I’m a subscriber to the MediaBistro daily newsletter Galleycat. Each morning with my coffee I catch up on the latest and greatest news from the writing and publishing world. The newsletter is sort of a ‘what’s what’ in the world of self or traditionally published Authors and their works. And over the course of the past month or so I’ve been noticing a trend in their headlines.
If an Author, self-published or not, has written something that includes the word ‘Fifty’ in their title, whether it’s an erotic based book or not, they’re being snatched up faster than Manolos at a sample sale. Which leads me to the obvious conclusion:
Although Fifty Shades of Grey has had overwhelming cultural impact (so much so that it’s made its way into plot lines and casual mentions in mainstream network television) it isn’t just the erotic nature of the prose that’s the selling point. Even generic words from the title are cause for sales and representation!
Today’s MediaBistro top story is a prime example. Now first off, let me explain, I have no clue who this Author is or why / how / who he did or didn’t know in order to get his book published by Random House. All I know is that my interest was piqued when I read the headline.
How Mark D. Danielewski Scored The Fifty Year Sword
There’s nothing remotely similar about Mr. Danielewski’s book about a woman who becomes responsible for five orphans and the outcome of long ago folklore coming to light (at least I think that’s what its about, you tell me what you think by checking out the two sentence synopsis) and Mrs. James’ Fifty Shades but it just doesn’t matter. I saw the word ‘Fifty’ and I was intrigued. Was it a copycat book hitting the shelves? Was it as sexually explicit as Mrs. James' books?
I haven’t (nor do I intend to) read the erotic trilogy written by E.L. James. But, again, that is of no consequence. I’m in the industry, trying to break through the current barrier of limitation before me right now so I can become an Author who sells enough to support my family. I have to keep my finger on the pulse. I have to at least know what Fifty Shades of Grey is, and be familiar enough with its content, if not every word, just to stay current.
But apparently, based on the headline above as well as a few others I’ve seen crop up lately including the words ‘fifty’, ‘shades’, and/or ‘grey’, I’m in luck because I don’t have to write erotic prose in order to get noticed after all! I just have to be willing to include fifty, shades and/or grey in my writing. Specifically the title.
Perhaps I should rename my novella Reckless Shades instead of Reckless Abandon and Agents will be lining up at the door!