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

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The kind of book reviews that truly matter to me as an anthology editor

Firstly, I want to say that anyone who so much as picks up any of my books, whether you read the whole thing or not, let alone review it, get my automatic thanks. Out of the millions, possibly billions, of books out there, for someone to pick up my indie press erotica, whether in print, ebook or audiobook form, means so much to me. This is what I've been doing ever since I couldn't hack law school, and what I love about anthologies is that they are a group effort, organized by me as the editor. Without writers trusting me with their work, I'd just have a bunch of my own short stories, and I'm less interested in that than a work that is the sum of its parts.

That being said, when you put out a book, you have to be open to all sorts of opinions. Some people will hate your book, some people will love it. Some will mention aspects you never even considered, because you can't try to cater to every single potential reader and still turn in your book on time, or come out of the process wanting to do it again. With Come Again: Sex Toy Erotica, I knew one of the main things I wanted to do with my 65,000 allotted words was include as many different "sex toys" as I could. I put that in quotes because some of the objects in the book would fall under the traditional definition of sex toys, and others wouldn't. That was quote deliberate.

via Bex Talks Sex

So I really loved that sex blogger Bex Talks Sex just reviewed Come Again and wrote, in part:
In fact, I was able to forget that the book was even focused on sex toys because of how flawlessly they were integrated into the narrative in most cases. It didn’t feel like the author was simply checking off activities on a list, the toys just felt like a part of the way the characters had sex, and that saved the whole anthology from feeling formulaic and repetitive.
This means so much to me because the first and foremost things I want my books to do is arouse readers, to tell good stories, to say something new and exciting. I am so proud of the authors for stepping up their game and doing that, at least, to my mind, so it's refreshing when readers key in on that aspect too.

One of the toughest parts of being an anthology editor, after the very toughest, which is having to send rejection letters, which, as I always say, is probably the aspect that will eventually make me quit, is that I don't know how my books are doing sales-wise for at least six months after their publication, due to the way my royalty statements arrive. So it's hard to know if anyone cares about my books, or if they have fallen into the book forest and no one has seen or cared about them. When I get signs before that time that people not only have picked them up, but do care, enough to critique them and share what they did and didn't like, it makes me feel like I've done my job well. So thank you, and to everyone who's reviewed the book. I plan to share more about it soon, specifically the many queer stories in the book, which I hope are being read by a diverse audience (I love surprising readers who may not be expecting it with elements that may be new to them, whether it's a thigh harness, such as in "Gift" by Dena Hankins, or a trans character, such as in Zee Giovanni's "Lost and Pounded"). But reviews like this let me know people are reading, and that people care about the choices I make as an editor.

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