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'The engine rooms of fiction'

27 May 2012

'The sprawling fan fiction groups of the internet cover everything from films to TV shows to pop stars, and the strongest tend to cluster around imaginative teenage fiction such as Harry Potter and the Twilight series. It's from these groups that Fifty Shades of Grey has emerged, in the original version, the lead characters were Stephenie Meyer's Edward and Bella, their names later changed for publication.

Published free online, it began its slow burn to bestseller status surrounded by a passionate peer group of fellow fans and writers, more female than male, who are not merely consuming literature, but remixing and co-producing it.

As publishers hunger for popular content while cutting promotional budgets, such ready-formed, literate and ebook reading groups are likely to become the engine rooms of fiction.'

James Bridle in the Observer