The public’s appetite for vanilla BDSM/repurposed Twilight fan fiction appears to be insatiable. According to the Guardian, E.L. James is the first author to have three books sell more than 100,000 copies apiece in the U.K. over the course of a single week. Fifty Shades of Grey, the first book in James’s trilogy of erotic fiction titles, also holds the record for the most copies of a paperback sold in the U.K. over one week.
The Guardian has the tale of the tape for Fifty Shades:
The story of the submissive-dominant relationship between a literature student and a business executive, which started life as fan fiction, the Fifty Shades trilogy has sold over 2.75m copies in the U.K., on top of sales of 15m copies sold in the U.S. and Canada. The trilogy, the fastest-selling books of the year in the U.K., has already been reprinted 16 times in the U.K. and publisher Arrow has just signed off on an additional reprint of 2.75m copies.
Of course, the piece goes on to point out that reader reaction is decidedly mixed, with 330 Amazon reviews allotting the book only a single star.
For those readers who have decided to look elsewhere for literary titillation, the Guardian also provides a list of other titles that traffic in what Monty Python referred to as “the naughty bits,” including everything from Sappho’s poetry to novels by Emily Brontë, Jilly Cooper, and Judy Blume.