DO IT YOURSELF
by Nikky Kaye

Erotic romcom: starting over

CHARACTERS WELCOME
by Taisha Demay

Charity erotica anthology

SENSUAL SABOTAGE
by Willa Edwards

Contemporary, Menage, BDSM

SINGLE-SYLLABLE STEVE
by Sam Thorne

Light-hearted erotic romance

THE GUESCHTUNKINA RAY GUN
by Spencer Dryden

Humorous erotic romance

Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sugar and Spice Collection
Totally Bound Publishing
Deadline: January 31, 2016

Sweet and delicate or hot and raunchy? The choice is yours. Totally Bound Publishing would like you to either call to your inner sweet romantic or your hotter seductress. This six-book collection will be a naughty mixture of the two. The Sugar—three sweet romances. The Spice—three hotter burns, which will fit into our Melting or Taboo category.

15,000 to 20,000 words please. The submission deadline for this is January 31st 2016 for a July 2016 release. Please send a synopsis in the first instance to submissions@totallybound.com

Paranormal Lust

by | Oct 30, 2015 | General | 2 comments

K D Grace

With Halloween upon us, it’s a perfect time of year for me to wax paranormal. Some of you might know that I’m

writing a free dark paranormal serial on my blog right now. In The Flesh comes out every Friday and has demons, angels, vampires, succubi — a real mash-up of fun, scary, sexies. But as the story unfolds each week, what continues to astound me is that, though I know the villain is to be avoided at all costs, like my heroine, I STILL want to shag him! 

Our attraction to the villain is one of the wonderful contradiction that makes a great paranormal story. And the delicious and frightening opposite side of the paranormal coin is that as a reader, and a writer, I want to be almost as afraid of the hero as I am of the villain. I want to shag them both! Oh the angst! I honestly can’t think that anyone could really fall for a vampire or a werewolf or a demon or a powerful witch, or any other paranormal hero/heroine without being, at the same time, terrified. In fact just the right combination of fear and attraction is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs EVER! I think it’s absolutely essential in a sexy paranormal story. A part of what makes good paranormal work for me is knowing that the hero or heroine could easily turn and destroy the very thing he or she loves and longs to possess. More often than not, the hero is really an antihero, striving to be greater than his nature, and the more difficult the struggle, the more endearing I find him to be.

In fact, there are times when the only separation between the hero and the villain is how willing they are to do battle with their own flaws. Of course the battle with flaws is nothing but the age-old human struggle magnified and highlighted for the sake of the story. Few of us literally rip people’s throats out when we’re having a bad day, and most of us would be horrified if the love of our life did that before morning coffee. That niggle of fear, that edge of uncertainty is what raises the stakes, what raises the level of tension and excitement in a good

paranormal story. The lover is not safe, and yet that danger makes the sex all the hotter and the angst all the angstier.  In my opinion, it’s the lack of safety that makes paranormal erotic romance so stimulating in those larger than life ways that are more difficult to achieve in ordinary romance, though are definitely brought into play in BDSM stories. In fact, I’d suggest that BDSM, at least on some level, is, in part, the desire to make our sexuality alittle more dangerous, a little more edgy, in the absence of demon lovers and vampires. The whole sexy, super-heated, blow-your-mind purpose of good paranormal erotica is to make totally dangerous sex and plunging-off-a-cliff romance a vicarious possibility for the reader. 

I remember seeing Frank Langella’s Dracula back in the day and thinking, as I panted my way through the horribly delicious scene in which Dracula seduces Lucy, that even with the terrible truth of what the end result of his sexy attentiveness to her will be, who could possibly have refused, even if they hadn’t been under his thrall? He was a gentleman, he was charming and mysterious, he was hypnotic, he was gorgeous, he was terrifying. And I wanted him! 

