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Old 10-07-2011, 06:47 AM   #31
VydorScope
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I dont believe that. Its an often repeated line, but sales do not seem to fit that. For example, G rated movies typically out sell any other rating.
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I would point out that romances & erotica are selling *amazingly* well in ebooks. That I can name, off the top of my head, a dozen romance/erotica DRM-free publishers, thriving in a market where the "big 6" publishers are screaming about losses.
I still hold that "sex sells" is a lie. If I take my novel and merely add a sex scene to it (there is no plot reason for one), it will not sell any better then it does. Enjoyable stories sell, the addition of sex does not equal more sales.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:21 AM   #32
Steven Lyle Jordan
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And why does any of that require an explicit sex scene? It's all for titillation and market expectations. Now, I'm sure you're unlikely to agree with me but as an exercise imagine being able to convey every one of those, dubious, points without the need for gynaecological gymnastics in the scene. I can think of ways to convey these outcome of sex without sex. You really don't think you can?
It's true: As I pointed out, you can simply cover those plot developments with dialogue or thought narration, just as you can replace any action scene (which is essentially what it is) with aftermath discussion. But an action scene is generally more effective at conveying the importance of the moment than simply discussing the scene afterward.

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I still hold that "sex sells" is a lie. If I take my novel and merely add a sex scene to it (there is no plot reason for one), it will not sell any better then it does. Enjoyable stories sell, the addition of sex does not equal more sales.
Adding "a sex scene" to a story isn't likely to sell more. Sex must be significant in a product to activate higher sales action.

The books I re-edited, and replaced fade-to-next-scenes with sex scenes didn't have significantly higher sales either. That's because it was one or two scenes in a book, and didn't significantly change the content or story. But it didn't detract from it, either.
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Old 10-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #33
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And why does any of that require an explicit sex scene?
Why does the plot require a graphic scene of gang violence? A detailed description of bomb mechanisms? An intense conversation, with nuanced facial expressions and italics for the emphasized words? It's just pandering to whatever market likes those elements in stories; there are other people who wish the author would just gloss over those parts with "a riot broke out and Johnny got shot" or "the wiring was complicated enough that they'd need a specialist to defuse it" or "Nikki and Sharon yelled for twenty minutes before leaving the office from separate exits."

The plot doesn't *need* to mention bullet caliber or mercury switches or Sharon's red shoes; those are "color bits" to keep the reader interested--to make the story seem like it might've actually happened by mentioning the details the characters or an observer might notice, even though they're not essential to the plot.

Detail of any specific sort is optional. Detail of *some* sort is required for a good story. There's no reason, other than prudery, that sex should be the one human interaction that's not suitable for conveying character and plot details.

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Which is not to say I object to sex scenes - although they do nothing for me. I like proper porn - I just think it's a complete lie that anyone is using them to advance the plot.
They do nothing for you, but you like "proper" porn? Do you mean, "disconnected from any elements that would make the sex relevant to an ongoing story; limited to just a physical interaction between bodies?"

I like sex in a story to have plot relevance, just like I like sex in my personal life to be relevant to my emotions & choices.
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Old 10-07-2011, 01:06 PM   #34
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And why does any of that require an explicit sex scene? It's all for titillation and market expectations. Now, I'm sure you're unlikely to agree with me but as an exercise imagine being able to convey every one of those, dubious, points without the need for gynaecological gymnastics in the scene. I can think of ways to convey these outcome of sex without sex. You really don't think you can?

Which is not to say I object to sex scenes - although they do nothing for me. I like proper porn - I just think it's a complete lie that anyone is using them to advance the plot.
I think that would depend on where the story is set. If it's a story about someone going undercover to break a prostitution ring or some such for example then sex might indeed advance the plot. He/she has to prove to them that he/she isn't with the police by having sex with a character perhaps. So they wrestle with their conscience or maybe it turns out that the other person is also a member of the task force who was planted there earlier and the hero(ine) isn't sure that they haven't been compromised and brainwashed to the rings way of thinking, or something.
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:59 PM   #35
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I think that would depend on where the story is set. If it's a story about someone going undercover to break a prostitution ring or some such for example then sex might indeed advance the plot. He/she has to prove to them that he/she isn't with the police by having sex with a character perhaps. So they wrestle with their conscience or maybe it turns out that the other person is also a member of the task force who was planted there earlier and the hero(ine) isn't sure that they haven't been compromised and brainwashed to the rings way of thinking, or something.
Well, whatever.

