X-rated novel ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ becomes fastest selling paperback ever

Eshe Nelson Contributor
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Fictional characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele may never become household names in the same vein as Harry, Ron and Hermione; but this is unlikely to bother “Fifty Shades of Grey” author E.L. James.

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” the first in an erotic trilogy, has surpassed the Harry Potter and Twilight series to become the fastest selling paperback since records began.

In the last week alone, the first installment has sold more than 100,000 paperback copies.

The novel, which was first published in June 2011, was re-released by American publisher Vintage Books in April.

Since then, “Fifty Shades of Grey” has topped the New York Times Bestsellers list and the entire trilogy has held top billing for the past ten weeks.

British author Erika Leonard, who publishes under the pen name E.L. James, originally began posting the tales of university student Anastasia Steele and her relationship with billionaire Christian Grey online as fan fiction based on the Twilight books.

The nature of the novel and its numerous graphic sex scenes meant that the majority of early sales were for the more discreet ebook version.

But as word of what has been dubbed “mummy porn” spread and its popularity grew, physical copies have been flying of the shelves at an unprecedented rate.

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