I finished a novella earlier this year called "Echoes in the Wind" that had a sad ending and romantic elements but no actual sex scene. I started marketing it in July and noticed something interesting. Alot of web sites state in their submission guidelines that "happy endings" are a MUST and stories must also include sex scenes that are important to the plot and hot, hot, hot.
I asked myself..."Do books need sex scenes and happy endings to be marketable?" I can think of heaps of popular stories that don't include sex scenes or happy endings and are quite successful. At the same time though I think my chances of success would probably increase if I DID include happy endings and sex scenes.
Romance is the most successful and popular genre in the world and let's face it most readers want a happy ending when they read a book. This irritates me because if I had slapped a happy ending onto the end of "Echoes in the Wind" I would've ended up pissing off alot of Greek God fans for changing the story of Narcissus and Echo. I decided to go with the original version with Echo disappearing into the wind and becoming an echoing voice.
I was pretty annoyed when I first realised the ending might make Echoes unmarketable. I can't change it because it would ruin the whole point of the novella. It's called ECHOES IN THE WIND because she fades away and leaves Narcissus heartbroken! I don't know if Echoes will get published. It's annoying that I spent so long working on something that I only realised when I was done was probably unmarketable. It wasn't a waste of time though. Writing it helped me grow as a writer but at the same time I wish, wish, wish it was more marketable!!
I've been thinking about adding a sex scene to Deep Embrace. I'm a bit nervous about writing one cause I've never done it before. I'm embarrassed it will be really dumb!! LOL I'll have a crack at it though. Why am I adding one? Because if I want to market it as a romance publishers and most readers would expect one. So I'm going to experiment with one. If it doesn't work I'll rip it out but to be honest I like the idea of including one because I really do think it will help me market it.