In paranormal erotica, one good fuck may be all you ever get, but it will damn well be worth it! Give us a demon, whose power is lust, whose sensuality is deadly, a vampire who is terrified he may just rip his lover’s throat out in his passion, a succubus who can bring her lover to exquisite ecstasy but at the risk of stealing his life force. Oh yes! Bring it on! While the beautiful, unsuspecting couple in a horror film have wild, ecstatic sex just before their hearts are ripped still beating from their chest, by the villain, in paranormal erotica and romance, that edge of ecstasy, that infatuation that may well be deadly is drawn out to a thin, dangerous edge and, as readers, we get to ride the edge, wondering if there will be pleasure or death or both.  I get goose bumps just thinking about that moment when le petit mort could very easily end in the real thing!

I love the paranormal contrast of light and darkness and the way the two are blended. After all there’s only

awareness of one in the presence of the other. I think the balance of fear and lust and the highlighting of flaws through otherness, done well, is the making of a good paranormal romance. Conflict is the main ingredient of any good story, and when a story is paranormal, there is, by the nature of the beast, or the witchJ more room for more conflict. And that’s a big part of the fun. Wanting what we know is very bad for us while at the same time not trusting what might be good for us keeps us on that delicious edge that, in every good story, pulls us forward, makes us fantasize and lust and speculate. And seeing the characters in a paranormal novel get exactly that, exactly the thing that both attracts them and terrifies them is what makes paranormal so outrageously hot. 

Happy Halloween, Blessed Samhain and All Hallows!

Elizabeth Black
writes in a wide variety of genres including erotica, erotic romance, horror, and
dark fiction. She lives on the Massachusetts coast with her husband, son, and
two cats. Visit her
web site, her Facebook page, and her Amazon Author Page.

I’m breathing the crisp, thin air of Estes Park, Colorado
right now. I’m attending the Stanley Hotel Writer’s Retreat, my very first
writer’s retreat. This one is for horror, but since it’s my first retreat I
thought I’d report on it. I bought the short story package, and my two stories will be critiqued after the retreat.

The Stanley Hotel is the hotel Stephen King stayed in that
inspired him to write The Shining. He
stayed in room 217, which is supposedly haunted. We’re in room 319, which is
not haunted. I tried to book room 401, which is also haunted, but someone beat
me to it. The Concert Hall and the fourth floor are haunted as well. I went to
the fourth floor and took pictures, but no ghosts. Yet. Here is a shot of the
haunted fourth floor hallway. I fully expected to see two very creepy little
girls hanging out at the end of the hall. Redrum!

We drove from the northeast coast of Massachusetts (any more
east and you’re in the ocean) to Estes Park, Colorado. It took us four days to
get to Denver, where we stayed overnight and took advantage of pot tourism in
the state. We bought edibles since we don’t want to smoke – Cookies and Cream
Cake Bites and sublingual Energizing Tablets, both infused with marijuana. Recreational marijuana is no longer seeds and twigs in a plastic sandwich baggie. I had no idea it was so fancy! The
tablets were okay but those cake bites are amazing. Pure chocolate decadence and a very mellow high. I
discovered something very important – I cannot write when baked. LOL I drool
when baked, and that’s about it. We’re enjoying the mellow in our hotel room
when things are slow, which isn’t often. We also have Jacuzzi jets in the
bathtub, and I’m taking full advantage tonight after all the events for the day
die down.

We saw elk taking their good old time crossing the road on
the way to the hotel. I understand the elk own the roads out here, so who am I
to complain? LOL

The Opening Scaremonies (after all, this is a horror writer’s
retreat) consisted of our Guests Of Honor horror writers and editors you’ve likely
never heard of since you read and write erotic fiction and romance. In case you
have heard of them, they are Trent Zelazny, Jack Ketchum, Josh Malerman, Chris Morey, and
Daniel Knauf. One of next year’s Guests of Honor is Chuck Palahniuk. He wrote Fight Club. If we can swing it, we’re going. Our host is Dark Regions
Press editor RJ Cavender, and he did a bang-up job putting this behemoth
together. This year’s guests gave a very informative talk about the craft of
writing, editing, playwriting, Hollywood, and their works in general. In two
hours I’m going to a talk by a lake about dialogue and scene construction.
It’ll be given by Daniel Knauf. I do excel at writing dialogue, but I’m always
on the lookout to learn something new. UPDATE: I attended the highly informative lecture by Daniel Knauf, who is one of the writers of the hit TV series The Blacklist. I learned why I’ve been having difficulty working on two short horror stories lately. I don’t know my characters. I’ve done historical research, developed the location, and envisioned most of the plot. I’ve neglected my characters. I won’t be able to work on the story until I know them better. Next step – write character profiles for each character.

