Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Fifty Shades trilogy, unanticipated side effect

Jacket covers of the Fifty Shades Trilogy

The New York Times

Published: March 9, 2012

“Discreetly Digital, Erotic Novel Sets American Women Abuzz

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” an erotic novel by an obscure author that has been described as “Mommy porn” and “Twilight” for grown-ups, has electrified women across the country, who have spread the word like gospel on Facebook pages, at school functions and in spin classes. Or as the handwritten tag on a paperback copy in a Montclair, N.J., bookstore helpfully noted, “Yes, this is THE book everyone is talking about.”

The problem has been finding it. The first book of a trilogy, it was published by a tiny independent press in Australia, and distribution in print has been limited and sluggish, leaving bookstores deprived of copies. The lion’s share of total sales (more than 250,000 copies for all three books) has come from ever-discreet e-book downloads, which have propelled “Fifty Shades of Grey” to No. 1 on the New York Times e-book fiction best-seller list for sales in the week ending March 3 and No. 3 position on Amazon’s best-seller list.”

The entire article can be found HERE

As an update to this article the Fifty Shades trilogy was 1, 2 and 3 on the NYT (combined hardback and e-books) bestseller list published on April 22, 2012. I think hardback sales may still be limited by shortage of HB copies, though the discreet nature of e-book sales may depress sale of HB copies. All my friends and I are reading the Fifty Shades books on our Nook or Kindle ereaders, which we carry in our dancebags. The books are AWESOME!

Unanticipated side effects: An unanticipated side effect of Fifty Shades popularity is that apparatus sales - to women - have tripled in Fasteners, our BDSM boutique in the past three weeks as women read the books and come in to be outfitted with what they need to pretend they are Ana Steele (at least in the bedroom) being fucked by Christian Grey while experiencing the pleasure/pain and fear of being gently caressed with a plaited leather riding crop or cuffed ankles and wrists to a spreader bar during rough sex. Even the sale of metal training balls has increased dramatically triggered by the scene in the book where Ana is taken to a party commando while wearing a pair of them. Fasteners manager has had to reorder the high end French plaited leather riding crops twice in the last week and right now there is a waiting list for them!

Actually the Fifty Shades novels while erotic are BDSM Lite, so as they become more widely read the vanilla American public is being introduced to the concept in an enjoyable way that allows them to be drawn ever closer to recognizing BDSM as an acceptable lifestyle between consenting adults. It will be interesting to see when the increase in sales at Fasteners plateaus or drops off as the novels reach saturation in the reading public and more women decide to experiment with letting their wild side enjoy D/s roleplay. The success of Fifty Shades will surely attract novels in the same genre by other writers. One can only hope that they are as well written.

1 comment:

  1. We are fortunate in Europe in seeming to have an adequate supply, but most women are choosing the more discrete Kindle versions. This phenomenon reminds me of (long ago) my second year at University. The hardcore Women's Lib group on campus, of which I was a member and the butch dyke leader's girlfriend, decided to read the Story of O, not then with a approved English edition. We all had terrible underground translations but pretended to function with the French. We also pretended to be horrified by such terrible treatment of women and found all sorts of reasons to declare men to be animals. There were many side discussions regarding our personal curiousity to try much of what we read.

    Although we were all claiming to be lesbian or, at least, bi- at the time, the vast majority (myself quite excluded) went on to become rather traditional housewives and mothers. I often wonder what goes on in some of those bedrooms.


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Powys , Wales, United Kingdom
I'm a classically trained dancer and SAB grad. A Dance Captain and go-to girl overseeing high-roller entertainment for a major casino/resort