File this tidbit under the heading of “Apocalypse: Nigh”: The Bookseller website reports that E.L. James’ 50 Shades of Grey trilogy has outsold J.K. Rowling’s seven-book Harry Potter series on Amazon UK.
James’ novels — about a naive young college grad named Anastasia and the controlling, billionaire S&M enthusiast she falls for, Christian Grey — went on sale in March 2012.
Bookseller.com reports that they have sold more than four million copies in print and digital. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the last book in Rowling’s series, is being outsold by the first book in the James trilogy, by more than two to one. Try not to weep openly.
Speaking of Harry Potter: He vanquished the forces of evil, and his creator J.K. Rowling has turned her attention to adult fiction (her novel The Casual Vacancy is due out in September). But Rowling hasn’t given up on Harry entirely: this fall she’ll be promoting the Harry Potter Reading Club for kids.
Scholastic Inc. announced earlier this week that Rowling will participate in a live webcast at noon Oct. 11 from her hometown of Edinburgh, Scotland, taking presubmitted questions from fans.
The discussion will take place on scholastic.com/hpreadingclub. The club, designed for schools, libraries and parents, will include discussion guides, a glossary, interactive features and information on community events.
A print comeback?
Is the publishing industry actually heading toward a hybrid market? Maybe. Fewer e-book buyers reported buying only digital titles this spring than a year ago, according to Publisher’s Weekly.
A Book Industry Study Group’s report indicates the percentage of e-book consumers who exclusively or mostly purchase e-books fell from almost 70 percent in August 2011 to 60 percent in May 2012.
Over the same period, the percentage of survey respondents who have no preference for formats rose from 25 percent to 34 percent.