Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Submission Guidelines for the Pain/Pleasure Anthology

I confess that when Berkley asked me to put this together, I thought I would have to strong arm some people (20 of them) into writing me a short story but there is quite a bit of interest in contributing to this collection.

I am looking for stories of 5,000 word length (you can go slightly over but you won’t be paid more) about the concept of the twin emotions of pain and pleasure. The submissions must be full (the story complete) and turned in to me litte. jane at gmail dot com by October 1 as an MS Word Attachment with the subject line: Pain/Pleasure Anthology Submission.

The submission can be, generally, anything with a strong erotic content. There is no limitation on genre. I definitely want a lot of variety such as m/m, femdom, diversity in characters. The work can have been published on your website but it cannot have been sold in publication.

I will be paying $500 for each contracted submission with .25% royalty in exchange for world digital, audio and print rights.

Let me know if you have any questions either by emailing me or leaving a comment.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Ros
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:08:43

    Did you mean .25% royalty or 25% royalty? 0.25% seems a bit mean!

    ETA: Oh, multiplied by 20 it seems more reasonable! Sorry for my dim moment.

  2. Portia Da Costa
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:15:20

    This sounds very exciting and just the sort of anthology I’d love to submit a story to.

    I bet you get *hundreds* of submissions! :)

  3. John
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:15:37

    @Ros: I was thinking the same thing. ^^ I didn’t know people got royalties for short stories – I assumed they were upfront fees unless it was something of a novella length. Good to know for the future, though!

    I wish I could submit a story, but erotica is not within my jurisdiction. @_@ Good to see you’re putting in m/m. Yay for the gay!

    Now to wait for the day when I can actually submit something *grabs Hollywood Wives by Jackie Collins* Comfort food.

  4. Tweets that mention Submission Guidelines for the Pain/Pleasure Anthology | Dear Author --
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:20:53

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by VictoriaDahl, PortiaDaCosta, jillmyles, eileenandrews, dee_carney and others. dee_carney said: RT @dearauthor: New post: Submission Guidelines for the Pain/Pleasure Anthology […]

  5. Jane
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 11:35:20

    @ros and @John – I think royalty for shorts are rare and I I’ve no idea whether there will be any but figured if there was I would offer up one

  6. Lori
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 12:00:00

    Jane: I hate to think of the amount of reading you’re going to have. Good luck with this. Hope no gingerbread men come knocking.

  7. Mireya
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 12:10:07

    @Jane: change the way you wrote the email address, you are going to get a crapload of spam in it! “Spambots” scour for the @ and your blog is high traffic.

  8. gwen hayes
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 12:12:37

    I think this is fascinating. What a neat crossover between publisher/reviewer/author. I can’t wait to see what else forward thinkers in publishing come up with. It has seemed like there has been such a divide between the reader and the publishing model that this excites me.

  9. Joanna Terrero
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 13:10:23

    I agree. This is very interesting!

    Jane, for what I understood, this is a Berkley's Submission call of a Pain/Pleasure Anthology for which you will be the editor, right?
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, I want to forward the opportunity to others, and I would like to have all the correct information.


  10. katiebabs
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 13:51:02

    Can this be any genre such as paranormal, urban fantasy or historical?

  11. MaryK
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 16:16:11

    This is very cool.

    Can you blog about the process/status generally as you go along or do you have to be super secret? Anyway, I hope you can at least share numbers: x number received, x number accepted.

  12. Jane
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 16:29:57

    @MaryK I think I can probably blog about the process/status as I go along. Why not? Although I don’t know how interesting it will be.

  13. Jane
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 16:32:20

    @katiebabs Nope. As I said in the post, there is no limitation on genre.

  14. Jane
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 16:33:06

    @Joanna Terrero This collection will be published by Berkley Heat for an unnamed erotic/erotica anthology for which I will be the editor.

  15. Jill Sorenson
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 17:02:58

    Coolness! I will keep this in mind.

  16. Mireya
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 17:36:34


    I can picture the first report post: Day 1 – I received 8.3 million submissions … thank God they were all received via e-mail …


  17. MaryK
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 20:31:42

    @Jane: :D
    I was mostly thinking about how Angela James tweets about stuff. “Can you believe somebody sent me such-and-such?” Though I’m also interested in your choosing strategy – will they be your favorite stories or the ones that best fit together and with the theme – that kind of thing.

    It’s the closest I’ll get to having loads of people send me stories to pick my favorites from so I hope to enjoy it vicariously. ;)

  18. Eve Paludan
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 21:06:08

    re: I will be paying $500 for each submission

    I think you meant:

    I will be paying $500 for each contracted submission!

    Good luck. I will be tweeting this for you.

  19. Joanna Terrero
    Jun 26, 2010 @ 22:06:02

    Jane, thanks a lot, I will tell the authors I know.

  20. e.lee
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 02:33:42

    Hello Jane\

    do you accept submissions from other countries?

  21. Jan Springer
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 08:54:22

    Sounds exciting, Jane!!

