Would you buy/read a novel you KNOW contains explicit language and explicit sex?

I am an author. I have written a novel I believe is an excellent murder mystery. It's been turned down by a dozen publishers over 10 years because it contains A. explicit language (every "dirty" word you ever heard), and B it contains explicit sex (like the "stroke fiction" you've heard about). The novel isn't written to be "hard-core", but the story required hard-core sex. I won't reveal the plot-line, so when you see the book on the store shelves, you won't know it's me. I AM curious if-- in 2007-- there is a market of modern ADULTS who would buy and read and ENJOY a very realistic novel with EXPLICIT language and EXPLICIT sexual content? Picture Quentin Tarantino "explicit dialog" with DESCRIPTIONS of scenes from porno movies. The plot is EXCELLENT. Your opinions, please.

29 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    Yes i have read many books that fit this discription. All books should be available to the masses where people can make up there own mind. Good luck getting it published.

  • 1 decade ago

    I would definitely buy it. I enjoy reading explicit sex scenes and don't find explicit language the least bit offensive. If your plot is as good as you say it is, I couldn't imagine a more perfect book to buy. Don't get me wrong - I also enjoy novels where sex scenes are only implied.

    I believe there already is a market for the kind of novel you've written. The only problem is the publisher. You might just want to keep on at it; I'm sure you'll eventually find a publisher who has realised that being frank about sexual experiences is no longer taboo.

    By the by, when you're published, I'd love to know the title so I can look out for it here in Australia. You seem confident so I don't doubt it'll happen for you eventually.

    Best of luck.

  • 1 decade ago

    Have you considered not having published in the fiction genre, but in the erotica genre? The individuals who are okay with reading such explicit material will pick up erotica and not be offended... I think publishers are concerned about the religious zealots and minors who might judge the book by its (probably interesting) cover and get an eyeful of stuff they shouldn't.

    To directly answer the question; if the plot is as excellent as you say it is, yeah, I'd buy/read it... I guess the only caveat for me would be if the explicitness was gratuitous. If it was, it might be a turn-off (no pun intended), but if it was warranted, why not?

  • 1 decade ago

    I'd reevaluate the publishers you're sending to. There is such a thing as balance in fiction and sometimes too much IS too much. With these publishers have they all said the same thing? If so, then maybe there may be something wrong with your novel, as hard as that is to hear. Reevaluate the novel, the plot and see if all those dirty words are really necessary. There is a difference between cursing for the sake of it and actually using curse words to craft the scene. A good writer learns the difference between the two methods over time. Using some words, such as the F word, over and over causes it to lose its meaning and force, in my opinion.


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  • 1 decade ago

    I'm very picky about this sort of stuff.

    Really, there is only a time and a place for explicit language. You have to create the character very carefully, in order for the language (or the explicit acts, even) not to seem out of place or just senseless.

    For example, the narrator in "Story of the Eye" used the word "cünt" because he thought it was the loveliest word for the female genitalia--no joking. And he explained that in a way that was convincing, so you honestly didn't mind its use, and even learnt to believe in his assertion.

    You will only ever target a tiiiiiny niche in the market, though. If you find the right publisher (and there are erotica friendly publishers still out there).

  • 1 decade ago

    Perhaps, but most likely not. I am an English major and have read a variety of different books. At times, it is necessary to incorperate sex, violence and language into literature in order to achieve a certian relaistic effect, for some artistic purpose, etc. But general, explicitly sexual/violent books constitute cheap pornography. It's similar to the age old debate of whether or not pornography is artistic. Many authors find what is not shown to be more appealing and also more artistic then just laying everything out before you, on top of being a more effective way to get your message across. But good literature has always pushed boundaries and expectations. If your text is really a valuable piece of literature, eventually it will be recognized.

  • Empy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    It would really have to grab my attention and curiosity. Generally, I'm not much of a mystery reader, so that alone would make me unlikely to buy your book.

    If the 'explicit'ness is truly necessary to your story, then so be it. Sooner or later, the quality will be recognized. If it comes down to it, you could always consider self-publishing. Or write something else a little 'tamer', get it published, and push this story again. Once you've built up a fan base, it may be easier to get this one published.

  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, there are definitely people out there that would love to read it. But publishers are out to make money. If they don't think the book will appeal to enough people, they won't print it. That's all there is to it. And obviously you are targeting a small market with your content. I realize that the porn industry is huge, so you would think this kind of stuff would be extremely popular...but porn has pictures. Put pictures in the book, get a porn company to fund it, and you'll have a San Fernando Times best seller.

  • 1 decade ago

    I probably would, but I wouldn't pass it along to my mother.

    It's hard enough to get people to buy a book by an unknown. Add explicit content and some booksellers won't carry it, some people won't buy it, etc.

    Your publisher is making a business decision that might not have anything to do with the literary value of your book. You could self-publish.

  • 1 decade ago

    The sex and language should be ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for character and plot development if you are going to refuse to edit your novel to make it more widely accessible. If it is gratuitous, it means nothing and only cheapens your work. Same thing if it is just for shock value.

    You might also just want to edit it right now and, if it makes it big, then you can arrange to have it re-published with the original language. This was done with Farenheit 451.

    Source(s): English minor
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