Mar 10 2012 10:16am

E.L. James Fifty Shades of Grey Sold to Major Publisher

We’ve been discussing the Fifty Shades phenomenon for some time now, and the Fifty frenzy reached critical mass this week with pop therapist Dr. Drew weighing in on what he thought of the first book in the Fifty Shades trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey.

(For our thoughts, check out Team H&H Rants! Dr. Drew is Wrong, and Dr. Drew Gets Schooled. We started the discussion with Fifty Shades of Grey: H&H’s Reactions)

The critical mass has reached its logical outcome, with a major American publisher purchasing the rights to the book. The New York Times reports,

This week, Vintage Books, part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, known for its highbrow literary credentials, won a bidding war for the rights to all three books, paying a seven-figure sum.

[T]he publisher will release new e-book editions of the trilogy. Weeks later will come a 750,000-copy print run of redesigned paperback editions.

Do you think this is a good thing for romance novels in general, and sexier ones in specific? How do you think your non-romance reading relative or neighbor will react after devouring Fifty Shades of Grey?

E.L. James's Fifty Shades Trilogy: ‹ previous | index | next ›
Novel News: ‹ previous | index | next ›
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KT Grant
1. KT Grant
I hope this helps the sales for erotic romance or romance in general.

Has any fan fiction like this ever sold so well for an author?
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
@KT Grant: That's a great question. I'm going to look into that--I'm guessing the GWTW follow-ups weren't exactly fanfic. That's all I can think of, off the top of my head.
Christopher Morgan
3. cmorgan
Not sure if I'm correct, so don't quote me, but didn't PC Cast's House of Night start as fanfic?
Miranda Neville
4. Miranda Neville
There seems to be a bottomless demand for Pride and Prejudice fan fiction.
KT Grant
5. KT Grant
I'm not sure if this is correct but I heard that Zero to the Bone by Jane Seville is former Brokeback Mountain fan fiction and was highly praised when it was published. It's a MM romance.
Megan Frampton
6. MFrampton
Someone on Twitter brought up Cassandra Clare's Mortal Instruments series--good example. Not sure how much it sold for, but it is getting made into a movie.
KT Grant
7. Aestas

I'm so happy about this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woohooooooooooo
Christopher Morgan
8. cmorgan
Mortal Insturments. That's what I was thinking. Not PC Cast. Ignore my goofiness.
KT Grant
9. Elisabeth1989
I can actually say I thank Dr. Drew for his over the top critique of this book since it provoked to wanna find out what the fuss was about. Oh and boy did I find it. Im not avid reader of romance novel and never read erotic. But this book, these characters have me completed engaged. I am additcted to Christian..LoL..
K.M. Jackson
10. kwanawrites
I'm sure it can't be bad for romance specifically contemporary. Let's just hope there is not this whole overbuy and then saturation then we see a crash as we did with chicklit. Where suddenly there is a label put on it and it's a bad word. But then again it's fiction written by women for women so whatever is done it will be labeled no matter and made into something other. Might as well just go with the flow.

Let's see how long before we hear casting news of the movie. I'm sure that's coming soon too.
Just please NO Tom Cruise with a ginger wig and contacts. Not sure any of us could take that. LOL.
11. EvangelineHolland
I have doubts that this book deal will do anything for erotic romance since it is not packaged as mainstream fiction and is not shelved in the romance section (if anything, it may spur erotica & erotic romance writers to sub their books as mainstream ER rather than to the tried and true ER imprints like Berkley Heat or Kensington Aphrodesia). Fifty Shades of Grey has an elegant, tasteful cover, the blurb isn't written in the romance genre language, and the title isn't erotic at all. Many erotic romance writers make an excellent living, but as I've stated before, the genre is held back from the mainstream by the very thing that makes it identifiable to romance readers. But the reaction to this trilogy is rather akin to the reaction of mainstream media outlets to the romance blockbusters of the 70s and early 80s, so what comes around goes around.
carol mead
12. CaryLory
This is terrific!!!!
E.L.James books are terrific. I was privileged to read the trilogy when she wrote the story each week in her blog.
Now if we can persuade the major publishers and the book reviewer'
magazine to notice/review all the terrific M/M and BDSM authors.
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