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.