ALL CATS ARE GREY
The subject matter of 50 Shades of Grey i s nothing new, say publishers and book reviewers around the world. Harlequin books has been selling steamy tales in series with the tradelabels of “Spice”, “Blaze” and “Desire” – with subgenres like “Historical” and “Mènage á trois”. Some of these are denser in explicit pornographic detail than 50 Shades, and they’ve been doing it for years. Even in stuck-up Victorian times, explicit erotic literature was abundant. So what makes 50 Shades successful? How has it become part of the zeitgeist so quickly?
It seems to be nothi ng more t han t wo staples of good marketing: packaging, and timing. Unlike previous “bodice-rippers” and other erotic f iction, 50 Shades had a stylish, unassuming black-and-white cover. It was “safe” to read on the bus or at home (or even at work).
50 Shades was made available as an e-book for free at first, then sold at a very low price when the Kindle was experi- dominance, submission, sadism and masochism scene, but extends to include welldefined kinky sub-cultures, including the practice of body modification or the wearing of latex and/or rubber. The use of the word “sadism” in the definition of BDSM