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Fifty Shades

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ History Excluded from Wayback Machine Archives

We published a long post looking at The Lost History of Fifty Shades of Grey recently, using the Wayback Machine to explore the Twilight fan fiction roots of E.L. James‘ runaway bestseller.

The Wayback Machine has since removed this record. We contacted Internet Archive for more information, and received this response: “The Internet Archive honors requests from domain and site owners to exclude page from the Wayback Machine at their request.”

Our original post still contains screenshots of some of the deleted content, but if you search the digital archive for those records, you now get this message: “Sorry. This URL has been excluded from the Wayback Machine.”

‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Returns To Florida Library System

After pulling the erotica book from its shelves, the Brevard County Library System in Florida said that it would return Fifty Shades of Grey to its shelves. Library Services Director Cathy Schweinsberg explained: “We have always stood against censorship. We have a long history of standing against censorship and that continues to be a priority for this library system.”

The decision comes after criticism from groups like the National Coalition Against Censorship, arguing that sexuality is “an integral part of the human experience.”

Here is more from the library’s website: “The decision is in response to public demand, but also comes after considerable review and consideration by the library system. In all, 19 books from the ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ trilogy that were previously available will once again be available through the library system.”

50 Shades of Grey Sales Bump: INFOGRAPHIC

Goodreads has created a massive infographic analyzing the Fifty Shades of Grey effect around the country.

Vintage has already sold ten million copies of E. L. James‘ erotica trilogy, and the literary social network discovered some fascinating trends. They charted both the geographic distribution of readers and the books that have received a bump from a new national interest in erotica.  We’ve embedded the infographic below. Here’s more from Goodreads:

The states with the highest readers per capita are located primarily in the Tri-State and New England area: New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New York. Fifty Shades of Grey has given some readers a new taste for erotica, and we’ve found a jump in interest in similar books on Goodreads. Just recently, Penguin’s Berkley Books imprint snatched up Sylvia Day‘s self-published novel, Bared to You, which has generated 2,500 reviews in the past two months … Other books potentially joining the sultry summer reading list are Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard, Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn, Captive in the Dark by C.J. Roberts, and The Reluctant Dom by Lesli Richardson.

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‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Trilogy Sells 10 Million Copies in 6 Weeks

Vintage has sold a combined total of ten million trade paperback, eBook and audiobook copies of E.L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey trilogy in the last six weeks.

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group president Anthony Chirico had this statement: “This is an astonishing number. The sales velocity for Fifty Shades of Grey is unprecedented, with reader demand still growing. BookScan data indicates that the trilogy has captured twenty-five percent of the adult fiction market in recent weeks.”

At the same time, The New York Times reported more libraries debating about carrying the racy books like the Brevard County Public Library in Florida. The Wisconsin library that serves the Fond du Lac community has refused to purchase any copies. Several libraries throughout the country have chosen to do the same.

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Literary Groups Defend ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Comparing Fifty Shades of Grey to Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Fear of Flying, prominent literary groups criticized the Brevard County Public Library system for refusing to carry E. L. James‘ racy novel.

The National Coalition Against Censorship circulated the letter, getting signatures from the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, Association of American Publishers, PEN American Center, American Society of Journalists and Authors and The Independent Book Publishers Association. Follow this PDF link to read the letter. Here’s an excerpt:

The idea that “erotica” should be categorically excluded from public libraries has no merit. Sexuality, an integral part of the human experience, has always been part of creative expression. As the late Justice Brennan observed, “Sex, a great and mysterious motive force in human life, has indisputably been a subject of absorbing interest to mankind through the ages.” Indeed, a library’s collection would be incomplete without the, by now classic Memoirs of A Woman of Pleasure (“Fanny Hill”), Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Tropic of Cancer or even Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying. There is no rational basis to provide access to erotic novels like these, and at the same time exclude contemporary fiction with similar content.

’50 Shades Of Grey’ Pulled in Florida Libraries

E. L. James‘ bestselling erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey has been pulled from some library shelves in Florida. The book is being removed from Brevard County Public Libraries for its graphic depiction of S&M and bondage.

Library services director Cathy Schweinsberg explained to Florida Today: “Nobody asked us to take it off the shelves. But we bought some copies before we realized what it was. We looked at it, because it’s been called ‘mommy porn’ and ‘soft porn.’ We don’t collect porn.”

Florida resident Linda Tyndall has created a petition trying to urge the library to reconsider. The petition explains, “Because banning books is wrong, no matter what the perceived content.” (Via The Guardian)

E.L. James Makes TIME 100 List

Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James debuted on TIME magazine’s TIME 100 list this year, joining comedians turned writers and Steve Jobs’ biographer on the prestigious list.

TIME editor-at-large Brenda Luscombe wrote: “Six months ago she was Erika Leonard, a mother of two who dabbled in saucy stories for the Web. Now she’s E.L. James, publishing phenomenon, whose Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy has deeply stirred booksellers, Hollywood and, apparently, many, many mothers. Reading may never be the same.”

The TIME 100 list also included features about Ann Patchett (written by Elizabeth Gilbert), Walter Isaacson (written by Madeleine Albright), Stephen Colbert (written by Garry Trudeau), Chelsea Handler (written by Kathy Griffin), and Asghar Farhadi (written by Richard Corliss).

Fifty Shades of Grey Gets Fan Fiction Disclaimer

Vintage Books has included a disclaimer in its edition of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, acknowledging the book’s origins as Twilight fan fiction. Above, we’ve embedded a screenshot of the publisher’s note.

The copyright page includes this note: “The author published an earlier serialized version of this story online with different characters as ‘Master of the Universe’ under the pseudonym Snowqueen Icedragon.”

James removed the original fan fiction from her personal website, but we traveled backward in Internet time to archive the book’s lost history as Master of the Universe–it began as an X-rated version of the Twilight story. (Via Andrew Shaffer)

Andrew Shaffer Inks Book Deal for ‘Fifty Shames of Earl Grey’

Andrew Shaffer has sold his Fifty Shades of Grey parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, to Da Capo.

Shaffer is the writer behind the Evil Wylie and Emperor Franzen Twitter accounts, and tweeted the news: “BREAKING: Hack writer sells 50 Shades of Grey parody.” Brandi Bowles from Foundry Literary + Media represented the author.

As E L James‘ erotica bestseller (which began as Twilight fan fiction) exploded in popularity, Shaffer began to field offers from publishers for his online parody. He described the process on his blog: “In addition to completing the first draft, I’ve also spent the past two weeks fending off publishers. At first it was easy to tell them to leave me alone. I’m an Artist. My Pure Vision will not be sullied by the dirty hands of commerce. Unfortunately, as the size of the McMansion that publishers dangled in front of me became progressively larger and more ridiculous, my Artistic Integrity slowly evaporated into the California sun…”

Fifty Shades of Grey Film Rights Sold

Erotica author E L James has sold the film rights to the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy to Universal Pictures. Focus Features will partner with the studio to market and distribut the the film.

Fifty Shades of Grey began as Twilight fan fiction but became an unexpected hit with readers around the country. Follow the links below to follow the book’s journey from fanfiction.net to a major film deal.

Only one question remains: how will they adapt the X-rated book? Focus Features CEO James Schamus had this statement in the release: “At its core, this is a romance of the most emotionally resonant, but delicate, order — and we look forward to working with our colleagues at Universal to transform E L James’ vision into a great film.”

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