APPENDIX 2: 50 Shades of Success – A journey to inspire!

50 Shades of Success for Adult Mobile
A quick history of the book’s short and rapid journey to ‘phenomenon status’!

  1. The trilogy was written by first-time author and English mother-of-two, Erica Mitchell, 49, using the pen name E L James.
  2. She initially posted the stories on the internet as a series of episodes set in the ‘Twilight’ world under the title ‘Master of the Universe’.
  3. She modified the episodes and re-arranged them into three parts. The first, 50 Shades of Grey was released as an e-book and ‘print-on-demand’ paperback in May 2011.
  4. The original publisher of the books was an Australian self-publishing service called The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House.
  5. Part 2 of the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker, was released in September 2011.
  6. The final part, Fifty Shades Freed, followed in January 2012.
  7. Due to the immense initial interest in the e-books, Vintage Books acquired the exclusive license and the trilogy arrived in bookstores in April 2012

50 Shades of Success

  1. 50SoG first topped the New York Times best-selling e-book fiction list in March 2012.
  2. by June, the New York Times reported that Contra Costa Library system in California had 30 copies of the novel in circulation, all of which were checked out, and they had a waiting list of 723.
  3. Ottawa Public Library in Canada said its waiting list was a whopping 1,330 people for its 96 copies.
  4. Despite some libraries in America removing the book from its shelves due to its x-rated content, all have had to relent and replace them due to public demand.
  5. By this time, the three books were now occupying all top three slots in the Sunday Times best-selling paperback fiction charts.
  6. Canadian sex-toy retailer, Pink Cherry (nope, nothing to do with Cherry Media) reported a 15% month-on-month increase in sales of sex toys featured in the novel.
  7. Fifty shades of Grey has become the fastest selling book of all time, smashing the previous records set by The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and the Millennium trilogy.

    50 Shades of Success

    The Bandwagon Shelf at WHSmith, LPS station, London.

  8. The book is now being sold in nearly 40 countries around the world and has been reprinted on a weekly basis since the first publication.
  9. The trilogy is reported to account for 25% of sales within the adult fiction market.
  10. Publishers are scrambling to fill bookshelves with an array of similar (previously released) erotic titles, including Rebecca Chance’s ‘Naughty Bits, which contain scenes from earlier novels that were previously ‘too hot to print’, an erotic trilogy, called Eighty Days and an erotic rewrite of Charlotte Bronte’s classic, re-titled Jane Eyre Laid Bare.
  11. Universal Pictures have secured the rights to 50SoG for an estimated $5 million, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
  12. At the time of this article, global sales of the trilogy are reported to be over 40 million, with the UK accounting for 12 million and the US accounting for 20 million of those sales.
  13. By comparison, Stieg Larsson’s best-selling “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy took more than three years to reach the 20-million sales mark in the U.S.
  14. UK publisher, Random House said the book is now more popular than The Highway Code, but it still has a way to go to catch up with JK Rowlings Harry Potter series which has sold a total of 450 million copies.


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