[50 Shades Of Grey] Is this the most successful Kindle ebook ever?

by MP80
85 replies
Stories like this really inspire me..

You probably have heard a lot about the book 'Fifty Shades of Grey' lately. Since March 2012, total income to the Author (including movie rights) has been an estimated $10 million USD, and counting.

It was first published online, as fan-fiction, a little over a year ago, before becoming an ebook and print-on-demand physical book. The Author was not well-known, and only started writing fiction in 2009.

In March of this year it was picked up by a publisher, and sales exploded. This week a movie deal was signed, and there are also plans to develop a brand, with merchandise (lingerie, perfume, etc.) In four short months, 50 Shades of Grey has sold over 31 million copies (13 million or so on Kindle?), two-thirds of which were in the US alone.. and sales are continuing to grow exponentially!

Of the 8300+ reviews on Amazon, 3500 people love it, and 2600 hate it. The only part of the book that I have read is the free excerpt, which seems ok to me, but still doesn't explain why the book is such a hit.

At first glance, it appears to be nothing special.. There are reports that 'a seventh grader could have written it', and complaints about the repetitive wording, and lack of editing. It is in the 'romance' niche (or Literotica), which is nothing new, and there are no doubt many other excellent (and perhaps more deserving) books in this category.

So, just wondering...

Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?

If so, what do you think is the secret of it's massive success?
#ebook #grey #kindle #shades #successful
  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    The 50 Shades Of Grey phenomenon is more about word of mouth marketing than anything else. Saturday Night Live did a skit on the whole deal. Read that again. Saturday Night Live did a skit on a book, well actually more-so the phenomenon about it.

    I dare say its a fad. It captured the imaginations of its readers and quite frankly there are plenty of agents and producers who are just itching to get their piece of the pie.

    Bottom line is that promotion for this book spread like wildfire, and simply by word of mouth. From all angles too. Those who despised it took to the web to say why, and vice-versa for those who loved/liked it.

    It became a 2012 definition of viral, and one that was a HUGE success.

    As for the most successful Kindle book ever? I think that solely depends on genre, as the Game of Thrones series seems to be listed on damn near every fiction best seller list these days...
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  • Profile picture of the author Challendge
    do you want the honest answer? Erotic novels are to women what porn is for men. This book is very well-written and makes every woman's inner fantasies scream. Get your significant other to read it and you will be happy! I would also recommend reading it yourself.

    As BloggingPro noted, it's also word-of-mouth because every woman has told every single one of her friends about the book and has posted something on her Facebook.
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  • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
    Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

    Stories like this really inspire me..


    Of the 8300+ reviews on Amazon, 3500 people love it, and 2600 hate it. The only part of the book that I have read is the free excerpt, which seems ok to me, but still doesn't explain why the book is such a hit.
    I fall into the category of those that hate it. Admittedly, I haven't read the whole book. I started reading it and was appalled by the quality of writing. For example, only a few pages in she writes, "If this guy is over than thirty then I'm a monkey's uncle." It just seems incredibly out of place and cliched. Not to mention that the book is full of grammatical and punctuation errors. The wording is ridiculously repetitive, and the author has no interest in developing the characters. I could go on, but I won't.

    The success is all about hype and the target market. The book primarily appeals to women with children who just want to read a bit of trash to pass the time; they aren't looking to read a classic novel. The book is also controversial, which undoubtedly adds to its hype.

    It saddens me that there are well-written books out there that will never become successful, while this trash is breaking records.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      Originally Posted by dreamtoreality View Post

      It saddens me that there are well-written books out there that will never become successful, while this trash is breaking records.
      Quite a few things I read from the bestseller lists leave me feeling that, to be honest.

      (I haven't read this one and have no plans to).

      There was a full-page article about the author and her family in the most recent (London) Sunday Times. I'm slightly surprised, having read a little about her, that her writing should apparently be quite so bad.
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      • Profile picture of the author MP80
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Quite a few things I read from the bestseller lists leave me feeling that, to be honest.

        (I haven't read this one and have no plans to).

        There was a full-page article about the author and her family in the most recent (London) Sunday Times. I'm slightly surprised, having read a little about her, that her writing should apparently be quite so bad.
        I think I'm going to have to read it at some stage, just to see what the fuss is all about! After all the reviews saying how awful it was, I actually thought that the first chapter (or so) that I read wasn't too bad.

        (I'm not a professional writer though.)
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      • Profile picture of the author dreamtoreality
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Quite a few things I read from the bestseller lists leave me feeling that, to be honest.
        I agree. Many of the books on bestseller lists leave me feeling perplexed, in regards to their success. Although I will say that the author of "A Song of Ice & Fire" series (Game of Thrones), George R.R. Martin, deserves all the success he is getting. Such a good read, and the T.V. series is the one of the best I have ever watched. It's amazing how he was able to create this world, with hundreds of interesting characters, all of whose fate I care about. He isn't afraid to kill off main/popular characters as well.

        Sorry for the hyperbole, but I absolutely love the series.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
          Banned
          Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

          I think I'm going to have to read it at some stage, just to see what the fuss is all about!
          I hear you ... I must admit this thought did fleetingly cross my mind while I was typing the words "and have no plans to".

          Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

          After all the reviews saying how awful it was, I actually thought that the first chapter (or so) that I read wasn't too bad

          (I'm not a 'writer' though.)
          I suspect there's an element of "judging your market" involved in such stories. I always remember a conversation between two backgammon players about a third one, and how "terrible" he was, and how galling it was to the one criticising him that he won only because he consistently played real "patzers" for significant stakes, to which observation the reply was "Well, it seems to me that he's a pretty good player, then - he's certainly choosing his games wisely, and that's the most important aspect of money games".

          Originally Posted by dreamtoreality View Post

          I will say that the author of "A Song of Ice & Fire" series (Game of Thrones), George R.R. Martin, deserves all the success he is getting.
          I'll have a look, thanks for the tip ...
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          • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
            I hate to admit it and I hope I don't get bashed for this, but I did really like the book and love the idea of Christian Grey! I wasn't going to read it, based on reviews about the writing, but decided to anyways. I'm actually glad I did because the story is good and you get into the characters. I don't know where the editor was on the book, because the repetitive words were annoying but I looked past that. There is something exciting about Christian's character and the control he wants from Ana, but still shows a lot of love for her. I still go back and read some parts and for some reason love the fantasy of Christian Grey. Ok there is my shameful confession!
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            • Profile picture of the author cashp0wer
              This is not my type of book but I did pick it up at the bookstore the other day and read a few pages. Like some here I thought the writing was mediocre. My granddaughter can write better than this. To me it's the erotica in the book that is making it so popular with women -my wife has this opinion even though she has never read this particular book.
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              • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
                Originally Posted by cashp0wer View Post

                To me it's the erotica in the book that is making it so popular with women -my wife has this opinion even though she has never read this particular book.
                You would think it would only have to do with the erotica, but not so much. I actually started skimming through some of the sex scenes, because they became repetitive and her 1000 orgasms were annoying. I think it starts out with the erotica and we like it because it is kind of shocking, but then you start to really enjoy Christian. It is kind of sad, but a lot of women are obsessed with him and he doesn't even exist! lol I actually go through my day looking at different guys and thinking, "hmm he would be a great Christian Grey!" I just hope the movie doesn't ruin the fantasy for all of us. If they pick the Twilight people, I will be soooo dissapointed! Ok I will end my rant on this now, but I actually enjoy discussing it haha
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              • Profile picture of the author MP80
                Originally Posted by cashp0wer View Post

                This is not my type of book but I did pick it up at the bookstore the other day and read a few pages. Like some here I thought the writing was mediocre. My granddaughter can write better than this. To me it's the erotica in the book that is making it so popular with women -my wife has this opinion even though she has never read this particular book.
                Yes, I agree.. No doubt the erotica side of things has a lot to do with it's popularity, along with the option to download it on Kindle (where it can be read discreetly.) But that doesn't entirely explain why this particular book is doing so extremely well, compared to others in that niche. :confused:

                Since it started as fan-fiction, '50 Shades' supposedly has similarities with the Twilight storyline/characters, which leads me to wonder if that, too, could have a lot to do with it's success...
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                • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
                  Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

                  Yes, I agree.. No doubt the erotica side of things has a lot to do with it's popularity, along with the option to download it on Kindle (where it can be read discreetly.) But that doesn't entirely explain why this particular book is doing so extremely well, compared to others in that niche. :confused:

                  Since it started as fan-fiction, '50 Shades' supposedly has a lot of similarities with the Twilight storyline, so I wonder if that has a lot to do with it too..

                  Well, I think I can explain why the book did so well, it was in a way linked to Twilight. Originally, it was on a fan-fiction website and the characters from Twilight were used. It was removed from there because of the sexual content and then the characters were changed. I'm sure word started to spread from Twilight fans and went on from there. Anything linked to Twilight is going to be talked about.
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          • Profile picture of the author Martin Luxton
            MP80,

            Part of the reason might be here in your original post

            Of the 8300+ reviews on Amazon, 3500 people love it, and 2600 hate it.
            If enough people love and hate something, the debate goes on forever.

            Look at the Rebecca Black song, "Friday"


            And the Wikipedia article about the controversy surrounding it.

            Friday (Rebecca Black song) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

            ---------------------------------

            Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

            I'll have a look,[at George R R Martin] thanks for the tip ...
            Alexa, the Game of Thrones series phenomenon is also worth looking at, although not from the perspective of finding a rinse and repeat formula for Kindle. Martin takes years to write a book and his mastery of plot is incredible. He also does something I've seldom seen elsewhere - he kills off major characters on a regular basis. Imagine Christian being killed off in the first book of the 50SOG trilogy


            Martin
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      • Profile picture of the author Lance K
        Originally Posted by dreamtoreality View Post

        It saddens me that there are well-written books out there that will never become successful, while this trash is breaking records.
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        Quite a few things I read from the bestseller lists leave me feeling that, to be honest.
        There's a reason they call them bestsellers.
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    • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
      Originally Posted by dreamtoreality View Post

      I fall into the category of those that hate it. Admittedly, I haven't read the whole book. I started reading it and was appalled by the quality of writing. For example, only a few pages in she writes, "If this guy is over than thirty then I'm a monkey's uncle." It just seems incredibly out of place and cliched. Not to mention that the book is full of grammatical and punctuation errors. The wording is ridiculously repetitive, and the author has no interest in developing the characters. I could go on, but I won't.

      The success is all about hype and the target market. The book primarily appeals to women with children who just want to read a bit of trash to pass the time; they aren't looking to read a classic novel. The book is also controversial, which undoubtedly adds to its hype.

      It saddens me that there are well-written books out there that will never become successful, while this trash is breaking records.
      This. This whole post. For as many of "I love it" opinions that are out there, there are nearly as many of these. It just adds more fuel to the fire.

      At this point, controversy is creating cash, and those that despise the work are actually doing more for the author than they realize.

      The last time I saw an entertainment property receive this kind of mainstream support/distaste was the "Passion of the Christ" movie... and that film made Gibson millions off the FREE publicity alone!
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  • From my understanding this series also increased sales in the sex toy industry by 72% since it's debut.

    The series caters to women fantasies is a different way. And their marketing it as "mommy porn" was a brilliant way to dominate sales.

    ETA: It is sad that these books can be milled out by the millions and overshadow other books. I have read all three (which I had received for free and I had to see what the hype was about), they are terribly written and really could have been condensed into one book.
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  • Profile picture of the author alfid
    Whatever the writer did to attract attention must have worked for them at least for now. The main trick about making money on books is to not have to spend too much money on a publisher as it eats up the profits. I feel encouraged by this little bit of success.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

    Stories like this really inspire me..

    You probably have heard a lot about the book 'Fifty Shades of Grey' lately. Since March 2012 total sales (including movie rights) have hit approx $10 million USD, and counting.

    It was first published online, as fan-fiction, a little over a year ago, before becoming an ebook and print-on-demand physical book. The Author was not well-known, and only started writing fiction in 2009.

    In March of this year it was picked up by a publisher, and sales exploded. This week a movie deal was reportedly signed, and there are also plans to develop a brand, with merchandise (lingerie, perfume, etc.) In four short months, 50 Shades of Grey has sold over 31 million copies (7 million or so on Kindle?), two-thirds of which were in the US alone.. and sales are set to continue growing exponentially!

    Of the 8300+ reviews on Amazon, 3500 people love it, and 2600 hate it. The only part of the book that I have read is the free excerpt, which seems ok to me, but still doesn't explain why the book is such a hit.

    At first glance, it appears to be nothing special.. There are reports that 'a seventh grader could have written it', and complaints about the repetitive wording, and lack of editing. It is in the 'romance' niche (or Literotica), which is nothing new, and there are no doubt many other excellent (and perhaps more deserving) books in this category.

    So, just wondering...

    Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?

    If so, what do you think is the secret of it's massive success?
    Funny, this book just came on my radar yesterday. The stuff I put in bold italics above doesn't surprise me. Part of success in anything is to take the pulse of the people and give them what they want.

    There are lots of novels these days that would never have made it 20 years ago because they are way underdeveloped. These days it's all about very thin characters, settings and plot development. What do they have? Usually a fast, exciting story line or steamy romance. Keep those pages turning without making the reader think too much. That's how it goes.

    I thought Harry Potter was pretty well written but didn't understand why it took off the way it did.

    I think there's a big lesson here, one important to all marketing. That is, don't base your approach only on what you like. Look around to see what's selling and then give the herd what they want. Sometimes that's hard to do, though I do believe you can do it without compromising too much. It just takes a bit more work.
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  • Profile picture of the author RobShambaugh
    My wife loves it and couldn't put it down once she started reading. All of her lady friends feel the same way about it. I haven't asked her much about it, but from my perspective, it sounds like a 2012 version of a romance novel with an erotic twist.
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  • Profile picture of the author Rose Anderson
    I read the Kindle sample. The writing wasn't great but I can see how readers get pulled into the storyline. Personally, I didn't get pulled in enough to buy the complete book. My niece says it falls under the category of "mommy porn". A category I didn't even know existed..lol.

    The biggest marketing lesson seems to be (as always) find out what your target audience wants and give it to them.

    Rose
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Hlatky
    I had heard about the book through Facebook and other various sources, but I am not too sure what the book is about. There is a lot of sex, I guess?

    It just seems to be a case of word-of-mouth, or going viral.

    Looks like there are also two more books in the trilogy. They occupy spots number 2 and 3 in the top 100 Kindle books.

    Amazon Best Sellers: best Kindle Store

    The author must be making bank from this
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    • Profile picture of the author MP80
      Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

      ..I think it starts out with the erotica and we like it because it is kind of shocking, but then you start to really enjoy Christian. It is kind of sad, but a lot of women are obsessed with him and he doesn't even exist! lol
      LOL, that made me laugh, and I hadn't even considered that as a reason, but I think you may be onto something here!

      What is it about his character that women like so much, ie. Is it that he takes charge, and/or instinctively knows what women want, or...? Just wondering in case I ever decide to go down this path. :p
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      • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
        Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

        LOL, that made me laugh, and I hadn't even considered that as a reason, but I think you may be onto something here!

        What is it about that character that women like so much ie. He takes charge, instinctively knows what women want, etc? Just wondering in case I ever decide to go down this path.. :p

        I hate to break it to the guys out there, but I think women are drawn to the fantasy of this. If you think about how most men and women are turned on, men are turned on with their eyes and women with their brains. The thought of all of this is so exciting but I think if most guys treated a woman like this, she would be pissed off! Now in the bedroom, the controlling part would be amazing but I just don't think a guy could pull it off like Christian. I don't think a true Christian Grey exists and even if he did, the fantasy is always better than the reality.
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        A man asked Buddha "I want happiness" Buddha said " First remove "I" that's ego, then remove "want" that's desire. See now you are left with only happiness "
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  • Profile picture of the author MP80
    Found this at USAToday.com:

    10 reasons 'Fifty Shades of Grey' has shackled readers

    Some of the most compelling (I think) reasons include:

    -The fact that, despite appearances, it's the classic boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl-back plot that has fueled an infinity of romance novels.

    -It has successfully tapped into the Twilight fanbase, through its beginnings as fan-fiction.

    -Women are head-over-heels for the imaginary 'Christian Grey' character.

    -The book's core message is about the redemptive power of love.

    -Kindle e-readers are today's equivalent of the 'brown paper bag'. It's worth mentioning that, in the USA, approximately 50% of sales for this book are via Kindle, and in Australia it's 25% (Not exactly sure what that says about Aussies vs Americans though. )

    Also, for anyone looking for a laugh, check out the parody '50 Sheds of Grey' on Twitter. ROLF!

    (btw, It's gained 46,000 Twitter followers in just 3 weeks! )

    'You're obsessed!' she cried, storming out, 'You love this shed more than me!'
    Obsessed? Ridiculous. Shed be back. I mean, she'd be back..

    'Hurt me,' she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over my workbench.
    'Very well,' I replied, 'You've got fat ankles and no dress sense.'

    'This is a contract between you and me,' she said coolly. I signed shakily. This was it.
    In twelve easy monthly payments the shed was mine..

    I lay back exhausted, gazing happily out of the shed window.
    Despite my concerns about my inexperience, my rhubarb had come up a treat..
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    • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
      Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

      Found this at USAToday.com:

      Also, for anyone looking for a laugh, check out the parody '50 Sheds of Grey' on Twitter. ROLF!

      (btw, It's gained 46,000 Twitter followers in just 3 weeks! )

      That twitter parady is so funny - love it! There are actually people on twitter playing out the whole book. There are all the characters and they go through the lines. I got bored of it and just decided to read the books again! The best thing about it, is that I have the books on my phone so Christian can be with me everywhere I go! haha
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      "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

      A man asked Buddha "I want happiness" Buddha said " First remove "I" that's ego, then remove "want" that's desire. See now you are left with only happiness "
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
    It's a soap opera. These kind of stories do wonders no matter the medium. If you could come up with a way to teach internet marketing through a soap opera, I'm sure users here would eat that **** up too.

    As human's we like drama. We enjoy knowing that the things we like, others don't. It's kind of similar to the concept of liking something before it's "cool." A lot of indie/underground music goes through that same process.

    In terms of this property, it went viral baby. The author, publishers, producers, etc are making, or about to make, a ****-ton of money. That is the magic, the carrot many of us are after. Developing something that takes us to that next level. The person who wrote this did just that.
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    • Profile picture of the author goindeep
      Good on her I reckon!

      From what I read this was her first novel.

      If I was her husband i'd be scared she would tie me up and stick a hog tie in my mouth.
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      • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
        Banned
        Well my other half borrowed 50 Shades of Grey from her friend, and I think it's great. It's just the right size to prop up our wobbly table leg.
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      • Profile picture of the author nemock
        Originally Posted by Andrei Rotariu View Post

        Good on her I reckon!
        Darn right. She's had the success most people in this group aspire to. I'm not sure why there isn't more discussion about how to model that success and less focus on "bringing her down a notch."

        Dave
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankMiller
    I've heard that some women are embarrassed to purchase it in stores, which is leading to the high amount of digital sales. Pretty interesting phenomenon if you ask me.
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    • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
      Originally Posted by FrankMiller View Post

      I've heard that some women are embarrassed to purchase it in stores, which is leading to the high amount of digital sales. Pretty interesting phenomenon if you ask me.
      oh yes, I would never have bought it in a store! I read a part to my husband but I still don't let him know I'm reading it. Not sure why I feel strange about it but I don't think he would like to know how much I really do enjoy the book. He was annoyed when I was reading the Twilight books, so this is on another level! My little secret
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      "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

      A man asked Buddha "I want happiness" Buddha said " First remove "I" that's ego, then remove "want" that's desire. See now you are left with only happiness "
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    • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
      Banned
      These three books have been in positions 1, 2 and 3 of the (UK) bookstore bestsellers list for many weeks (maybe months?) too. This isn't just a Kindle phenomenon.
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      • Profile picture of the author MP80
        Originally Posted by Alexa Smith View Post

        These three books have been in positions 1, 2 and 3 of the (UK) bookstore bestsellers list for many weeks (maybe months?) too. This isn't just a Kindle phenomenon.
        Yes, good point, Alexa, and I hear it is a similar situation down here in Oz.. With bookstores barely able to keep up with the demand!

        What inspires me though, apart from the Author reportedly having no previous writing experience, is the fact that it all began as a story on a website. From there it became an ebook, then print-on-demand book, before finally being picked up by a traditional publisher.

        It makes you think (well, makes me think, anyway ) that there is nothing to stop anyone with a half-decent writing ability, and some online marketing know-how, from replicating her business model, and success. It would seem that a major piece of the puzzle is knowing, and targeting, the right market.. Something of which is essential to internet marketing anyway.

        Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

        See, that is what I don't get about guys - what is this great concern about it? It's only a book :confused:
        ..Says the lady who is hiding it from her husband. (jk :rolleyes::p)

        *By the way, if anyone is looking into writing Kindle Fiction/Literotica, there seems to be a few good WSOs on the subject. These two look ok (no affiliation, and I haven't purchased them either, so you will need to check them out for yourself):

        http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...girls-too.html

        http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...st-kindle.html

        (Oops! That second one is currently 'closed'.. Maybe it will open up again soon.)

        Also found a couple of threads that might be useful:

        http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...e-fiction.html

        http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...indle-how.html
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        • I saw it at Costco the other day, which means I'll be picking up a used copy for 50 cents at a garage sale some time soon.

          Naive me, I didn't realize Amazon allowed explicit books for Kindle. I've been toning down my novel, which for some reason keeps straying into lasciviousness.

          fLufF
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          • Profile picture of the author MP80
            Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

            Naive me, I didn't realize Amazon allowed explicit books for Kindle. I've been toning down my novel, which for some reason keeps straying into lasciviousness.

            fLufF
            --
            Sounds like you need to release your 'inner goddess' (to use a term from the book ) and go for it, Fluffy.

            I wasn't aware that it was possible either.. Nor had I even considered writing fiction, until now.
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            • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
              Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

              Sounds like you need to release your 'inner goddess' (to use a term from the book ) and go for it, Fluffy.
              WOW somebody has been doing their research! I would find it funny if you did some testing of the Christian Grey method. Next time you are on a date with a girl, drop some of his lines and see if any of it works. You could then write an ebook and even title it "The Christian Grey Method!" I bet you so many guys would buy it! Then you could do actual videos of the method in action. You could become the coach to these guys that want to have this control over their women and be wanted like Christian Grey. Damn I wish I was a guy - I would do it!
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              "The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it."

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              • Profile picture of the author MP80
                Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

                WOW somebody has been doing their research! I would find it funny if you did some testing of the Christian Grey method. Next time you are on a date with a girl, drop some of his lines and see if any of it works. You could then write an ebook and even title it "The Christian Grey Method!" I bet you so many guys would buy it! Then you could do actual videos of the method in action. You could become the coach to these guys that want to have this control over their women and be wanted like Christian Grey. Damn I wish I was a guy - I would do it!
                Haha, I will have to read the whole book first, I think, because I haven't found or seen many of his lines yet. From what I gather though, isn't he controlling and stalker-ish :confused: cause, if so, that's not really (at all) my style!

                In fact, that is partly what is so confusing about the whole thing.. Most women in their right mind wouldn't be into that (I hope?)

                btw, I bet 'The Christian Grey Method', and many other similar books, are already written and on the way!
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                • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
                  [QUOTE=MP80;6604435]Haha, I will have to read the whole book first, I think, because I haven't found or seen many of his lines yet. From what I gather though, isn't he controlling and stalker-ish :confused: cause, if so, that's not really (at all) my style!

                  In fact, that is partly what is so confusing about the whole thing.. Most women in their right mind wouldn't be into that (I hope?)

                  QUOTE]

                  Yea, you are probably right. It is more about the fantasy again - besides, how many guys are rich, gorgeous, want to control you but love you intensely at the same time? Fantasy! I had other thoughts too but will keep them to myself, (not that type of forum ) or better yet, I will discuss this on my blog.

                  On a seperate, completely off this topic note, how many times do people hit that damn War Room ad below by mistake? Or maybe I'm the only one!
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            • Profile picture of the author Martin Avis
              Amazon's stance on erotica is somewhat muddled.

              Their own content guidelines say this:
              Your books and other content (such as book titles, cover art and product descriptions) must adhere to these content guidelines. We reserve the right to make judgments about whether content is appropriate and to choose not to offer it. We may also terminate your participation in the KDP program if you don't adhere to these content guidelines.

              Pornography
              We don't accept pornography or offensive depictions of graphic sexual acts.

              Offensive Content
              What we deem offensive is probably about what you would expect.
              Not exactly 'explicit' - especially as a lot of what is selling very well on the Kindle platform at the moment could be argued to infringe the 'Offensive Content' guideline with very little stretch of the imagination.

              I understand that Amazon did have a clearout recently and removed a lot of books that covered some of the more extreme subjects, including, quite rightly, violence against women. However, where the line is currently drawn seems to be a movable feast. After all, many women (and indeed men) may consider some of the rather more graphic male erotica to be pornography by Amazon's definition.

              Not having read Shades of Grey I have no idea if it crosses any lines, or even comes close, but I'm sure that there are others in the marketplace that do.

              However, what can't be forgotten is that Male Erotica, and even more so, Female Erotica are among the best selling categories on the Kindle platform and are becoming ever more popular as physical books too, so I doubt that Amazon are in any particular hurry to ban any books that don't refer to outright illegal or violent sexual acts.
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  • Profile picture of the author OnlineDJ
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    • Profile picture of the author Mary Laine
      I am into the second book, and, yes, it is....compelling. It is not badly written, the dialog is good, and the email exchanges are fun to read. The best seller situation reminds me in a way of Jacqueline Suzanne's book, The Valley of The Dolls. Now, I know I am dating myself, but I remember when VOTD came out and I think peoples reactions were a lot like they are for 50.
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      • Profile picture of the author Dean Shainin
        LOL I just saw this post as my girl friend is actually reading online right now a news clip on '50 Shades of Grey' and says she want's to read it. I now have great concern...

        It's become viral for sure... It has sold $19.5 million worth at this point! And she also said they say they are going to make a movie.

        Cheers,
        Dean
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        • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
          Originally Posted by Dean Shainin View Post

          LOL I just saw this post as my girl friend is actually reading online right now a news clip on '50 Shades of Grey' and says she want's to read it. I now have great concern...
          See, that is what I don't get about guys - what is this great concern about it? It's only a book :confused:
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  • Profile picture of the author twentytwo
    Haahaha, I think its funny that everyone is bashing it. Times are changing, people dont care about grammar or mispled wrods.

    All people care about, is right to the point and keeping them excited for more. I even asked my mom if she has heard of '50 Shade of Grey', she said oh yeah I read all of them. She pretty much summed it up to me, what the books are about. Well if you dont know this by now.... SEX sells!!

    I myself will probably never read the book. I admire the guy making tons of cash from it!
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    • Profile picture of the author MP80
      Originally Posted by twentytwo View Post

      ..I admire the guy making tons of cash from it!
      It's actually a lady; Erika Leonard aka 'E.L.James', which I thought was a guy at first too (for some reason.)
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      • Profile picture of the author twentytwo
        Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

        It's actually a lady; Erika Leonard aka 'E.L.James', which I thought was a guy at first too (for some reason.)
        Haha! Well that makes even more sense. Women know what Women like .
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    • Originally Posted by twentytwo View Post

      Haahaha, I think its funny that everyone is bashing it. Times are changing, people dont care about grammar or mispled wrods.
      You couldn't be more mistaken.

      First, I don't think anyone's bashing it. I won't rush to be one of the thousands of inevitable imitators but that's not bashing.

      Second, apparently you never heard that a little book all about punctuation was a #1 best seller in the U.K. and sold quite a few copies on this side of the big muddy as well: "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" by the brilliant Lynne Truss.

      But what can you expect from someone who can't be bothered to learn how to use an apostrophe properly.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author fin
        How can you really judge "quality" anymore. Surely the quality of a book is an individual choice.

        It's a bit like people complaining that "rubbish" songs from certain bands have sold more songs than others. Obviously they aren't rubbish to everyone.

        I'm really happy for her, plus it really does prove that anyone can be a success these days without having much money.
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      • Profile picture of the author nemock
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        You couldn't be more mistaken.

        First, I don't think anyone's bashing it.
        --
        Are you reading from this thread? I think the "everyone" to which he refers consists of a large number of the posts to this topic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cyberdog1
    If Fifty Shades of Grey was made into a film:

    It would star James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal - they'd call it Secretary and it'd be released 10 years ago

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    • Profile picture of the author madelyndon
      Originally Posted by Cyberdog1 View Post

      If Fifty Shades of Grey was made into a film:

      It would star James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal - they'd call it Secretary and it'd be released 10 years ago


      Secretary - loved that movie! lol Yes, it does make me think of that movie but times 10. I mean there is a red room of pain in this book, so it is a bit more than a few spanks. Not sure how they will get away with it in the movie. All I know is, they better pick the right Christian, or there will be a lot of pissed off women!
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      • Profile picture of the author quamz0
        Originally Posted by madelyndon View Post

        Secretary - loved that movie! lol Yes, it does make me think of that movie but times 10. I mean there is a red room of pain in this book, so it is a bit more than a few spanks. Not sure how they will get away with it in the movie. All I know is, they better pick the right Christian, or there will be a lot of pissed off women!
        The secretary was a great movie. I wish I could write lol!
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    • Profile picture of the author ALicenseToCode
      Originally Posted by Cyberdog1 View Post

      If Fifty Shades of Grey was made into a film:

      It would star James Spader and Maggie Gyllenhaal - they'd call it Secretary and it'd be released 10 years ago

      I scrolling quickly through the thread so I could post this, or possibly 20 years ago for 9 1/2 weeks.

      It seems that a slick well marketed look into sexual deviation that gets on the news always hits it big!
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  • Profile picture of the author Baadier Sydow
    i've seen people walking around with hard copies in south africa. Woman sitting in coffee shops etc and no doubt many more that are probably reading it on Kindle. Its mass acceptance. Once an object, book, film, idea reaches critical mass then people will follow it purely for acceptance sake. I've seen the same thing with many movies.
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  • Profile picture of the author DubDubDubDot
    Originally Posted by MP80 View Post

    what do you think is the secret of it's massive success?
    There is no secret. She produced something that people loved and the rest took care of itself.

    Perhaps there is something to be learned by that concept for the people here who produce crap and then wonder why they have to spend all day doing comment spam, forum posting, keyword research and paying some idiot SEO $97 to supposedly increase their rank in Google.

    Focus your energy entirely on your end product. Good things simply have a way of spreading online. If your creation is stagnant, then maybe it isn't as good as you think it is. Improve it or move on to the next thing.

    Originally Posted by cashp0wer View Post

    My granddaughter can write better than this.
    This statement reminds me of the saying that if the Beatles' music sucks because it's so easy to play, then let's see you write songs as big as they did.
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    • Profile picture of the author MP80
      Originally Posted by DubDubDubDot View Post

      ..Focus your energy entirely on your end product. Good things simply have a way of spreading online. If your creation is stagnant, then maybe it isn't as good as you think it is. Improve it or move on to the next thing.
      Yes, I agree, and there is a lot to be said for this.. Although it can seem like the book(/s) just popped up overnight, it has been available in one form or another for more than a year, whilst steadily evolving and gaining momentum. Not to mention the time, effort, trial-and-error, and inevitable frustrations, that must have gone into actually creating it in the first place.

      The Author was willing to persist through all of that, in order to bring about her 'overnight' success. There were never any guarantees that '50 Shades of Grey' would succeed; just her own belief in what she was doing, or her passion, or she was just having fun!

      (Or, more likely.. All of the above!)

      IMO, that is a key difference between the mind of an artist/writer/entrepreneur, and someone with an 'employee' mentality. Those who suceed (in the long-term) focus on the bigger picture, and are willing to work for as long as it takes, usually without immediate reward, to bring about their 'vision' for their business.
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  • Profile picture of the author WillR
    The fact is it was a success. You write a book to have it read by as many people as possible and they have succeeded at that.

    Those people who are saying there are other books that deserve more recognition, it's the same in all aspects of life.

    Do you really think the World #1 ranked tennis player is THE best tennis player in the world at that time? No. There are probably guys who could smash him in a game that will never even pick up a racket in their life. He just happens to be the best tennis player out of the very small selection of tennis players that compete in the World ranked championships at that time.

    Do you think Jimi Hendrix was the best guitar player of all time? Most people think so but I would have it a guess you could find a bunch of guys today who could shred Jimmy right under the table... we have just never heard of them.

    As for the grammatical errors and such, you are forgetting the average person. Most newspapers now write to suit 4th grade English or something ridiculous. In this social media driven world we now live in people's basic skills such as grammar and punctuation are going down hill, fast.

    I used to always get comments on how great my handwriting was. Many said it looked like girls handwriting. lol. Anyway, the other day I went to write a simple thank you card to someone and I struggled. My handwriting looked absolutely terrible. The reason? I have had no need to pick up a pen and write anything down for years.

    It's sad but it's the way the world is going.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeff Williams
    Have you read 50 Shades of Grey?

    If so, what do you think is the secret of it's massive success?
    Lot's of interesting ideas in this thread about 50 Shades surprising success. I'll add something CNN added here:

    Explaining 'Fifty Shades' wild success - CNN.com

    The gist ...

    1. Sex sells

    2. Women love a good series

    3. Many formats offered

    4. Subtle cover

    The cover to me is the obvious departure from the status quo. If you think about it, most erotica books have very sensual book covers. 50 Shades doesn't. I'd be willing to bet the understated book cover was originally responsible for women who do not normally purchase erotica buying.

    Just speculation of course. But worth testing different covers that can cross genres and attract larger audiences.

    ~Jeff
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  • Profile picture of the author Brad Stephens
    I have heard more bad reviews about it than good reviews... However its selling, so it must have some value in it.
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  • Profile picture of the author tcindustries
    Am I right in saying it was inspired by Twilight? Another 'cultural phenomena' *groan* I guess the plus side is it has people reading again.
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  • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
    I picked it up for research purposes and thought it pretty dull. I have not been able to get thru it and never made it to the "red room", I am not a fiction reader so that could be part of the problem. Also it's hard to get interested in silly female characters who allow men to boss them around
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  • Profile picture of the author grover69
    I think it's success is an amazing story. And it should be inspiring to those that want to write for a living. And on some of my game forums the guys are saying the book has made their significant others want sex more often, so who can complain about that? My problem is I read it and found the writing wasn't that great. But that just means you can be successful too!
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  • Profile picture of the author amacog
    My wife loves it, and so do her friends. I haven't read it myself.
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  • Profile picture of the author socialblast
    Every girl I know has read this. Including my girlfriend who has never read a book in her life lol

    The author got lucky I suppose. Don't think there's many secrets to it.
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    • Originally Posted by socialblast View Post

      Every girl I know has read this. Including my girlfriend who has never read a book in her life lol

      The author got lucky I suppose. Don't think there's many secrets to it.
      I wonder what got the craze started? It would be interesting to find out.
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      • Profile picture of the author Fernando1954
        Originally Posted by Angela V. Edwards View Post

        I wonder what got the craze started? It would be interesting to find out.
        I would say the Sun UK newspaper, if they take up on something it's amazing how it goes viral, they did with this book. Then word of mouth took over, best free advertising you can get.

        Over the years they have made products go global and turned unknowns into celebs, i use the word celeb loosely in some cases.
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        • Profile picture of the author R Hagel
          This book proves that women like/love to be controlled, dominated, told what to do, be subservient, feel unequal, feel less than worthy, be humiliated, embrace low self-esteem.
          Yes, and the popularity of horror films proves that everyone wants to chase other people around, slit their throats, and then hack them up into tiny pieces.


          :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author vivi62
    Every women on my FB page is reading it,apparently the story further unfolds in book 2 and 3 which covers the psychological reasons for the character being as they are and some just say its utter filfth but I know theres a good deal of red paint and rope in it.
    Regards
    vivi62
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  • Profile picture of the author Jordan Kovats
    My neighbour can't shut up about it. Insists that my wife HAS to read it once she is done with it. And apparently, my life is going to change for the better because of it. If that's the case, I am all for 50 Shades of Grey. 50 Sheds of Grey looks pretty good too...lol
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    • Profile picture of the author MP80
      Originally Posted by theseoguys View Post

      My neighbour can't shut up about it. Insists that my wife HAS to read it once she is done with it. And apparently, my life is going to change for the better because of it. If that's the case, I am all for 50 Shades of Grey. 50 Sheds of Grey looks pretty good too...lol
      Haha, sounds like you better catch up on your sleep now, while you still can!

