I’ve always said to people that you can never please everyone in writing. Regardless of how lightly you tread there will always be someone who will find what you write offensive, bitch about it to their friends, or maybe even take it one step further and write a bad review about it on the internet. That doesn’t mean you should avoid sensitive topics like the plague. If you have an idea that revolves around something people might be sensitive about take the time to stop and think: How will people react to my story? Will they understand what I’m trying to say? Or will they misinterpret my message? Is this project worth going ahead with? There’s an old saying: any publicity is good publicity and it’s true.
What do you need to be a best selling author? Well, talent, of course. Patience, yes. A good cover would be nice. And you know what can be helpful? Public outrage. How much of a difference is there between outrage and fascination? Not much. Look at the Harry Potter books. They tip toed around a sensitive subject: religion. Despite the fact that Wicca was not featured at all in the books, calling the characters “witches” and “wizards” caused a lot of outrage among some religious groups, which gained the books attention, which gave it more media coverage, in the end helping the books to become more successful.
Outrage leads to people talking which leads to more people looking you and your books up online and maybe, if you’re lucky, an increase in sales. What do all writers want? Attention. We want to be noticed. But we have to be smart. Do you research. Don’t make an ass out of yourself. Don’t write something so racist, so stupid, so thoughtless that the publishers will run screaming from you.