I highly recommend you attend as many
planned events as possible even if they cut into your writing time. You will
learn a great deal, and you’ll be in a position to mingle with other writers. You
might even meet someone you’ve admired for years. One of the purposes of a
writer’s retreat is to inspire you to write. This one is doing its job. Not only have I made some fine contacts, Jack Ketchum is interested in being my guest on my radio show The Women Show in early 2016. He’s one of the top horror writers out there. The Girl Next Door was sufficiently upsetting. Based on a true crime, too.

I’ve been asked by darker fiction publisher Rampant Loon
Press to write a new short story based on a small Massachusetts island town
I’ve created for one novel and several short stories. Rampant Loon published
one of those stories – The Oily – and
it has accepted a second one – Unrequited.
Both are horror. I’ve decided to go one better. I’m going to write two new stories. One set in a wooded
location in modern times, and another one set in the same location in
approximately 1830, not long after the Salem witch trials. Salem plays an
important part in my story since it’s not very far away from my island.  I’ve already done all my research including
hiking in the five acre area of woods near my home which provided much
inspiration as well as a nasty twist to my right leg that is still healing.
This wooded area is an abandoned colonial settlement, and you can still see the
ruins. My two horror stories will be very desolate and creepy. I even read some
Stephen King for inspiration, speaking of the Stanley Hotel. I’m using my time
here at the retreat to inspire me to finish at least the modern day story. I need to concentrate on character development before I can begin to write the story, though. I learned that today during a lecture outdoors at a restaurant on a lake where we saw a bald eagle flying around. The eagle even dived into the lake to catch a fish. Knauf talked about getting to know your characters very intimately with important things like what are their dreams? What are they afraid of? Once I write down those notes I can begin writing the stories. There’s no deadline so I’m not in a rush.

There’s nothing like writing undisturbed by children, pets, television, Facebook, Twitter, strange foreign men on Facebook asking me if I’m married, email, the phone ringing, people banging at my door, the upstairs
neighbors screeching at each other, and the latest appliance to stop working in
my apartment. I’m free to be creative here, and I write when I want. I’ve also decided, with the help of discussing the matter with one of the guests, that I need to begin my agent search again. My family saga/thriller novel Secrets and Lies won’t be published in 2016 after all since the publisher is going out of business. I was told about a week ago, and I have my rights back. Lucky for me, the book was never published so I don’t have to worry about trying to sell a reprint. It was recommended to me to begin the agent hunt in earnest and don’t aim for the smaller presses since they can be so unreliable.
Aim high. Good advice.

It’s a long way from home, but
the beautiful Stanley Hotel was well worth the drive. The views of the Rockies
are gorgeous. Although I’m a beach girl at heart, I could see living here
because of the views. I’d have to get used to the altitude – just walking up
and down the stairs gets me winded – but otherwise this is a beautiful location
to write. If you have a chance to go to a writer’s retreat, I highly recommend
one.

Animal Magnetism:
Stories about men drawn together over their love of animals
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Deadline: July 31, 2016
Payment: Standard contract terms (50% net royalties from all channels in all formats)

Animals can be a great judge of character, and sometimes they know before we do if someone is perfect for us. We want stories about man’s best friend playing matchmaker — not just dogs, but cats, horses, goats, birds, any kind of animal that might help break the ice between two lonely hearts looking for love. Or maybe they weren’t looking, but Fluffy or Fido knows better. A rider’s horse throws a shoe every time a sexy farrier is visiting the stable. A cat gets stuck in a tree, and his owner falls for the hunky fireman who shows up to rescue him. How are these men drawn together because of their love of animals?

