Fifty Shades of Grey becomes fastest-selling paperback in UK

Jun 18, 2012

EL James's 'mummy porn' sells 550k paperback copies quicker than JK Rowling's Harry Potter

THE RAUNCHY novel that triggered a craze for bondage and erotica has beaten Harry Potter and Dan Brown novels to become the fastest-selling paperback this century.

According to trade magazine The Bookseller, Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James, a 49-year-old housewife whose real name is Erika Mitchell, hit the 550,000 sales mark quicker than any other paperback since Nielsen BookScan records began in 1998.

Dubbed 'mummy porn', Fifty Shades has been Britain's best-selling book for nine weeks, while the entire trilogy – which also includes Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed - has held the top three spots on the UK paperback book chart for the past six weeks.

According to The Daily Telegraph, Fifty Shades of Grey is on course to sell 1 million copies in the UK by the end of the year and looks set to become one of the best-selling books ever. It became the fourth book in the UK to sell more than 100,000 copies in a single week – more than most Harry Potter books and all of the Twilight novels.

The trilogy, which revolves around Anastasia Steele, a college graduate who submits to the bondage-and-discipline fantasies of sadistic billionaire Christian Grey, prompted a new craze for S&M among Brits.

Philip Stone, who compiles book charts for The Bookseller, told the Daily Mail: "It is highly unusual for a book to sell so well without there being a film adaptation or the author being well known, like Dan Brown or JK Rowling. Clearly it has become acceptable for something like this to be talked about openly."

According to The Sunday Times, it has also inspired publisher Pan Macmillan to release an erotic reimagining of the novel by Charlotte Bronte this summer entitled Jane Eyre Laid Bare. It is rumoured that EL James may capitalise on her success with a second trilogy written from the perspective of Christian Grey.

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This book was the greatest heap of rubbish I have ever seen. Hundreds of books more interesting than this. Very badly written, boring as well. I will pass it on to the other ladies in my group and see what they think about it.