Everyone knows the slogan 'Sex sells'. Whether you're looking at sales rankings, or watching Twitter posts fly by with advertisements, one constant among them seems to be erotica. Is the slogan true? Is erotica that popular? I wanted answers, so I decided to try an experiment.
I spent less than a week writing an erotic novella and, using a pen name, I published it on Amazon (I won't mention the title here, but if you are interested in reading it, just drop me an email and I will send it over, discretion assured). Less than 5 weeks later, here are the results. To compare sales numbers, I'm going to use my action/adventure series, The Chronicle of Benjamin Knight.
Let's have a look at the results:-
US and UK only (other regions numbers in single figures or zero)
Book 1 – KnightfallTime to write – 20 years (on and off)
Words – 105,000
Published April 2013
Sales = 101
Free KDP give-aways = 2711
Sales per month (avg) = 10
Reviews = 22
Book 2 – Darkest Before DawnTime to write – 6 months
Words – 98,000
Published August 2013
Sales = 46
Free KDP give-aways = 482
Sales per month (avg) = 8
Reviews = 5
Book 3 – EroticaTime to write – 3 days (yes, really)
Words – 25,000
Published February 2014
Sales = 16
Free KDP give-aways = 906
Sales per month (avg) = 14
Reviews = 0
Yes, that's right. A fairly generic piece of erotica (by which I mean nothing more than what most consenting adults would have experienced themselves at one point or another), which took me just 3 days to write, has already sold 16 copies. This in just under 5 weeks.
This is in contrast to a complex and interwoven tale that I have written, spanning a series of books, with characters that I have worked hard to try and make as believable as possible within the rules of the world I have created.
So it would appear that sex definitely sells, and I would be very keen to hear thoughts from other authors. Do we all need to start including sex scenes in our novels to increase our sales? How do your sales compare?
Starting at the end of March, I am putting Knightfall in a countdown sale instead of free KDP select days, so I will let you all know if that does any better. In the meantime, thanks for reading, and feel free to share your opinions!