Fifty Shades of Grey, E.L. James’ controversial erotic trilogy, is setting the world on fire.
In addition to the buzz generated by its upcoming film adaptation, the book is being credited with contributing to save the embattled publishing industry -- by increasing the sales of book through retailers such as Barnes & Noble.
According to CBS News, Barnes & Noble's fiscal first quarter was helped by sales of both e-books and "traditional” books. Among the most popular titles, Fifty Shades of Grey attracted flocks of readers to the store. This, coupled with cost-control efforts and lower expenses, helped the emblematic New York company reduce its loses and increase its revenue.
The Fifty Shades of Grey fever, has been a blessing for Barnes & Noble which had stumbled in recent years amid ruthless competition from online retailers such as Amazon and a migration from traditional books into electronic ones -- as readers become owners and users of Kindles, iPads and other tablets (Barnes & Noble has its own device, Nook, which has also helped the company’s recovery).
For the period ended July 28, Barnes & Noble lost $41 million, or 78 cents per share. That was less than the $56.6 million, or 99 cents per share, that it lost a year earlier. Revenue climbed 2% to $1.45 billion from $1.42 billion -- while revenue from bookstores increased 4.6 percent.
The phenomenal book and upcoming movie have also been credited with saving the economy of a Maine timber town. The book also has increase the sale of "50 Shades-style" clothing, music and memorabilia.
However, not everyone is thrilled. A British anti domestic violence organization, "Women in Need," has called for the public burning of E.L. James' book next November 5 -- as they believe it promotes and glamorizes domestic violence and sexual objectification. The publishers, however, have defended the book by claiming that all the sexual contacts in the story are "strictly consensual."