Fifty Shades. Yes, why shouldn’t I capitalize on its success too?

So Fifty Shades of Grey has surpassed Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in book sales in Britain according to Random House. This story was pointed out to me via Facebook by the lovely and talented poet Heather Grace Stewart.

If you have read the Fifty Shades trilogy, or started and were unable to get through to the end, you know that these books are really badly written and edited. My writing group would have found and corrected the inconsistencies and repetitive word choices used by the author had they been given the chance. While reading, I wondered if an editor might take the time to fix these books up and re-publish them one day, though now that everyone has already read them, maybe it would be best to just move on.

And yes, I did read these books. All three of them.

But this post isn’t about picking on Fifty Shades, because I actually really admire what EL James has accomplished. She started writing these books as fan fiction to the Twilight novels, never thinking that her work would become so successful. She was as surprised as anyone else.

Incidentally, Wikipedia defines fan fiction as:

 …a broadly-defined term for fan labor regarding stories about characters or settings written by fans of the original work, rather than by the original creator. 

The success of the Fifty Shades trilogy to me shows that there is a huge untapped market of books in erotica to be written. I say more power to EL James for figuring this out before the rest of us. I’m sure that there will be a whole stream of similar books coming out in the next little while, and why not? It isn’t like a fan of mystery novels reads just one whodunnit, and then moves on to a different type of book. There are many different types of genre books  readily available, and so why shouldn’t erotica go mainstream too?

In fact, I think I’m going to suggest an erotica prompt to my writing group when we meet later this month.

Oh my!

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About Finola

I am an Ottawa area Mom, writer-want-to-be and coffee legend in the making.
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11 Responses to Fifty Shades. Yes, why shouldn’t I capitalize on its success too?

  1. Sasha says:

    And of fan fiction, too, perhaps? I wonder what a dash of erotica would do for Hogwarts?

  2. Gabriel... says:

    If Sasha Grey can star in a Steven Soderbergh film, why not have a section at Chapter’s devoted to erotica?

    About ten years ago, while I was researching my own book project, I was landscaping with a crew in Guelph. It being Guelph, one of the crew was a PhD (English something). He told me that the best money in writing is in erotica… he told me “you know you’re a great writer if you can make someone feel like they need to have an orgasm” (by someone he meant a woman, because making a dude feel that way would probably mean just writing the word “orgasm”).

    • Finola says:

      I think the Rideau Street Chapters does have a section on erotica. Not the Kanata one though, nope I checked.

      I think it is difficult to write erotica well, and if you do it badly you get called out for it at http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/badsexaward
      Maybe I will just take up writing for men? Thanks for the tip – it would seem a lot easier.

      Did you ever publish your book Gabriel?

  3. Sid says:

    I think this is a brilliant idea Finola. I’m impressed you actually made it through all 3 books – should I bother with the last one?

    And I adore Sasha’ comment about adding some spice to Hogwarts: so wrong but so right.

  4. Finola says:

    No, don’t bother with the third book. It isn’t any better (or worse) than the first two. Just more of the same.

    I like Sasha’s comment too. Definitely a writing project there.

  5. Lara says:

    So I kind of bet there is erotic hog warts fiction out there… Like tons.

    Also, I’ve had this discussion quite a few times recently… I’m not sure why THESE books took off. Is it because the sex is kinky? Is it because people recognized Bella and Edward in the characters? (I definitely did) Because there are a LOT of books wi a LOT of sex out there. I like that these books made it more mainstream for people to read them (and feel comfortable doing so), if nothing else 🙂

  6. allison says:

    First of all, I do NOT want to know anything about Hogwarts erotica. Hands over my ears, la la la I can’t HEAR YOU. I’m with you on the more power to E.L. James, but I think it’s unfortunate that it took badly written books to make erotica more mainstream – why couldn’t people just read well-written erotica? I have no issue at all with sexy books – I have big issues with bad grammar, clunky dialogue and sloppy editing.

  7. Pauline says:

    I have no desire to read Fifty Shades of Grey since it sounds like Twilight for grownups, but I do agree that it is nice to see erotica get some mainstream attention, particularly since the States tends to be a bit puritanical at times.

    Now if someone could pen some really well written erotica books without so much misogyny and immaturity in them, THAT would be great! 😉

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