March 28, 2013, - 3:17 pm
Not only does abusive bondage sex sell, it is sadly the only thing propping up Random House and Barnes and Noble. Last year, there were reports that sales of the “Fifty Shades of Grey” trilogy of stupidity were the only reason that Barnes and Noble was kept afloat, especially with its brick and mortar stores. The books were the only thing that brought in enough customers to keep the stores afloat. And, now, Random House reports that the book is the reason it is profitable, with 70 million copies of the fifth-grade level of writing about a woman. (You can read my review of the trilogy of “books” here.) In fact, Random House gave each of its American employees a $5,000 bonus because the books were so successful. Says everything about America and where the book industry is headed (and why Playboy nearly went outta biz–because its business has been subsumed by the net and mainstream publishers).
E.L. James’s “Fifty Shades” erotic trilogy sold more than 70 million copies in print, audio and e-book editions in English, German and Spanish from March through December, according to Bertelsmann SE & Co., parent of the books’ publisher Random House. The first of the books was published in the U.S. in March.
Those sales made the books Random House’s fastest-selling series ever, Bertelsmann said in its 2012 annual report. Indeed, the trilogy is one of the one of the fastest-selling books series for any publisher ever, hitting the 20-million sales mark in the U.S. after just four months.
For a sense of scale, Random House’s second biggest selling North American title last year—Gillian Flynn’s thriller “Gone Girl,” which has been a national best-seller for 41 weeks—sold more than two million copies in the U.S. and Canada in all formats, between June and December.
The “Fifty Shades” financial effect was so strong that Markus Dohle, Random House’s chief executive, gave every U.S. employee on the payroll for at least a year a $5,000 thank-you bonus in December. In a letter dated March 26 and addressed to Random House employees world-wide, Mr. Dohle noted that the trilogy has continued to sell well in its Random House markets so far this year.
At a time when other publishers are struggling to generate sales growth, Random House’s world-wide revenue rose 23% to €2.1 billion ($2.7 billion).
In one scene in the third of the silly “50 Shades” book, the woman’s husband becomes so angry with her that he gives her red welts all over her body. Charming.
Like I said, bondage sells. Sad. And on the bright side, porn for ugly, bored chicks and unhappy, middle-aged housewives is no longer an under-served market niche.
How long before they start teaching kids to write this crap in junior high? 3-2-1 . . . . Forget about becoming the next Mark Zuckerberg, when you can become the next slovenly E.L. James.
Tags: 50 Shades of Gray, Barnes & Noble, Barnes & Noble Bookseller, Barnes and Noble, Barnes and Noble Bookseller, bondage, bonuses, books, E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey, fifty thousand dollars, Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl, Markjus Dohle, Random House, sex, sex sells