Sellers and publishers of books from all over the world convened in New York this week for their annual convention, Book Expo America. Conference discussions focused on e-books, social media, and self-publishing, but the real buzz was about an old-fashioned phenomenon: a printed and bound bestseller that seemed to have appeared out of nowhere. And not just a book: a dirty book.
E.L. James began Fifty Shades of Grey as fan fiction based on the Twilight series. Later, with the vampire bits edited out, Knopf's prestigious Vintage imprint picked up the book – by then a trilogy – and released it in April. Now the three Fifty Shades novels, plus the boxed set, hold the top four places on the New York Times bestseller list. According to Publishers Weekly, the books have sold more than 10 million copies in print and digital versions.
Studio 360's Eric Molinsky talked with publishing insiders at Book Expo America to hear how they hope to hitch a ride on the erotic fiction bandwagon.