An article from The Guardian that we thought our readers might be interested in reading. We hope you enjoy.
Publishing is Burning Bright
As EL James’s Fifty Shades of Grey becomes the bestselling title in British history, now is a good moment to pause and reflect on the magnificent achievement that is the “book” in all its formats – hardback, paperback and, of course, ebook.
With 5.3m copies sold since April, it may be too much to say that Fifty Shades alone is dragging the book trade out of the recession, but outside Christmas, this July was the strongest month for physical book sales since 2007.
Some have carped about the literary merit of James’s bonkbusters, but commercially these titles could not have arrived at a better moment. The modern book trade has never felt more existentially challenged. Publishers are being sued in the US, and are under investigation in Europe, over alleged collusion in fixed-pricing; self-publishers (now known as indie authors) are outselling many traditionally published writers; while the ebook is threatening to wash away established players across the book ecosystem as Amazon’s relentless march to the top continues.
But Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, the over-sexed protagonists of James’s trilogy, are spanking the bottom of despair. The books are not only helping to put a smile (as well as a blush) on many readers’ faces, but equally so on that of James’s publisher, Random House, and those booksellers selling copies of the printed books at an unheralded pace. The trilogy has grossed close to £50m in revenue.
Read the rest of the article on The Guardian.