Jul 28, 2012

The Adult Content Dilemma

My first novel, Counter Currents, contains one nude swimming scene (pretty tame stuff) and one explicit sex scene. The latter is not gratuitous--it is a natural evolution of a relationship between two characters in the story. I included it because I wrote the book for well balanced adults.

But, that one scene makes the book "adult content." That means my novel will not show up on book searches if users of a site, such as Smashwords, have the "adult filter" on. That may reduce sales.

As an experiment I wrote a companion novel, Islands of Love and War, that tells the same story, with the skinny dipping scene intact but not the sex scene. The latter is set up but leaves the details to the reader's imagination. This version also has 10 fewer minor characters, a slightly different ending, and is 10,000 words shorter. I posted it at Smashwords and Amazon.com and am actively promoting it.

Will this change increase sales?

I will update this blog with the experiment's results later.

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