The British writer E.L. James’s erotic trilogy “Fifty Shades of Grey” has become a success story instantaneously and it has created news in the publishing industry for more than one reasons. Firstly, as many as 35 million copies of this erotic series have flown off the shelves within a short span of time. This sort of eagerness can be associated with the famous series like Harry Potter, Twilight and its sequels, the Hunger Games series and others. However, this erotic trilogy has gained similar response from the readers within a short span of four months. Thus it has heightened the revenue generating capacity of the industry as a whole and to meet up with the demands of the readers several publishers are signing books based on similar themes. Moreover, some production houses are also looking for prospective stars to feature in the movie version of the book.
With the advent of the Eco-friendly e-books, it was expected that the sell of the paper bound books will wane away and the legacy of the established publishing house will end. However, the sales figure of this trilogy tells another story altogether. It reveals that the paper books are still preferred over the large number of bookworms as well as non readers or first timers who do want to invest in a new e-reader. The marketing heads of the major publishing houses are of the opinion that though the sales of the electronic version of the books have increased to quite an extent but it is not so alarming that the publishing house will wane away. The huge sale of tablets led many marketing professionals of e-books to think that it will boost the sales of e-books. However, the rise in the number of e-books has been marginally restricted to only those who have invested in special e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle. Thus the printed forms of the books are never going to go away.
Anne Messitte of Vintage Books, the publishing house which has published this series, is of the opinion that initially “Fifty Shades….” was well received by the e- readers and thereafter it became a phenomenon among the book lovers and since then the three series have been flying off the shelves of the major real-time book stores as well as the online book shops. Thus this renowned publishing house has also played its role in publicizing the book and making it a success by following the traditional methods. Though the publishing house suffer from the reputation ‘of being slow to adapt to technology’ but at the same time they also have the repute of ‘being nice to their writer’.
Books have the ability to ignite passion in the mind of the readers for a relatively short span of time and astonishingly this erotic trilogy has created fervor among different age groups. This book has been well accepted by not only the matured adults but also the teenagers. It has become such a phenomenon in all households that it is said to have earned revenue of as much as 145 million dollar in just about four months.
This first book of this book was launched in the most unceremonious way by an Australian based publishing house Writers’ Coffee Shop in 2011 on demand by the aficionados who were addicted to the electronic version of this book. Thereafter the sequels were launched within the next six months. Thus there is no denying the fact that advanced technology like internet, social media platforms, blogs and fan sites has played its part in making it known and in reaching out to the potential fans.
This phenomenon has triggered another trend. The seasoned players of the publishing industry are trying to reach out to the potential clients by using these advanced technologies which help them to directly reach out to the potential consumers. In the past, recommendation by a renowned figure was enough to make a book viral, however the reach of the digital media is far wider and if it can be exploited in the right manner, then every great book will have the chance to turn heads and make an impression before the consumers.
However, the printed forms of the books can never fade away as because “there certainly is the comfort factor, and part of that comfort factor is the culture of old publishing, which is very collegial and warm and friendly,” as explained by Richard Curtis an agent representing authors at Amazon. That explains the success story of “Fifty Shades of Grey” in the electronic as well as print medium.