Well slap me on the ass and call me sadomasochistic because it's official -- Fifty Shades of Grey is the best-selling British book in history. Outselling all the Harry Potter books, the author E.L. James and her lucky-as-shit publishing house have sold over 12 million copies of the Fifty Shades trilogy in the U.K.; about 5.3 million of those were the record-breaking first book, Fifty Shades of Grey. The e-downloads helped boost the book's runaway success, and just as an FYI, as a reason to hate yourself for not writing some terrible mommy porn yourself, Ms. James gets 25 percent of the profits from each e-book sold, and 7 percent of hard-copies sold ... which means she's earned roughly $50 million in the last six months if you figure in the entirety of book sales on a global scale, which numbers close to 40 million sold. Holy whips and chains, Batman, that's a lot of cheddar.
So what are you waiting for? Since the Fifty Shades books are so goddamn popular, there's no excuse not to read them. Nothing's left to be embarrassed about. Everyone's doing it.
But if you're like me and still holding out, here's an excuse you, too, might be able to utilize. Global sales of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter totaled around 450 million units sold -- this Fifty Shades ain't even close to that yet, so it's not like everyone's reading it. Sheesh.
On the flip side, you have to be impressed. Harry Potter catered to every man, woman, and child on the planet. There was no one who couldn't, or shouldn't, read it. Fifty Shades appeals to a much narrower audience. No kids, no teens, mostly women. It's a testament to its power that it's been able to sell as well as it has.
Only time will tell if Fifty Shades becomes the best-selling book of all time in the history of the world, but it'd be pretty difficult. Think Anastasia and Christian can out-sell Adam and Eve? The Bible holds the global top-spot of units sold at over 3.9 billion.
Are you surprised Fifty Shades is doing so well?
Photo via rachelkramerbrussel.com/Flickr