The point is, it doesn't have to advance the plot... but it can. And if people like to read that kind of detail, why not give them what they like?
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:57 PM   #36
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I would point out that romances & erotica are selling *amazingly* well in ebooks. That I can name, off the top of my head, a dozen romance/erotica DRM-free publishers, thriving in a market where the "big 6" publishers are screaming about losses.
Because no one can see the title and cover of a book you read on a Nook or Kindle. Fans of the erotica genre have always been reading lots of it. Ebooks made it possible to indulge, and to be secretly rebellious by reading erotica at work or in school (or during church meetings?). The ebook is the perfect medium for erotica writers, since their fans now can read them "openly" without having to worry about any social fallout from being caught reading what others around them may frown on.

Sorry for the off-topic pseudo-hijack there.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #37
MeiLin
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dadioflex: In my own non-erotica-but-still-containing-sex work, not all the sex scenes are even that sexy; they are people in sexual situations. Sometimes they are uncomfortable, ranging from simply awkward to outright dangerous. The first novel in my series explores issues of consent, dominance (but not in the BDSM sense), class and other issues that sexual situations can directly speak to, just like any other situation. It's no different than violence--or a dinner party scene.

That said, I've got flat-out erotica out there, too, including stories set in my series' universes. Yes, just like the dog food that makes its own gravy, I write my own fan fiction. Why let the fic writers have all the fun, I say...
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #38
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Yes, just like the dog food that makes its own gravy, I write my own fan fiction. Why let the fic writers have all the fun, I say...
LOL, I'm off to [self-promotional link removed - MODERATOR]...

EDIT:
Actually, it was MeiLin's promo link.... but no harm done
I won't do it again.

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Old 10-08-2011, 05:25 PM   #39
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pholy, thank you so much!
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Old 10-08-2011, 06:33 PM   #40
VydorScope
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Adding "a sex scene" to a story isn't likely to sell more. Sex must be significant in a product to activate higher sales action.

The books I re-edited, and replaced fade-to-next-scenes with sex scenes didn't have significantly higher sales either. That's because it was one or two scenes in a book, and didn't significantly change the content or story. But it didn't detract from it, either.

I could write a book that has great writing and the blackout style sex scenes, and it will be a best seller. I could take the same book and put them in, and even find a way for them to impact the plot, and it would not impact sales any more then any other plot device would.

Some people by PORN for PORN sake, same with erotica. Does that genre sell? Sure does... but thats targeting an audience that wants to buy that. If thats your traget, then YES having good sex scenes will impact sales, but other wise, I hold that it does not.

My point is that people will read a book that is written well, marketed well and has a good story. Thats what sells books, not lack of or addition of sex.

Thats my opinion on it, and I think if you check the best selling books over the years you will see there is no correlation to the amount of sex and their ranking.

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Old 10-08-2011, 07:43 PM   #41
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Vydor, to be clear: I don't include sex scenes in my (non-erotica) books to boost sales. I include them because they belong in the story.
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Old 10-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #42
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Speaking from a reader's point of view (again, since I only dabble at writing, at best), it is as bad to avoid sex on principle, as it is to include it just to include it. If it belongs in the story and if it can be used to develop or show more of a character, there is nothing wrong with having it there. It's like everything else, if it's well written, go for it. If not, leave it out.

EDIT:
Just thought I'd add this, for thoughts: How would you write a romantic loving relationship with two adults, if you don't include the sexual part? It's a vital part of any healthy long-term relationship/marriage, and it paints a strange picture of happily ever after to leave it out.

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Old 10-09-2011, 05:53 AM   #43
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Vydor, to be clear: I don't include sex scenes in my (non-erotica) books to boost sales. I include them because they belong in the story.
And that is the funny thing about writing isn't it? I mean logically your the all powerful author, you could write it in such away that it does not need to be there , cause your god over your story... but it never really works that way does it? Stories seem to grow on their own, and authors only seem to have influence. You might try to force the story to have/not have or be/not be but it does not really work does it? It is almost like authors are reporters, not creators. At least thats how it seems to me...
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Old 10-09-2011, 06:41 AM   #44
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I prefer to leave it to the imagination . I dont like graphic sex or violence in my fiction . I like good adventure stories and fiction to have a good story that does not need to have gratutious violence or sex in it.
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Old 10-09-2011, 07:10 AM   #45
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I prefer to leave it to the imagination . I dont like graphic sex or violence in my fiction . I like good adventure stories and fiction to have a good story that does not need to have gratutious violence or sex in it.

My books are like that, and most of what I read is too. The great thing about the current book world is that there are plenty of both out there. I remember reading romance noves as a pre-teen because that was all I could get my hands on. I had read ALL of the books in the library that were in the sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mystery, etc genres and that was all that was left. Now with epub and internet stores like Amazon, we have a gazillon choices and everyone who wants to put the effort to look in can find what ever kind of story they want.
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