there are elements I'd like to see but they don't land in my inbox, but for the most part, I've been lucky to get a range of varied stories each time. For my upcoming book of female fantasy erotica, I hope to go even further in terms of plot diversity, including usual suspect fantasies as well as ones I've never heard of or considered. I'm looking forward to wrapping up this book so I can move on to selecting 69 short short stories about submission, but for now, I'm reading bondage erotica and trying, as I select, to always think about "What's missing?" That pro-active aspect of editing books, not to mention trying to guess what readers will want or not want, is the most challenging. With a series like this, though, I have reviews and feedback and sales figures to try to guide me in terms of figuring out what readers want to see. I don't know that it's that helpful when facing a limited pool of submissions, but I like seeing what works and doesn't with readers, because they are the ultimate arbiters of my work.

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