The brand new 50 Shades of Grey title is due out in less than a week and and has skyrocketed to the number one position on Amazon. The book is focuses on Christian Grey and the tale is told from his prospective. But it turns out that one reader couldn’t wait until 18 June to get their hands on it: the Daily Mail reports that a manuscript was found to be missing yesterday, and “it is feared thieves may be planning to release pirated versions of the novel, or sell extracts to media outlets”.
Penguin Random House has confirmed the manuscript has been stolen and that there is an ongoing police investigation to find the culprit. “‘We can confirm that the Kent police are investigating the theft of a finished copy of EL James’s new book Grey. We will not be issuing any further statement.” said the publisher.
Any pirate or torrent website would likely experience millions of downloads within a day if they were to have the exclusive 50 Shades e-book. A major torrent service like the PirateBay would see revenues skyrocket from their advertising and affiliate service, earning them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Grey, is not the first mega bestseller to be stolen or leaked in the weeks leading up to the official publication. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – the last of the seven-part series – were leaked to the internet in 2007 days before the official release date, leading bloggers to write lists of all the characters who died in the epic.
Stephenie Meyer begun writing a book called the Midnight Sun, that retold the Twilight Saga from the prospective of Edward Cullen, instead of Bella. The manuscript was stolen and leaked online in early 2008 and she was crestfallen and decided to cancel the project.
“I have a good idea of how the leak happened as there were very few copies of Midnight Sun that left my possession and each was unique.” Stephanie Meyer said in a blog post. “Due to little changes I made to the manuscript at different times, I can tell when each left my possession and to whom it was given. The manuscript that was illegally distributed on the Internet was given to trusted individuals for a good purpose. I have no comment beyond that as I believe that there was no malicious intent with the initial distribution.”
The new 50 Shades of Grey titled, Grey is still on course for the official June 18th launch. It remains to be seen if sales will be cannibalized due to the title leaking out early.
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.