THE SEX FILES: Where The Grey Area Leads Me

40 million copies worldwide, with book rights having been sold in 37

So I won’t tell you where but I will tell you why:

I happened into one of Manhatten’s sexier shops to investigate a story I read about on another site (yes, there are other sites out there that offer interesting tidbits of information, though of course not as informative and entertaining as the info you get here on this site) about this store featuring a Shades of Grey area. For customers interested in exploring the scenes described in the very popular naughty book, one of our more entrepreneurial Big Apple retail owners decided to delineate a section of his store to BDSM toys as well as feature a small display in his front window about doing so.

I could expound and opine about what the intelligentsia has taken to calling ‘mommy porn,’ but being a person who does a lot of his writing business on and around the Internet I am most interested in Shades of Grey because of how its success relates directly to and from the web.

From first publishing her Master of the Universe episodic story on a Twilight fan-fiction website and getting scolded for the sexual nature of said story, E.L. James (writing as Snowqueen’s Icedragon on that site) removed her story and published it on her own site FiftyShades.com, then she rewrote the story, renamed the principal characters. “Master” was revised, split into three parts and the first of them, Fifty Shades of Grey was released as an e-book/print-on-demand paperback from a virtual publisher down in Australia. The net being what it is, word-of- mouth of the story, as well as the fact that we can read anything we like across the screen of an e-book reader without anyone else being the wiser, heightened popularity of Shades to unmatched proportions and saw Vintage Books come in to re-release a newer edition just this year.

I am not one of those people who think print is dead, not by any means, but it’s hard to deny the power of the net on all of us, let alone those of us who write and read. And in the world of naughty publishing, where a book like Shades comes along every few years at best, it seems that publishers can take a bigger risk on writers of non-mainstream material or we can easily find-with no fear of somebody in a store giving us the stink-eye-that particular book we might be looking for with the salacious title.

To this end, you might want to give these publishers a look-see if you get the time. All are mainly e-book publishers, some certainly release actual print books time to time and in all you’ll find as many anthologies, so you might enjoy more than one author in one book, as well as full sole-author collections or novels.

1.) http://www.circlet.com/. Circlet is a Boston, M.A.-based e-book publisher specializing in mixing fantastic genres (horror, science fiction, fantasy) with erotica.

2.) http://www.ravenousromance.com/. Just as the name implies, but R.R. also sprinkles in a goodly amount of the fantastic element into their books as well.

3.) http://www.xcitebooks.com/. Out of the U.K., print and ebook publisher. For a good amount of time there was a high-end line of erotica being produced in the U.K. by Black Lace. The publisher of that now defunct print line heads things here, with partners.

4.) http://shop.renebooks.com/ One of the biggest e-book (and print-on-demand) publishers on the net, with a high concentration on erotica. They carry a very huge list of books and also many imprints.

What I have listed above is certainly not all there is out there on the web for readers and even writers of erotica. You can spend days searching far and wide for your particular tastes. But seeing how popular Shades of Grey is and how it all started, I thought it might be nice to hip you (once again) to a few of the places where you might find that specific fiction you can’t seem to find or are too embarrassed to look for out in the real world.

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