Frequently Asked Questions - Shopping with Riptide

On our Browse & Search page, we offer three different tag groupings related to gender and sexual orientation. You will also see these tag groupings listed on every individual title page, and can browse individual orientations/genders/pairings from any page by clicking on the tag. Our three groupings are Orientation, Pairing, and Gender. Within those groupings, you'll find the following tags:


  • Gay (one or more primary characters is gay)
  • Lesbian (one or more primary characters is a lesbian)
  • Bisexual/pansexual (one or more primary characters is bisexual, pansexual, omnisexual, or any other sexuality that denotes attraction to multiple genders)
  • Asexual (one or more primary characters experiences no or limited sexual attraction, and may identify as asexual, gray asexual, demisexual, or elsewhere on the ace spectrum; this does not preclude romantic attraction)
  • Aromantic (one or more primary characters experiences no romantic attraction to any gender; this does not preclude sexual attraction)


  • Cisgender (one or more primary characters is the gender they were assigned at birth)
  • Trans (one or more primary characters is a gender other than the one they were assigned at birth)
  • Nonbinary / Genderqueer (one or more primary characters is of variable gender, no gender, multiple genders, or is genderqueer, genderfluid, agender, or any other gender that does not fall within the established gender binary)


  • male/male (two male characters have on-page intimate relations)
  • female/male (one male and one female character have on-page intimate relations)
  • female/female (two female characters have on-page intimate relations)
  • genderqueer/male (one nonbinary or genderqueer character and one male character have on-page intimate relations)
  • genderqueer/female (one nonbinary or genderqueer character and one female character have on-page intimate relations)
  • genderqueer/genderqueer (two nonbinary or genderqueer characters have on-page intimate relations)
  • Multiple partners (there is more than one on-page pairing among the primary characters)
  • Menage (at least three characters engage together in on-page intimate relations)

Please note that neither gender nor pairing labels are necessarily related to a character's genitals or to the sex a character was assigned at birth. Also, the presence of a pairing does not necessarily indicate the presence of explicit content; please check the heat wave and frequency ratings on each title for that.

We have done our very best to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible to all the many and wonderful variations on gender and sexual attraction, while at the same time keeping the tags broad enough for practical browsing. (If a tag is not linked, that means we have not yet published any stories with that tag, but are actively seeking them so please submit yours!) We know there is always room for improvement in this regard, and we're eager to engage in respectful dialog about it. If you'd like to share your thoughts with us, please fill out our contact form.

Absolutely! Simply place the ebook or ebooks you wish to gift into your cart, and follow these instructions:

  1. Begin to check out like normal. On the first checkout screen, you'll see four sections: "Shopping cart contents," "Coupons," "Bonus Bucks credit," and "Gifting options."
  2. In the "Gifting options" section, tick the box that says "Gift some or all of these items?" Once you do so, new content will appear, including a list of each item in your cart followed by a text box.
  3. Enter the recipient's email address in the text box for each item you wish to gift. Leave the text box empty for items you wish to keep for yourself. When you're finished filling out the text fields, click the "continue to next step" button.
  4. Continue checkout as normal. If the recipient is an existing customer on our website, the book you've gifted will appear in their bookshelf, and they'll receive an email notifying them of their gift. If not, an account will be created for them, and they'll receive an invitation to come aboard and enjoy their gift.

For each book you pre-order (the book can't have been released yet) directly through our site, you'll receive one entry into a drawing for a chance to win free books for a year! Once a year, we'll pool all the entries and do a drawing. There are second and third prizes, too:

  • First Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 12 months!
  • Second Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 6 months!
  • Third Prize is one free copy of every single ebook Riptide releases for 3 months!

That's a lot of free books! We'll draw winners at random every year in January. And even if you don't win, you still get a nifty bonus: pre-ordered books are available for download two full days before their official sale date!

Ready to earn some entries? Check out our titles coming soon!

Every new book we release will be available for pre-order for at least two weeks, and some for up to a few months. There are some excellent reasons to pre-order.

  1. You can purchase and forget about it. Your book will be waiting for you on release day in every available format; no need to remember when that is. You'll also receive an email on release day letting you know your files are available for download.
  2. Each pre-order purchase earns you an entry into an awesome contest where you can win free Riptide books for a year!
  3. Your pre-ordered books can be downloaded two days before the "official" street date, so you get to read the story two days before everyone else.
  4. When you buy direct through the website, you'll receive Bonus Bucks on every purchase you make.
  5. The author will receive a much higher royalty for the sale than he or she will if you purchase the book through a third-party vendor like Amazon or Barnes and Noble. One of the best ways to support your favorite authors is to buy direct from the publisher site.

