In as much as I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey….

(…and will not but I’m going to comment because I write erotic fiction as well)

How many of my fellow authors, readers and industry professionals have seen the news that Publisher’s Weekly named EL James the Publishing Person of The Year?


Author Alison Flood explains in her article in The Guardian:
 “…Publishers Weekly said that James had exerted a comparable influence. “Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways – among other things, the money it’s brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category…”


My apologies, but I’m not seeing it.  That is the whole thing about turning erotic fiction into a hot category. 


Now some readers may ask how I can comment on this if I have never read the e-book?  Perhaps I can’t.  All I know is I have no interest in reading it and wouldn’t have an opinion on it either way if it wasn’t for PW stating that this work has a great impact on the genre of erotic fiction as a whole.


Perhaps I’m missing something.  My sales are decent but I’ve not seen them improve by leaps and bounds  But then again that’s me.  Perhaps some of my fellow erotic authors have?  Feel free to comment.  So far, the only comments I’ve seen are people stating how much they hate the book and it’s obvious all other erotic fiction is just as bad, or how they love the book and it’s obvious all other erotic fiction doesn’t compare.


If Fifty Shades has turned erotic fiction into a hot property, why are we not seeing more articles about other authors besides EL James?  Why are we not seeing more interviews or comments about various erotic fiction authors and their works?  Why are we not hearing from readers?  Or for that matter mainstream publishers or movie producers?


I’m not the only one who thinks this work does not deserve such accolades.  Take a look at the articles written by Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times or Christopher Young of The NY Daily News 


It upsets me that I’m lumped in the same category as Ms. James.  I’d like to believe my fellow authors feel the same.  I am a damn excellent author.  This is what I do, what I love.  Pretentious?  Perhaps.  But what would you think if I said, “I don’t feel I’m a good enough author?”  Would you still want to read my work? I do not like my work being called porn. I do not write porn. My stories have character development, plot, world-building and everything else that makes a novel.  Yes the sex is there but so are the other building blocks of a good story.


I can honestly say that everything I have written has come from my own mind and imagination, with a bit of life and dreams thrown in for good measure.  It is not re-constituted fan-fiction.  I don’t care how many changes were made.  The work is not hers.  I have fan-fiction written for the manga Fake by Sanami Matoh.  That is hers and I would never even dream of using that work and calling it my own. 


My one wish is that Publisher’s Weekly, Random House, readers and all the others who embraced this work would realize that Fifty Shades is NOT the be all, end all of erotic fiction.  There are those of us who bust our collective asses to bring the best work we can to our readers.  We do this because we love what we do and we’re damn good at what we do.


A commenter asked on one of the articles, what difference does it make who is the Publishing Person of the Year? Perhaps none to the commenter but it does to me and I feel safe to say my fellow authors.  A second commenter provided the perfect response that Ms. James was rewarded for profit and not for writing a good story, or any one of the reasons that Ms. Kellogg listed in her article.  It makes a damn big difference to us authors.


So where are you?  Publisher’s Weekly?  Random House? Universal Pictures?  We’re here and we’re waiting for you. No, our work isn’t lacking, no it isn’t poorly written just because we didn’t sell millions of copies.  Ms. James was lucky, that’s all there was too it.  You should know by now that success such as hers is the luck of the draw.  That doesn’t mean the rest of us are poor authors.  We are NOT! 


If I think of other things I wish to say, I’ll do a part two and if my fellow writers wish to add more, feel free. Right now, I’m just here waiting and writing.  I’m sure my fellow authors are waiting with me…

5 thoughts on “In as much as I have never read Fifty Shades of Grey….”

  1. Agreed! I read enough to know that series does not deserve any accolades. Woot, it made money. What a sad state of affairs. I never thought the world of words would seem more sordid than the Oscar money race.


  2. Well said, S.A! Thanks for your comment, it's as reviewer Ron Charles said (in his satirical video), “…PW managed to look past the skin deep issues of originality, significance or quality and see what matters…cold, hard, cash…”


  3. I so agree! As a reader I have never had any desire to read 50 shades, and everyone that I know who has read it ahs told me that it wasn't worth the money spent on it.
    I love so many authors, and support every single one of you all. You all write the best books, and you all have not received the credit for your talent and brilliant creativity. Your imaginations and characters, and world building has made reading the biggest, best and enjoyable part of my life.
    I will always support my authors as they are the hardest working people I know, and you all are not nearly recognized enough for your talent and your wonderful books.

    A reader


  4. Well said, CJ. I don't disagree with a thing you've said.

    I almost read the first one, just to see what all the raving was about, but an author friend whose word I respect advised me not to. Since she knows I teach writing classes (and have edited professionally), she advised me I'd want to take a blue pencil to it.

    For some odd reason, I expect books picked up by large publishing houses to be edited foe grammar and proofed. Silly me.


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