Romantic relationship must be MM, MMM, or MMF

Submission guidelines at:
http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Animal_Magnetism.htm
##

Backup Buddies:
Stories about partners finding romance in the line of duty
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Deadline: July 31, 2016
Payment: Standard contract terms (50% net royalties from all channels in all formats)

When your life’s on the line, who has your back? For policemen, FBI agents, detectives, and firemen, etc., there is no one they trust more than their buddy, their partner, the one person on whom they depend. What happens when that partnership deepens into something more? Show us — take it beyond the mean streets and flashing lights, into the bedroom or the darkened alleyway. What happens in the long hours of a stakeout? Or late at night in a shared hotel room while on assignment? These men might project a strong, tough guy image to the world, but how tender can be with each other?

Romantic relationship must be MM, MMM, or MMF

Submission guidelines at:
http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Backup_Buddies.htm
##

Daddy Dearest
Stories about gay fathers looking for Mr. Right
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Deadline: July 31, 2016
Payment: Standard contract terms (50% net royalties from all channels in all formats)

There’s no denying it — daddies are hot! We aren’t talking bears here; we’re looking for stories about dads with young kids who need a husband to make them complete. Or maybe he doesn’t think Mr. Right wants someone who comes with a diaper bag and sippy cups in tow. Maybe the man of his dreams turns out to be his new male nanny? However your father figure finds true love, we want to read about it! Show us how Daddy Dearest introduces his new boyfriend to his children. Will they be able somehow to form a family?

Romantic relationship must be MM, MMM, or MMF

Submission guidelines at:
http://www.erotica-readers.com/ERA/AR/Daddy_Dearest.htm

by Jean Roberta

Selena Kitt’s clear expose of the “Pornocalypse” of hard-to-find erotic titles on the Amazon site reminds me of my uncomfortably educational stint on the local Film Classification Board in the early 1990s. Yes, folks, I belonged to a government-run board with the power to ban films.

I was a single mother, and desperate for any job that paid, a situation which could make almost anyone vulnerable to demonic temptation. A sister-feminist of my acquaintance told me about the position on the classification board that she had just vacated; she claimed that all the porn films she had been forced to watch had given her nightmares. I sympathized, and tried to ask as discreetly as possible what, exactly, had kept her awake at night: serial killers in masks chasing terrified women with chainsaws? The torture of political prisoners? My acquaintance was both vague and indignant: it was porn, and therefore an expression of contempt for women. Wouldn’t that be enough to give any woman nightmares?

I recklessly applied for the position on the board, and was accepted. I was told that I would need to watch films in a basement screening room with a few other board members for only a few days per month, and I would be paid a “per diem” to cover my “expenses.” This was not to be referred to as a salary, so I agreed not to call it that.

I watched numerous short porn films that had been seized from places with names like “Joe’s Gas and Confectionary.” The worst aspect of the films, IMO, was the relative lack of originality or esthetic value in them. There was usually a soundtrack of elevator music, and a well-worn plot about a horny housewife and a pizza delivery boy, or a naughty co-ed and her manly professor. The actors usually recited their lines as though reading them off cue cards. There was no torture, and no overt use of force.

Several of the films I watched were (somewhat) witty parodies of mainstream films (e.g. Edward Penishands). They combined sex with humour, not the degradation of the innocent.

I soon learned that while all mainstream Hollywood movies had to be viewed and rated by us, the classification board, before they could be shown in movie theatres in the Canadian province I live in, the rating of porn videos was complaint-driven. This meant that if no one complained, Joe’s Gas could stock unrated porn films for sale or rental, and life went on. If someone complained to the police (in small towns here, this consists of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), they would hand over the entire stock of porn films from Joe’s Gas to us, the film police, to rate or to declare illegal.

The Film Classification Board was not equipped to rate every single porn film that entered a fairly large (geographically speaking) Canadian province from elsewhere. (As far as I knew, none of it was locally-produced.) There was just too much of it for six board members to view, discuss, and classify. This meant that any irate mother who caught her teenage son watching a film he had secretly rented from Joe’s Gas had enormous power to force Joe to hand over his entire stock, without compensation, to the Authorities (the police or us) and with no guarantee that it would all be given back to him. At the time I joined the board, it was in the process of reviewing a stash of over 900 films that had been seized from one retail outlet.