There are many benefits to shopping directly through the Riptide web store. 

  1. We make all file formats available to you at all times, so if you switch devices or accidentally delete your book, you can re-download the appropriate format with zero hassle.
  2. You earn Bonus Bucks for each purchase you make, and can use those Bonus Bucks to purchase free books or gift certificates from our store.
  3. Books on pre-sale may be offered at a discount through our site only.
  4. We offer exclusive print-and-ebook combos at an average discount of 30%, and all paperbacks onsite are sold at an average discount of 20%.
  5. If you pre-order a book, you'll be able to download it two days before the official release date.
  6. All pre-orders earn you an entry into our Free Books for a Year contest.
  7. Themed collections (groupings of short stories or novellas) and serial stories are bundled and offered at significant discount through our site only.
  8. Both our authors and ourselves get to keep a much larger share of the purchase price when you buy directly from us (or any other publisher site), which makes it easier for your favorite authors to spend more time writing new books. Third-party vendors such as Amazon may keep as much as sixty-five percent of your sale price, leaving as little as thirty-five cents on the dollar for the publisher and author to share. 

On our Browse & Search page, it's possible to search for books in many ways: by author, title, series, genre, sub-genre, type and/or frequency of erotic content, all sorts of keywords, etc. You can even apply multile filters to a single search, so if you're looking for a novel-length historical erotic romance set in Romania and featuring frottage, you can set your search parameters to return those exact results. You can also browse via our "Titles" link in the navigation bar or by any of the categories in our left sidebar (All Titles, Best Sellers, Recent Releases, etc.). Lastly, you can use our search box on the top right corner of the page.

When you find a book you wish to purchase, simply click the "add to cart" button. Want to purchase the title later, but not right now? Click the "wishlist" button to add it to your wishlist, which you'll find archived in your account.

Checking out is easy, safe, and secure. During checkout, you'll be prompted to log in, or to create an account if you're new to Riptide. We use PayPal to process our credit card payments, but you don’t need a PayPal account to shop with us.* PayPal allows you to pay for your purchase with any major credit card (click here for more info from the PayPal site), your Paypal balance, or a linked checking account.

As soon as your payment is confirmed, your books will appear in your bookshelf for download.**

*Paypal requires residents of a small number of countries to register before using their service. If this affects you, we apologize for the inconvenience, but are unfortunately unable to offer a workaround at this time. We are actively seeking alternative solutions for readers in affected countries. 

**If you've purchased pre-sale titles, they'll appear in your bookshelf two days before their official release date. If you've purchaed using an e-check, your title(s) will not appear in your bookshelf until your e-check clears.

We use two separate ratings in concert: Heat Waves (how explicit) and Frequency (how often). Both are on a scale of 1 to 5. We also use a number of tags to specify the type of content (for example, “bondage,” “flogging,” “rimming,” “threesome,” etc.) and help you find exactly the kind of story you’re in the mood to read.

Heat Wave Scale

  • 1 wave: No erotic content. If there is romantic content, it’s likely not the focus of the story.
  • 2 waves: Stories with sweet romantic content such as a kiss or a touch over clothing. No explicit language. Appropriate for most YA audiences.
  • 3 waves: Primarily sweet/sensual stories. Love scenes may happen, but will be “off screen” or almost entirely non-explicit. No graphic language. May be appropriate for YA audiences.
  • 4 waves: Stories with sensual love scenes. They will occur “on screen” but will be less explicit. May include some explicit language.
  • 5 waves: Stories with explicit love scenes and graphic language.

Frequency Scale

  1. No erotic or onscreen romantic encounters.
  2. Erotic content is secondary to the focus of the book and occurs in a very small percentage of scenes.
  3. Erotic content is relevant to focus of the book occurs in a moderate percentage of scenes.
  4. Erotic content is integral to the focus of the book and occurs in a fairly large percentage of scenes.
  5. Erotic content is the central focus of the book and occurs in a very large percentage of scenes.

Click on the "Register" button all the way in the upper right corner and follow the on-screen instructions. You can also create an account during the checkout process.

Never. Registration is absolutely free. You won't even be added to our mailing list unless you choose to be.

Absolutely. Since we use PayPal—one of the safest payment processing options in the world—you will never have to reveal your personal details to any site, including ours. We do not even see your credit card information, let alone collect it.

