In case there was any doubt about the blockbuster success of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy by E. L. James, the numbers are in: More than 10 million copies of the books have been sold in the United States in six weeks, the publisher said on Tuesday, putting the books among some of the best-selling series in modern publishing.
“The sales velocity for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is unprecedented, with reader demand still growing,” Anthony Chirico, the president of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, said in a statement. “As we head into the heart of the summer reading season, sales are likely to continue exceeding even our most optimistic forecasts."
The erotic novels were released by Vintage Books, part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, beginning in March in e-book format and in April in trade paperback. They were originally published by a small independent press in Australia and difficult to find in paperback form in the United States, one reason the series began months ago as a mostly underground e-book hit. (The privacy of digital reading is another reason.)
Since then distribution has expanded to nearly 15,000 brick-and-mortar outlets in the United States, from bookstores to bodegas.
Rights to the books, which include “Fifty Shades Darker” and “Fifty Shades Freed” have been sold in 37 countries, and the movie rights were purchased in March.
Publishers Weekly reported that sales even jumped in the week before Mother’s Day.
This article, “10 Million Shades of Green: Erotic Trilogy Dominates Book Sales,” first appeared in The New York Times