In a nutshell, anyone who claimed that the Film Classification Board was standing guard over the morals of the entire province was delusional. No one who actually sat on the board could believe that we could classify every piece of film available. Our role was to give an appearance of protecting “community values,” whatever those were, and to actually protect the politicians above us in the government from having to answer sticky questions from the public about what they were doing to stem the tide of “porn,” or why they were trying to limit what local consumers could read or watch.

Discussions with fellow board-members were informative. None of them was an anti-sex fanatic, as far as I could see, but all of them seemed to think we could make decisions that no sensible person could disagree with. The problem is that most people consider themselves to be sensible, neither prudish nor pathological, yet even in a relatively small population, there is large diversity of opinions about the depiction of sex.

Amazon, as a huge purveyor of books and related products, is highly visible to zillions of netsurfers. Although Amazon is a private company, not a branch of government like a film classification board, its administration probably feels the pressure to please a large, middle-of-the-road buying public that really does not exist. Given the quantity of items sold by Amazon, I suspect they have no coherent policy on what should be kept on a back shelf behind a curtain and what should be advertised from the rooftops.

In 1755, after an author and thinker named Samuel Johnson had produced the first “modern” English dictionary, a lady reader complained to him about the “improper” words in it. To his credit, Sam did not offer to pull them out of the next edition, but then, he wasn’t trying to earn a living from the sale of that book alone. Had he been more dependent on public opinion in general, Sam probably would have waffled, apologized, tried to blame an irresponsible typesetter, or promised that the offending words would be removed forthwith.

The problem with censors is not that they all have a fascist agenda to control the whole world, but that they try to please everyone in order to avoid negative publicity. If a certain book is available, someone will be offended. If it is suddenly made unavailable, someone else will be offended.

In effect, most censors are politicians who try to appeal to the largest number of voters by speaking in soothing generalities. Like politicians, censoring organizations need to be watched.
—————————

by Kathleen Bradean

I recently re-watched the movie Pal Joey, starring Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, and Rita Hayworth in a love triangle. Kim loves Frank; Frank loves Kim; Frank loves Rita’s money; Rita loves Frank’s cock. Of course, they aren’t as obvious about that last one as the rest of it. They even cleaned up the lyrics of Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered so audiences wouldn’t be scandalized by her remarks about his pants fitting his hot body so well. But the story makes it clear that once Frank fucks Rita, she’s willing to do anything for him.

The story goes like this: Frank comes to San Francisco and looks up an old acquaintance who  isn’t terribly thrilled to see him, because Frank is a jerk. After presuming his way into a job performing at the nightclub where this guy as the band leader, Frank starts hitting on the guy’s female friend, Kim, in this odd way where he treats her like shit. Girls dig that, don’t you know. He even takes a room in her boarding house so he can scam his way into her pants. The performers are hired to do a gig at Rita’s house as she’s raising funds for a children’s hospital. Frank recognizes her as a former stripper who married well, so, following his ‘chicks love to be treated like crap” routine, he announces to all her wealthy friends that she was a stripper and now she’ll perform the number that made her famous. She’s furious, but sings and dances, only she limits her stripping to tossing away a glove. Later, she humiliates him in retaliation, then he fucks her so well that she decides to help him open his dream night club – as long as he fires Kim. Instead of firing Kim, he tells her she’s going to do the strip number. Kim decides she’ll do what he asks because he obviously loves her and needs her to do it, but at the last second, Frank stops her. Rita gets pissed off and tells him the club won’t open. It ends with Frank and Kim walking away.  Really a shitty story. Why was Rita the villain? Frank was using her. He treated both her and Kim horribly. Rita was fine until he barged into her life and she was poorer in many ways for having met him. But she was the villain, because she was a woman who wanted, and enjoyed, sex.

