The sales of ‘50 Shades of Grey,’ the so-called “mommy porn” trilogy, are selling at rates not yet seen in Ireland since the ‘Harry Potter’ series hit the shelves. The ‘Twilight’ inspired fan-fiction has sold around 60,000 copies since going on sale at the end of April in Ireland.
TheJournal.ie reports on the fascinating boom in sales the trilogy is experiencing. The figure of 60,000 copies sold is probably an underestimate as figures for sales of an e-book version haven’t been accounted for.
One prime example of just how quickly the book is selling was showcased at Eason’s on O’Connell Street in Dublin on Thursday. The national bookseller had stocked the shop with 400 copies of the book - all of which were sold by lunchtime.
“Bar Harry Potter, we’ve never experienced anything like it,” says Maria Dickenson of Eason.
‘50 Shades of Grey’ has already officially become the fastest-selling paperback since records began in the UK, dethroning other literary juggernaut ‘Harry Potter.’ Similarly, Booktrade, which tracks book sales, says it is also the fastest selling-paperback in Ireland as well.
“People have been happy enough to come in and buy it, which is a big change,” added Dickinson. “It’s become a bit of fun, people have a bit of a giggle around it”.
“It started in America with women passing it to each other at school gates or in each other’s homes. That’s how people got to talking about it and how it spread so quickly”.
“Often erotic fiction can look seedy but this has an understated, classy cover, and that makes a big difference.”
“Some books which have already been published are being repackaged with new looks to appeal to a new audience,” explains Dickenson.
Dickinson goes on to attribute the ‘50 Shades of Grey’ phenomenon to a shift in the erotic literature genre. She notes that while literary erotica is nothing new, the openness in which women are buying the book is something that hasn’t been seen in the past.
‘50 Shades of Grey’ was written by E.L. James as a form of fan-fiction loosely inspired by the ‘Twilight’ series and characters. E.L. James, whose real name is Ericka Mitchell, lives in London with her Irish-born husband Niall Leonard.