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50 Shades of Grey ‘most popular UK novel of all time’ - Harry Potter under threat

Wednesday, August 8, 2012
2:22 PM

Raunchy bondage bonkbuster 50 Shades of Grey is the best selling novel ever in the UK.

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E.L James’ steamy read has sold more than 5.3m – comprising 3.8m physical copies and 1.5m ebooks.

Harry Potter, the boy wizard with the magic wand remains ahead in printed sales – with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows on 4m.

But J K Rowling’s figures did not include ebooks because digital format was not available when it was first released.

Author E.L James spoke of the success of her tome – dubbed mummy porn.

“My main ambition when I signed the deal with Random House was to see my books in the shops. I simply had no idea they would be so successful and this is totally unexpected,” she said.

“The whole process has been both extraordinary and rewarding. I couldn’t be more pleased with the sales and would like to thank everyone involved.”

The second and third books in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are huge sellers too.

They have racked up 3.6 million and 3.2 million copies respectively.

Susan Sandon, managing director of Cornerstone Publishing which is part of Random House, said: “The Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon is perhaps one of the most extraordinary experiences of my entire publishing career and I feel privileged to be part of it.

“The speed and sheer size of the sales is incredible and the roles played by so many people across the business simply breathtaking.”

The 50 Shades trilogy is being published in Albanian, Chinese, Russian, Serbian and Vietnamese.

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