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Another bestseller for E L James

8 June 2015

It's been a pretty good surprise for the book trade that in two weeks' time (perfect timing for summer reading) E L James will publish a new book featuring the same characters as Fifty Shades of Grey. This time the story is told from Christian Grey's point of view and the book is simply called ‘Grey'.

It feels as if the time has passed a bit but actually there's no reason why this shouldn't be very warmly received by the 125 million people who have bought the trilogy since 2011. It may attract more male readers by telling the same story from a male point of view - last time only 20% of the readers were men.

The recent film has also done really well, grossing $569.7 million.

And yet, maybe the world has moved on since then? In 2011 the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy, which started off its life as fan fiction, had a certain shock value and it became fashionable in certain circles to be seen reading it. But has the trend towards erotic fiction come and gone?

Tracy Nesdoly, vice president communications for Rakuten Kobo, doesn't think so. She said: "Fifty Shades was a publishing phenomenon on many fronts - being a fan fiction/self-published book that attracted a mainstream publisher and exponential sales. It also put erotica into the mainstream - almost immediately after Fifty Shades launched in March of 2012, Kobo saw a significant lift within the erotica/romance genres and big sales in related reading, with e-books such as Sylvia Day's Bared to You, Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster, Gina Gordon's Her Five Favourite Words, and many more since then. We expect the erotica category to continue thriving."

It may be thriving but it's certainly not so mainstream, and perhaps the success of a publishing phenomenon like Fifty Shades of Grey can never be repeated.