  22. Angelia Sparrow
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 10:18:14

    Royalties from short stories are not uncommon, esp. in the digital publishing world. They tend to run 35-40% for e-books. When it’s an anthology, that percentage gets split between the authors.

    I’ll get something your way, Jane. This is my speciality area.

  23. Jane
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 11:12:48

    @Angelia Sparrow Ah, I had heard for those “Best paranormal books of 2010” or “Best SCIFI” etc. collections that royalties are a rarity.

  24. Terrence Scott
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 13:05:36

    Is there a level of graphic detail you’re looking for, or a certain restraint in what you hope to publish?

  25. Sienna Mynxx
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 13:33:33

    Count me in! I will make my submission by the end of the week.

  26. Angelia Sparrow
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 20:27:52

    @Jane, it really varies with anthologies. Ellora pays royalties. Kerlak pays flat fee. (With collections, you only have one author involved) I have no idea how Berkely operates.

    Torquere did flat fee for a long time, because anthologies just weren’t earning out for the authors. Now they’ve gone to royalties for certain anths, specifically the Toybox line.

    And most shorts published as stand-alones earn royalties too.

  27. Nonny Morgan
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 19:19:15

    @Jane: How much is “slightly” over? I have a 6k story that I’d like to submit, but I’m not sure where I can pull the wordage without hurting the story. Should I try to pare it down anyway, or submit it as-is?

  28. Jane
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 20:55:09

    @Nonny Morgan submit as is.

  29. Nonny Morgan
    Jul 03, 2010 @ 00:56:33

    Thanks, Jane! :)

  30. Sacchi Green
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 09:46:04

    It seems silly to ask, but I’ve learned from experience that diversity that includes M/M often does not include F/F. Are you okay with a range of LGBTQ themes?

  31. Jane
    Aug 07, 2010 @ 09:47:30

    @Sacchi Green: Yes a range of LGBTQ themes will be considered.

  32. Beth Wylde
    Aug 10, 2010 @ 20:40:51

    Sacchi I am so glad you asked that. I had the same thought. So many places now will take m/m but still won’t accept lesbian erotic stories.
    This project sounds great. I’ll see if i can get a story together in time. ^_^

  33. Kyle
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 21:47:00

    Can one author submit two stories? I have two ideas and don’t want to have to pick!

  34. Jane
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 21:52:30

    @Kyle: Yes, you can submit more than one story.

  35. Mary G
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 16:48:03

    Will the final decision about each story be made after October 1st or will you be letting authors know sooner than that whether their story is suitable or unsuitable for the anthology?

  36. Lori W.
    Sep 03, 2010 @ 22:07:54

    This is probably a dumb question, but everyone has different rules, so I figured I should ask. :) What do you need in the e-mail accompanying the submission? Just a brief “attached is my submission…” or summary, publication history, etc?

  37. Dear Author Business Update | Dear Author
    Sep 04, 2010 @ 12:00:16

    […] The deadline for submitting to the Pain and Pleasure (the name of the book will actually be Agony and Ecstasy) collection is less than 30 days away.  To recap, this is a collection of around 20 stories that are erotic in nature and explore the concepts of pain and pleasure in a sexual nature and will be published as Berkley Heat title in November 2011.  The submissions can be of any genre and do not have to have a romantic concept.  The submissions are due October 1. Email the submissions to  litte. jane at gmail dot com by October 1as an MS Word Attachment with the subject line: Pain/Pleasure Anthology Submission. You can read more here. […]

  38. Jane
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 18:03:07

    @Mary G: Sorry I didn’t answer this previously, but I am letting people know in october.
    @Lori W.: Just a brief summary of the story and your name and contact information on the submission itself.

  39. Savanna Kougar
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 19:56:38

    Hi Jane, other than .doc format, how do you want the mss formatted? Each of my publishers has different requirements that’s why I ask.

  40. Savanna Kougar
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 19:59:07

    Oops, another question. Are you so on overwhelm by now that you don’t want any more submissions?

  41. Jane
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 20:05:45

    @Savanna Kougar: I prefer italics to underlining but I am not a hard ass about this. As long as it is readable, I will read it and consider it for the collection.

  42. Savanna Kougar
    Sep 27, 2010 @ 16:13:46

    Jane, thanks.

  43. Magnetic, or How I Used To Be Interesting | Maggie Robinson
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 09:46:38

    […] Rowe will have a short, “Wicked Wedding Night,” in the November 2011 Berkley anthology, The Agony and the Ecstacy. I’m excited that one of my critique partners J.K. Coi has a […]

  44. State of the Bedroom…err Union | Author Christine d'Abo
    Oct 24, 2010 @ 10:12:11

    […] it anyway! I’m thrilled to say that my short story, Bruised Ego, will be in the November 2011 Berkley anthology, Agony and Ecstacy. To say I’m still in shock is an understatement. I have to thank J.K Coi […]

  45. I’ll be in the Agony/Ecstasy anthology! — Cameron Belle
    Feb 15, 2011 @ 13:36:23

    […] from Berkley Heat. I’ve read the Dear Author romance blog for years, and when I saw the call for submissions, I put it on my running list of places I might want to write and submit […]

%d bloggers like this: