The 50 Shades of Grey series is undoubtedly the most successful book franchise of 2012. The hot series continues to top Kobo’s bestseller lists worldwide, and just this week, the book series has sold an incredible 20 million copies in the US, according to AFP.
Nielsen’s BookScan numbers show that in the spring, the 50 Shades of Grey series accounted for 20% of adult fiction sold in print form. In the U.S., sales have been split nearly evenly between physical and digital versions, with 9.8 million paperbacks sold through July 2, compared with 9.6 million e-books during the same period. The author is said to have made around $50 million from the book sales, while the publisher raked in over $148 million.
The book series, which started its life as Twilight fan-fiction, has been auctioned off for a series of movies. The main premise focuses on a Seattle billionaire falling for a young virgin and then introduces her to bondage and sado-masochism.
Not only is 50 Shades of Grey doing tremendously well, but it is creating a halo effect on the entire ebook industry. Erotica and romance books are undergoing a resurgence and many other books are seeing an increased number of sales. After reading this series, many people are looking for that next big read, and turning to other self-published authors. In Canada alone, the upswing of sexy book sales has increased nearly 50%!
Romance and erotica continue to be the definitive genres of 2012 and many established companies are starting self-publishing avenues for authors to create the next top-seller. Harlequin launched Carina Press recently and is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with in the ebook industry. Since e-readers are gaining more widespread popularity, readers are able to read whatever they want without advertising it to everyone peeking over their shoulder.
If you are a fan of Infographs, Kobo released an excellent one that you can find HERE.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.