While I’m busy promoting this month’s release of Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies for Couples, I’m also looking ahead to January and the release of what I consider the most important book I’ve ever edited: Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1.
I’ve been reading the Best Women’s Erotica series since the very first volume edited by Marcy Sheiner, and have had the honor of having several stories of mine published in the series, including some of my favorites, most notably my dishwashing fetish story “Doing the Dishes” and my oral sex restaurant story "Secret Service," inspired by a former restaurant where I used to live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With this new volume, Cleis Press has shifted from using calendar years in the title to volumes, so that the books are not automatically returned by bookstores at the end of the year. This means that readers will have more opportunities to discover the book.
I put everything I’ve learned from my last decade plus of anthology editing into this book. My vision was for an anthology of varied erotica by and about women, and while of course no single book will speak to every aspect of female sexuality, I am incredibly proud of the result. There’s a story set in the past and a story set in the future. There’s a fictional superhero and a pop star. There's kink and tenderness, love, lust and flirtation. There's real life drama and plenty of fantasies.
As I discovered upon my recent copyedit, as befitting my turning 40, there wound up being several women in their forties. There are two trans men (and if I have the honor of editing another volume, I will make sure trans women are included). There are lesbian and heterosexual pairings; there are bisexual stories; there are single ladies and ones in committed relationships, as well as ones in relationships that could use a little improvement. And much more!
I think this is one of the most diverse collections I’ve edited, in terms of race, age, sexual orientation and types of story settings and storytelling. I had to turn down many amazing stories due to space, which is always gut-wrenching to me, but one of the rougher aspects of anthology editing. However, my hope is that this volume reaches readers around the world, as it contains stories written by authors in the United States, Canada, the UK and Japan.
It’s become my new favorite amongst my titles. When people ask me which anthology of mine they should try, I will say Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, because I think it’s both modern and timeless. And yes, these stories are by and about women, but I truly believe anyone interested in varied, well written erotica, will appreciate them. I just reread them and even though I already knew what would happen, I got a kick out of it. My story "Flying Solo," written in the second person, made me want to write more in second person because it's fun (if challenging, but a good challenge).
The other reason I’m so proud of this book has to do with me stepping up as a businesswoman in a way I never have before. When I was asked to edit this anthology, I hired a publishing lawyer to help me with my contract, and then I got on the phone with my publisher and negotiated a better deal for myself than I would have gotten otherwise. I got some terms that I hadn’t even asked for, and all of that makes me even more committed to devoting 100% of my energy in the first half of 2016 to spreading the word about this book wide and far.
Right now I’m working on arranging readings that I hope will take place in San Francisco and Chicago and possibly a few more cities. As a general rule, I only travel for paid speaking events, because that’s what I can afford and what’s best for my business, but I’m breaking that rule to invest in this book because I believe in it so much and want to share that passion in the form of live readings. If those pan out, I will be posting about them all over, especially on the social media accounts for the book on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I hope you will consider pre-ordering the book in print or ebook, or just sharing this link with the cover, table of contents and introduction. I'll be sending postcards to any stores that want them (email me at rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com if you have a store or event where you can put postcards out).
This is the culmination of the work I’ve been doing since I wrote my very first erotica story in 1999, and since I worked on my first anthology in 2004. It’s a huge honor that I do not take lightly. I thank all the authors who’ve allowed me to publish their work, and Cleis Press for believing in me and putting a beautiful cover on this incredibly sexy book. I will be sharing much more about the stories in Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, as we approach the January 12 publication date.
What I’ve been learning in recent months is that if you want to achieve big goals, you have to first dream big. So here’s my big dream: that Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1 becomes my bestselling anthology. I love all the books with my name on them, of course, but this one I truly believe speaks to modern sexuality in a way that’s, without explicitly using the word in its fiction, feminist. I can’t wait to share these 22 hot stories with you. If you're a blogger or journalist and would like to cover BWE of the Year (for short), email me at rachelkramerbussel at gmail.com with "BWE" in the subject line and in the body your name, mailing address and publication name.
Below you'll find the links where you can pre-order Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 1, edited by me, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and published by Cleis Press. I hope you’ll check it out, because these authors are all ones to watch.
Introduction (read it on Tumblr)
A New Canvas Tara Betts
Demimonde Valerie Alexander
Ophelia the Second Jade A. Waters
Revisiting Youth J. Crichton and H. Keyes
Date Night D.R. Slaten
Flying Solo Rachel Kramer Bussel
Drawn by Nic Heidi Champa
The Ropes Elise King
Starstruck Lazuli Jones
The Altar of Lamented Toys Jessica Taylor
Matilda’s Secret L. Marie Adeline
Scents & Sexuality Doriana Chase
Alvin’s Night Elizabeth Coldwell
Enter Me Tabitha Rayne
The Wolf at His Door Deborah Castellano
Out of the Ordinary Rose P. Lethe
Lighting the Pyre Theda Hudson
Restitution Ria Restrepo
The Carnalarium Rose Caraway
Waiting to Pee Amy Butcher
Two Doms for Dinner Dorothy Freed
The Assistant Tiffany Reisz
Get your hands on Best Women's Erotica of the Year, Volume 1:
Barnes & Noble (print)
IndieBound (find your nearest local bookstore)
Amazon UK (print)
Amazon UK Kindle
Amazon Canada (print)
Amazon Canada Kindle
Labels: anthologies, anthology, anthology editing, Best Women's Erotica of the Year Volume 1, books, Cleis Press, editing, fiction, L Marie Adeline, pride and joy, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Tiffany Reisz, writing