That got me thinking about the politics of desire.

For the recent Disney movie Tangled, the writers created a whole new story rather than going with the original German folk tale. In this day and age, it was dismaying to see that they chose – once again – to make the villain an older woman who so fears aging that she’s willing to go to any length to retain her youth. (But I love Terry Gilliam’s vision of the price of that quest in his brilliant movie Brazil)  Why do writers reach for that plot device so often? Sure, it’s rife in fairy tales, and Countess Elizabeth Bathory provided a real-life example (if that wasn’t a political put-up job. I mean, the person writing the stories about her was in the employ of the King, who owed her so much money that he had reason to smear her then have her walled up in a tower as sort of a personal debt-forgiveness plan) but why use it nowadays? An equally powerful story – and one even kids would understand – was if the witch had kidnapped Rapunzel initially for ransom but had come to fear being left alone again so much that she decided to keep the princess as her daughter. Or maybe that’s too real-life scary for kids. How about she sold Rapunzel’s hair as a magical elixir and didn’t want to lose her source of income? That worked in Pinocchio.  There are a million different ways to handle it, none of which requires trotting out that old story that older women are the natural enemies of younger women, or that they’re pathetic, evil, and devious.

Why would a woman want to look younger? And why would she seek to destroy younger women? In stories it’s usually because of lovers – although that makes no sense in Tangled because the two women live alone in an isolated tower, but whatever. Older women are portrayed as predatory hunters of men, but ones who can’t compete with the natural purity of younger woman. Their desire is shown as a warped thing. Is that because women who act on their desires have agency? Is this the real crime here?

Desire is the driving force in erotica. Most non-readers don’t get this, but erotica generally celebrates women for expressing and acting on their desires. It’s such a healthy mindset, and a real boon to our readers who get such negative messages from the rest of the world about their sexuality. Thankfully, our genre also seems more age-positive than many other genres. If there’s an older woman and an ingenue in an erotic story, they’re much more likely to run off together than make fools of themselves over a guy.

Erotica – it’s more subversive than you thought, and not just because it graphically portrays sex. No wonder Amazon and their ilk keeps trying to hide it from everyone! It’s a political move as much as a religious one. No one in charge wants a bunch of confident women feeling as if they can take on the world and win. Because they will. So carry on, you radical writers. We’ll find our readers, and our readers will find us. Desire is one of the most powerful drives in the universe. Let’s embolden our readers to follow theirs.

by Lucy Felthouse

I’m afraid that I have been defeated by deadlines, and therefore ran out of time to compile a post this month. However, I did come up with a good alternative. I’d like, instead, to use this as a discussion post.

Do you have any questions for me? Ask in the comments and I’ll check back when I can and reply. If they’re big questions, I can address them in future posts.

Alternatively, do you have any topics you’d like me to cover in future?

Hopefully things will be back to normal next month!

Happy Reading,
Lucy

*****

Author Bio:


Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and
erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100
publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several
editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic
Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and
co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house.
She owns Erotica For All, is book
editor for Cliterati, and is one eighth
of The Brit Babes. Find out more
at http://www.lucyfelthouse.co.uk.
Join her on Facebook
and Twitter, and subscribe to her
newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9

MM BDSM Anthology
Pride Publishing
http://www.totallyentwinedgroup.com/

Enter into a world where control, boundaries and punishment have never been so exciting. Where the only get out is provided by the all-important safeword. Demanding Doms and seductive subs are the order of the day here. These characters will stop at nothing to find and push their personal limits to teeter on that pivotal edge. MM pairing in the BDSM genre please, with the word count being between 10,000 to 15,000 and a burning or melting heat rating. The submission deadline for this is 30th November 2015 for a May 2016 release. Please send a synopsis in the first instance to submissions@totallyentwinedgroup.com with the header Pride Anthology Submission.

