Digital Distribution Propels Sales of Erotic Book From Tiny Press

A tiny Australian independent press published a book that unexpectedly took off, an erotic novel called Fifty Shades of Grey. Fans, hearing about the the work through word of mouth, are having trouble finding it in print and have turned to digital and made this obscure book a digital best-seller overnight. From The New York Times (Discreetly Digital, Erotic Novel Sets American Women Abuzz):

“Fifty Shades of Grey,” an erotic novel by an obscure author that has been described as “Mommy porn” and “Twilight” for grown-ups, has electrified women across the country, who have spread the word like gospel on Facebook pages, at school functions and in spin classes. Or as the handwritten tag on a paperback copy in a Montclair, N.J., bookstore helpfully noted, “Yes, this is THE book everyone is talking about.”


The problem has been finding it. The first book of a trilogy, it was published by a tiny independent press in Australia, and distribution in print has been limited and sluggish, leaving bookstores deprived of copies. The lion’s share of total sales (more than 250,000 copies for all three books) has come from ever-discreet e-book downloads, which have propelled “Fifty Shades of Grey” to No. 1 on the New York Times e-book fiction best-seller list for sales in the week ending March 3 and No. 3 position on Amazon’s best-seller list.

Read more at The New York Times.

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