Pricing is based on book length, genre, and author. Rather than featuring only three or four price tiers, our unbundled ebook titles range from 99 cents to $6.99 at Riptide. This ensures that the customer never overpays for a book at the short end of a wide price tier, and that the author is paid fairly for books at the long end of a wide price tier.

When deciding how to price our tiers, we took into account the time and expense that goes into producing each book at Riptide. Unlike many other e-publishers in the LGBTQ space, we provide Manhattan-quality developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading for each book we produce. We also provide professional layout, hand-coded file conversions to eliminate irritating artifacts and layout errors in your e-book, and gorgeous cover art. All of these things mean that Riptide’s production process is much as fifteen times more expensive than at other e-houses. In most cases, our cover prices nevertheless remain comparable to our competitors, but you may sometimes find a longer novella or novel priced at about $1 more. However, readers repeatedly tell us (and show us through purchasing decisions) that they much prefer to pay a little more for books they'll love and reread, rather than buy a cheaper book they may not even finish.

Our pricing tier guidelines are as follows:

1,000 to 9,999 words: $.99
10,000 to 14,999 words: $1.99
15,000 to 24,999 words: $2.99
25,000 to 39,999 words: $3.99
40,000 to 59,999 words: $4.99
60,000 to 84,999 words: $5.99
85,000+: $6.99

Many but not all of our titles will fall into these tiers. For a variety of individual reasons, a book may be priced in a lower tier. A new book will never be priced in a higher tier, although as our tiers have changed over the years, it is possible that a backlist book may be priced according to an older tier model.

Your library is available at any time from any web-capable device. If you're logged in, just click on "My Account" in the upper right-hand corner of the page. You'll be taken to a tabbed page where the default tab is "My Bookshelf." There you'll find every book you've ever purchased, along with options for downloading in all available formats or sending the mobi file directly to your Kindle.

Yes. If you have Windows 7, save your purchase to a folder on your computer, plug your Kindle or Nook to your computer, and drop and drag the book to the documents section of your device.

For Kindle, you may also send our books as an attachment to your Kindle device email, or simply click on the "Send to Kindle" button in your bookshelf to transmit the file over Kindle's Whispersynch.

On the collection description page, you'll see a separate release date for each individual title within the collection. As with all pre-orders, you'll have access to each title two days before that official release date. Most collections will feature one release per week until the collection is complete. Of course, if you order the collection after the final release date, you'll have access to the full selection of collection titles all at once.

Bonus Bucks are our way of saying “Thank you!” to customers who shop repeatedly at our site. Why does that matter to us? Because third-party sites like Amazon and Kobo take 30% or more of the cover price of each book, leaving much less money for us to share with our authors.

Every time you purchase with us, you receive one Bonus Buck for each dollar you spend on books. When you’ve collected 50 Bonus Bucks, our website will automatically turn them into a $5 account credit. You can then apply that credit as you check out, as if it were cash!

Want to know how many Bonus Bucks you have or a history of all the Bonus Bucks you've ever earned? Simply click on the "My Account" link in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, then click on the "Bonus Bucks" tab. You'll see your current Bonus Bucks and Credit balances, and links to display your Bonus Bucks and Store Credit history. 

Your credit is applied to an order as soon as you select the pay-by-credit option during checkout. However, if for some reason you don't complete the checkout process, your credit may seem to disappear, even though you haven't gotten your books.

But don't despair! If this has happened to you, please contact (please be sure to include your username) and we'll get your credit reinstated ASAP.

Spread some joy with our special Gift Cards!

Here's how they work:

  1. Purchase a gift card (and earn some Bonus Bucks for yourself!).

  2. After checkout, return to the Gift Cards page and click the Send tab.

  3. Enter the recipient's email, and an optional message and sender name.

  4. If the recipient is an existing customer on our website, their account will be credited with the sum you've gifted. If not, an account with credit will be created for them, and they'll receive an invitation to come aboard and enjoy their gift.



Sort of, but not directly. We accept Paypal, and you can use your checking account via PayPal to pay for your purchase. (You may also use your Visa, Mastercard, or Riptide gift certificate to pay for your purchase.)

No. Like almost all ebook retailers large and small, our books are non-returnable. We will, however, happily replace any damaged files.

No. DRM (Digital Rights Management software) doesn’t actually discourage pirates. All it does is inconvenience honest readers who wish to transfer files between personal devices. If you see our books being sold with DRM on a third-party site, the DRM has been added without our permission.