Fifty Shades of Gray — everyone is reading it, everyone is talking about it… how lucrative can converted fan fiction be, really?
Pretty lucrative, it turns out. As Fifty Shades of Gray has captivated the imaginations and the aching, underattended to loins of moms and grandmas everywhere, so too has it captured their pocketbooks. The bestselling trilogy, as you are probably aware, started out as a Twilight-based fan fiction story, but has catapulted to become far more, and it has the sales receipts to prove it.
In addition to EL James’ BDSM tale scoring a movie deal and a ton of free PR due to its sudden and volcanic popularity, the book’s prominence has made James a very wealthy woman indeed. How wealthy?
Site DigitalSpy quotes a celebrity earnings site that breaks down what James is clocking as Fifty Shades of Gray and its two sequels continue to dominate summer book sales. According to the site, the author is currently earning about a million bucks a week on book sales:
“It’s safe to assume that E.L. James has long ago sold enough copies to repay her seven-figure book advance, which means at this point she is earning the standard 7% royalty on every $14 paperback and 25% royalty on every $10 ebook…”
“In the last month, James has sold 4 million paperbacks and 1 million ebooks, which equates to $2.94 million (£1.89 million) in paperback royalties and $2.497 million (£1.608 million) in ebook royalties.”
It’s estimated that by September, the author of Fifty Shades of Gray will have earned a $20 million royalty check for her best-selling works.