“Grey” Returns To Number One

Andrew AlbaneseThe E.L. James penned trilogy that began with 50 Shades of Grey has sold over 100 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 50 languages. Throughout a remarkable 2011-2013 run, booksellers were ecstatic but sales have since suffered while waiting for more from Christian Grey.

Mercifully, that wait will soon end.

“This time the story is told from the perspective of Christian Grey—which I think is ingenious,” reports Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer. “It’s a lot like what Wicked did, re-telling The Wizard of Oz from the witch’s point of view— only with a sadistic male billionaire instead of a witch.”

As recent tallies of US publishing revenues make clear, the book business needs a big book to have a big year. Now, halfway through the calendar, we may safely predict that 2015 is going to be really big. First print-run for Grey: Fifty Shades of Grey as Told by Christian is 1.25 million copies.

“It took only hours after the announcement before pre-orders pushed the title the top of the bestseller lists at Barnes & Noble and Amazon,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “As of this writing, the book is #1 in physical and digital at both retailers—and it won’t be released until June 18. So get ready: a big author is about to make big news once again.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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