Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

07/16/2012

S and M = Sadomasochism or Serious Money?


50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James (pictured)

Sadomasochism (deriving sexual pleasure by giving or receiving rough sex pain) has never been a favorite pastime of mine — But, it is a hot, in-demand, reading topic since ’50 Shades of Grey’ hit the shelves in the U.S. about four months ago.

‘With more than 20 million copies sold in four months in the U.S., the erotic Fifty Shades trilogy seems to be giving mouth-to-mouth to the barely breathing book industry—and slipping in some tongue for good measure. The series accounted for one in five adult print books sold this spring, so it makes sense that publishers are scrambling to reproduce its success.’

These interesting details and numbers are provided by Lizzie Crocker in The Daily Beast

Publishing Looks for S&M

With more than 20 million copies sold in four months in the U.S., the erotic Fifty Shades trilogy seems to be giving mouth-to-mouth to the barely breathing book industry—and slipping in some tongue for good measure. The series accounted for one in five adult print books sold this spring, so it makes sense that publishers are scrambling to reproduce its success.

“E.L. James has opened up these genres to a whole new subset of readers who might not have previously been familiar with them,” said Paul Bogaards, executive vice president of Knopf, whose imprint, Vintage, publishes Fifty Shades. Sylvia Day’s Bared to You, an erotic romance with Grey-like themes (emotionally burdened characters and rough sex), has climbed to the top 10 on several bestseller lists. Originally self-published in April, Bared to You was picked up a month later by Berkley Books and marketed as a Fifty Shades clone, down to its gray book jacket featuring a pair of cuff links and the tagline: “He possessed me and obsessed me.”

Day insists Bared to You is different from Fifty Shades because it’s not a Cinderella story, but she didn’t fight Berkley’s marketing strategy and even thanked E.L. James in the back of the book.

Fifty Shades has absolutely contributed to sales,” said Day, whose previous bestselling book, Bad Boys Ahoy!, sold about 9,000 copies. Bared to You has already sold roughly 10 times that number.

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5 Comments »

  1. Good for them, even though they are terribly written and for the most part, incredibly boring. But, like television, well you know what I mean.

    Comment by Greg Randall — 07/16/2012 @ 11:18 pm | Reply

    • Greg,

      Funny thing how bad stuff makes it big in the media sometimes. Is the world dumbing down or are we losing contact?

      Comment by gator1965 — 07/21/2012 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  2. The book your referring to is one that I have reviewed, actually I read the series but the review I posted on the first stands for all the books. My review was titled 50 shades of Grey or 50 tastes of Vanilla.
    That being said I must confess that the book has welcomed a demographic of individuals that do enjoy reading S&M or BDSM, into more of the mainstream market.

    Comment by lezlewis — 07/17/2012 @ 8:13 am | Reply

    • Hi Lez,

      You are right about the book series stirring up a big pot of people who are into S&M.

      I take it from your vanilla remark that you just didn’t dig the book that much yourself — Poorly written? Or was it the subject matter?

      Comment by gator1965 — 07/21/2012 @ 9:02 pm | Reply

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