MF and MFM Cowboy/Western Anthology
Totally Bound Publishing
https://www.totallybound.com/

Do you have some hot cowboys willing to do anything for the lady in their life? Totally Bound Publishing are looking for stories featuring rugged cowboys who have a yearning to put the giddy-up into one lucky lady’s life. Or perhaps two cowboys are up for sharing the challenge? Saloons and sex, romance and ranches, these stories will be scorching from the word go. MF or MFM pairing in the Cowboy genre please, with the word count being between 10,000 to 15,000 and a burning or melting heat rating. The submission deadline for this is 30th November 2015 for a May 2016 release. Please send a synopsis in the first instance to submissions@totallybound.com

psaPSA: Barnes and Noble has made keywords and publisher names unsearchable on their site.



I hate to be the bearer of bad news twice in a week, but here we go again. This time it’s the folks over at Barnes and Noble. I’ve had reports (that I’ve now verified) that erotic keywords are being severely restricted. A search for “menage” comes up with a total of 3,661 titles. BDSM returns 6,988 titles, and incest comes back with just over 1,000 titles. Subkinks (like father-daughter or mother-son incest) are coming up at 20 to 40 total. Now, I haven’t checked the erotica keyword search results on Barnes and Noble in over a year, I admit, but back then, menage returned somewhere around 175,000 results, BDSM 110,000, incest about 80,000. For menage to suddenly come back with less than 4,000 books – it’s pretty clear that something’s happened.

Another interesting search restriction that’s been verified is that searching for a publisher on Barnes and Noble returns no results (unless the publisher’s name is in an anthology or listed somewhere other than the “publisher” field – our Excessica anthologies come up, for example, but none of our books do, and yes, they used to!) From Excessica to MacMillan – no results. For small publishers, this is a disaster. Many small pubs have spent years building a brand, and have readers who search those publishers for new books on the larger distributors. This eliminates that as an option (unless you do a search from Google – the results clearly come up there – which serves to prove further that this is a Barnes and Noble restriction.)

The conclusion we can draw here is that publishers and keywords are now restricted from the general search on Barnes and Noble.

My guess is this – Barnes and Noble is using a nuclear “quick fix” option. (Like when they dropped ranks on books by 1000 a few years ago – or anchored other books to keep them out of the Top 100…) They wanted to make keywords unsearchable going into the holiday season and in doing so they had to turn off publishers as a search term. I think keywords and publisher search were linked in their system somehow. So when they shut off one, they shut off the other–like throwing off a breaker to turn off one light in the house.

grinchxmas
Barnes and Noble has been known to panic like this in the past.

And now, we’ll see – but I think they’ll move on to individual books that have keyword-stuffed titles still coming up in searches. Because those are the books still showing when you search for things like “menage” and “BDSM.” Most of them have long keyword-stuffed titles that Barnes and Noble’s search engine is still finding.  Suppressing publisher and keyword searches decimated the titles available that come up in a search – and made less work for them. Now instead of 200K titles they have to comb through, they have to go through only a fraction of that.

If you’re an erotica author thinking, “Ohhh! I’ll just keyword-stuff my titles then!” let me say one thing – I wouldn’t if I were you.

Earlier this year, Barnes and Noble threatened to close Excessica’s account if we didn’t get rid of keywords in parenthesis after our titles. We had to go through and remove them all and clean things up or face being banned from publishing on Barnes and Noble. I didn’t blog about it at the time because we seemed to be targeted as a publisher – I didn’t hear anything through the erotica grapevine about it happening across the board. I’m sure a few others were targeted as well, but it didn’t seem to be widespread.

This, however, is a sweeping change I think all erotica authors need to know about. I know, in the wake of KU 2.0, many erotica authors went wide with their books and were starting to gain some traction on Barnes and Noble. I have a feeling this is going to ruin Christmas for quite a few.

Thanks, Barnes and Noble. Amazon didn’t give us any warning or use any lube, but just because you got sloppy seconds doesn’t make it hurt any less.

eggnog

Pass the eggnog, erotica authors. We’re gonna need it. Because while the storefronts will be safe “for the children!” this holiday season, none of the grownups will be able to find your books. Again.

 
Selena Kitt
www.selenakitt.com
Erotic Fiction You Won’t Forget
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