Thursday, August 9, 2012

E L James's Fifty Shades of Grey becomes bestselling title in British history

Jumbo Editorial Team

E L James's ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has become the bestselling title in British history, with sales of 5.3 million copies reported since April. The book has fared exceptionally well in all its formats- hardback, paperback and ebook.

It’s being written that ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ alone is dragging the book trade out of the recession, but outside Christmas, this July was the strongest month for physical book sales since 2007. 

It has been successful in surpassing even the Harry Potter books and ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown, which had been fellow competitors for the title. 

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ has sold more than 5.3 million copies counting both print and e-book copies, according to the Guardian. The book’s sequels, ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ and ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ have sold 3.6 million and 3.2 million respectively. 

“The whole process has been both extraordinary and rewarding. I couldn't be more pleased with the sales and would like to thank everyone involved,” the author Erika Leonard James, more famous as E L James, remarked.

The literary merit of the book has been questioned by some quarters but commercially this could not have arrived at a better moment when the modern book trade was so much existentially challenged. 

The Guardian Editor, Philip Jones, has noted that the month of July had been the strongest fiscally for the book world since 2007, not counting Christmas, and credited James with inspiring the upswing. 

“Every half-decade the book business comes up with a title that crystallises what it means to put an author in touch with a reader,” Jones reckoned.
However, some critics have objected to the books’ writing style and content. London Review of Books critic Andrew Hagan said he found the gender roles portrayed in the book distasteful. 

“It's not that 'Fifty Shades of Grey' read as if feminism never happened. They read as if women never even got the vote,” Hagan thought. 

 The news of the record came soon after the announcement that EMI Classics would release ‘Fifty Shades of Grey ¬– The Classical Album.’ The tracks, which include selections by Chopin, Bach, and Thomas Tallis, are all mentioned in James’ novels and were chosen by the author. 

The CD will become available in digital format on August 21 and in physical form in September.

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