Fifty Shades of Grey Fan Fiction is Booming
Posted on June 20, 2015
E.L. James has just released Grey, a retelling of Fifty Shades of Grey as told from Christian Grey's perspective. The book is the #1 bestselling book on Amazon.com. The book is one that James' fans have been clamoring her to write. They want to know what Christian Grey thinks, and now they do.
But not everyone is happy with the book. Since the books first came out fans have been writing their own version of the stories using her characters. The amount of fan fiction written about Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey is astounding. But E.L. James can't complain: Fifty Shades of Grey was originally written as Twilight fan fiction with Edward and Bella as the leads. She later changed the characters' names and published the book with a small press in Australia. Vintage picked up the paperback rights and the next think you know the book has sold 135 million copies in 52 languages.
Alexandra Alter of The New York Times' wrote an interesting article about the explosion of Fifty Shades fan fiction and how it is affecting the author and the movies. The Fifty Shades of Grey story as seen through Christian's eyes has already been done in the fan fiction world. One writer's version has been read 8.8 million times. In fact, Ms. Alter quotes one Fifty Shades reader who thinks the new book has already been ruined for her, because loves the fan fiction version. A quick glance of Amazon.com reviews reveals the same phenomenon: fans who have read other writers' versions of Grey and far prefer them to the new book.
There are thousands of Fifty Shades fan fiction stories posted online and fans of the characters are reading them. When asked about the explosion of fan fiction by The Times, Ms. James issued a terse statement through her publisher about the fan fiction saying, "I'm delighted that people are writing fan fiction based on Fifty Shades, though I haven't read any of it. It's a huge compliment." We suppose it's a compliment so long as it doesn't impact sales of the real thing. So far, there appears to be an insatiable appetite for stories in the Fifty Shades universe.