EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy Sells over 100 million Copies
An announcement was recently made at the London Book Fair stating that worldwide sales of EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey erotic fiction trilogy have now passed the 100 million mark. This is according to the trilogy’s publisher, Vintage Books, a Penguin Random House imprint.
The Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy began life in 2009 under the working title ‘Master of the Universe.’ The novels tell the story of a billionaire’s seduction of a college student. Fifty Shades of Grey has since been translated into 51 different languages, including Hebrew, Thai, Icelandic and Mongolian. EL James’ story began life as Twilight fan fiction and was first released as an eBook backed by Australian press Writer’s Coffee Shop in May 2011. Two more installments followed: Fifty Shades Darker was released in September 2011 and Fifty Shades Freed in January 2012.
Vintage Books made a now ‘highly profitable’ decision to pick-up her work for ‘a seven-figure sum’ in March 2012. According to the New York Times, total sales of the entire trilogy at this time were somewhere over 250,000 copies. With the additional might of the marketing team they were able to push sales past the 100 million mark. EL James started out as a self-published author and then decided to source the assistance of a major publisher to help her get to the next big sales mark.
There is no doubt that EL James had already made it prior to being picked-up by Vintage Books. There was already an incredible amount of chatter about the book and the timing of Vintage Books was impeccable. The main questions asked is how did these publishers miss EL James eBooks in the first place? This again proves the ability of a self-published author to achieve her dream and make the big time.