“50 Shades of Grey,” the bestseller chronicling naive college graduate Ana Steele’s submission to dominating billionaire Christian Grey’s BDSM lifestyle choices, has sold 765,000 copies in only two months and is currently taking up the top four spots on USA Today’s best-Selling books list.Unsurprisingly, readers have started buying popular items in the book to start emulating the “50 Shades” lifestyle—and not just the the sex toys. Brooks Brothers, for instance, is hoping to sell a few extra grey ties like the one that adorns the book’s cover.
And it doesn’t hurt that the first-time author E.L. James incorporated real places and products in the novel.
Confused readers and bookstores have accidentally ordered the award-winning young adult novel 'Between Shades of grey,' about a Lithuanian teen who is sent to one of Stalin's work camps in Siberia, instead of 50.
The book's first line, 'They took me in my nightgown,' doesn't help the situation either. Author Ruta Sepetys told NPR:
'At a bookstore event in Cambridge, Mass., a man approached me after the public discussion and said, 'I must have gotten my dates mixed up, I was here for a different shade of grey ... but hey, did Stalin really kill all of those people?' He may have come for a spanking, but he left with a book about a piece of history that was hidden for more than half a century and he now knows that the Baltics are different than the Balkans. For me, the mix-up is a victory.'
Perhaps the most obvious beneficiary of the '50 Shades of Grey' craze is the sex toy industry.
The novel strongly encourages women to use an exotic array of handcuffs, riding crops, floggers, Ben Wa balls ... the list goes on.
Babeland, a New York-based sex shop, told The Post that it has experienced a 30 per cent sales increase in the last few months and visits to the bondage portion of the site increased by 81 per cent. To accommodate the demand, Babeland created a 50SOG-themed bondage kit, which includes 'Spank Me Baby' body powder, restraints, and a riding crop for $169.
'50 Shades of Grey' takes place in Seattle and has scenes that are set in real hotels in the area.
The Heathman Hotel in Portland offers the 'Charlie Tango' package--Charlie Tango being the name of Christian Grey's helicopter, of course--which includes a helicopter ride and group dinner for six for $2,700.
The Edgewater Hotel, which wasn't even in the book, is offering a $759 '50 Shades of Romance' package, inviting 'lovers to experience the magic of where it all started.' The package includes overnight accommodations in a Premium Waterside guest room along with other goodies found within the book: A bottle of Bollinger Rose Champagne, an Audi rental car, a sailing excursion on Puget Sound, a custom 50SOG landmark map, and a copy of the book for the bedside table (so much for Gideon's Bible).
The protagonist, Christian Grey, drives an Audi R8 Spyder. He then gives Ana a red Audi A3, which she refers to as the 'submissive special.'
50 Shades of Grey made the NYT bestsellers list in March.
Audi has its best sales month ever in April.
Coincidence? Probably--it was Audi's 16th consecutive month of record sales. Still ...
It turns out that the condo Christian Grey calls home, which hosts many of the book's steamiest scenes, really does exist.
The Escala is a luxury building with a 360-degree view of downtown Seattle. A 5,200-square-foot penthouse, like the one found in the book, costs between $4 and $6 million. Basic models begin at $400,000.
Luckily for fans with thick wallets, some apartments are open. But apparently so many fans have stopped by for a quick peek that tours are now only available to potential buyers who have already been pre-approved and pre-qualified.
First-time author EL James is breaking sales record after sales record with the '50' trilogy. After only two months, the first book has sold 765,000 copies (this is three times faster than 'The Da Vinci Code's' sales rate).
Publisher's Weekly indicates how important these sales figures are to booksellers. In Canada, for example, their Q1 sales figures were down 7.38 per cent from last year, and fiction had the biggest drop of 12.6 per cent. But sales for the second quarter are looking much brighter, which PW attributed to the '50' boost.
The crafty Etsy community has created hoards of '50 Shades of Grey'-themed items: from handcuff wine charms, to invitations to the 'Playroom,' to clothing/bumper stickers/coffee mugs sporting the book's many catch phrases.
Especially popular are 50SOG-inspired charm bracelets--Christian gives one to Ana in the book.
In the book, Ana graduates from WSU Vancouver.
So obviously any high school graduate who's hoping to meet a mysterious billionaire who might give her a new car in exchange for a few bruises should consider applying.
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