      Yeah, that '50 Sheds of Grey' is keeping me amused anyway , and it's now over 50,000 followers. His pics are worth checking out too.. here's one of my favourites so far; Shed In Fishnets. LOL, very clever!

      Originally Posted by Jeff Williams View Post

      Lot's of interesting ideas in this thread about 50 Shades surprising success. I'll add something CNN added here:

      Explaining 'Fifty Shades' wild success - CNN.com

      The gist ...

      1. Sex sells

      2. Women love a good series

      3. Many formats offered

      4. Subtle cover

      The cover to me is the obvious departure from the status quo. If you think about it, most erotica books have very sensual book covers. 50 Shades doesn't. I'd be willing to bet the understated book cover was originally responsible for women who do not normally purchase erotica buying.

      Just speculation of course. But worth testing different covers that can cross genres and attract larger audiences.

      ~Jeff
      Thanks Jeff, for the link; great article, and excellent point about the importance of an elegant and discreet cover! It was another thing that I had totally overlooked, and I was especially interested to read that Harlequin and other publishers are already onto it, ie. reissuing older erotic titles with new 'toned-down' covers.

      Many new readers have discovered erotic romance and want to read more, but the more explicit covers don't appeal to them.. The marketing triumph of 'Fifty Shades of Grey' has led other erotica novels to be reissued with new, simpler covers.
      It was also interesting to hear that Romance readers, in particular, are known for their 'voracious literary appetites', and were among the first adopters of e-books.

      There were plenty of excellent comments too, plus a few that I found thought-provoking:

      -Women will deny it, but they're more interested in the gold digging aspect of this book than the erotic scenes.

      -I think women might have found that by being submissive, they can more effectively tap into male protectiveness and thereby hold onto men better; and this is an especially useful tool to have in your toolbox when so many males are as unreliable as they are today.

      -This book proves that women like/love to be controlled, dominated, told what to do, be subservient, feel unequal, feel less than worthy, be humiliated, embrace low self-esteem. The forward of the book was written by Gloria Steinem. You Go Girl
      Which raises a few questions in my mind, regarding how effectively FSOG has tapped into the female psyche. For those in the know, or who have an opinion, how important do you think the following elements are to the book's appeal:

      1. Ana is a virgin, and this is her first love/lust/awakening?

      2. Christian Grey is a billionaire/made of money?

      3. Being able to take a 'broken' man, 'fix' him, and then have him loyally devoted to you? (forever?)

      4. Having a man take charge, make decisions for you, and look after you in every way? ('Own' you?)
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  • Profile picture of the author JoySmith
    I recommend the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer if you haven't already read them, The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and His Every Desire series by Emma Rose. All of so good in their own way.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zend
    Here is the big line : erotic novel, woman, social media = porn, man, porn site.
    Combine that three, you will get an explosion, maybe small explosion or maybe BOOM!
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  • Profile picture of the author Karen Connell
    I have read the first two books and my first thought was that they are written to the old 'Mills and Boon' format with a bit (...sorry, a lot) of S&M and kinky stuff thrown in.

    After the first sex scene, I skimmed the subsequent ones - same old, same old and not completely necessary for the story.

    My thoughts on the success of these books - absolutely first class MARKETING.
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  • Profile picture of the author entrepreneurjay
    The newest book to hit the shelves is knocking fifty shades of grey right out of the water.

    It is called No Easy Day it sold 253000 copies in its first week on sale.

    Navy seals perspective from seal team six on the bin laden raid.
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  • Profile picture of the author Adie
    I stopped reading after the second chapter and deleted it from my kindle PC... The story is nothing outside graphical sex.. No interesting plot at all....
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    • Profile picture of the author iSoftware
      Originally Posted by Adie View Post

      I stopped reading after the second chapter and deleted it from my kindle PC... The story is nothing outside graphical sex.. No interesting plot at all....
      Selling to the emotional mind will ALWAYS work. It's no surprise that while you were turned off (I probably would be too), other's bought like crazy!

      I guess that's why the old copywriting say goes "Facts Tell; (Juicy) Stories Sell..."
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  • Having read the trilogy, I have to say that it is more like one big book than three separate books. It is one story line about the strange and kinky courting of a young couple.

    I would have to say the least interesting part about it is how young they are. Who wants to imagine 20 year olds having sex? For this reason, I mainly skimmed through the sex scenes to the other parts which, for me, were more interesting. The growing intimacy between them expressed primarily in text messages and emails reminded me of the love letters of older less kinky works I also imagined them older than they were which made me feel a little better about the situation.

    That being said, I have to agree that, for what the trilogy is, it filled an obvious hole in the marketplace for women that want to experience another world without the dangers of entering it themselves. 50 shades does that part very well, which is what entertainment is all about.

    While the strange trilogy might get a C+ for execution, it gets a gold star for first rate marketing.

    EDIT: Whomever they choose to play Christian in the movie is irrelevant. It is impossible for this movie to be anything other than an NC-17 disaster, trimmed down into an R rating. There just isn't enough meat to the story to support a film and there literally isn't a full story in just one of the books. I tip my hat that they want to try, and I'll see it for giggles, myself, but I'm certain it will be positively awful. Especially since the book is always better than the movie and these books just... well, weren't that great.
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