Publishing Has Devoured Itself: Author Signs Deal For A Parody Of 'Twilight' Knockoff, 'Fifty Shades of Grey'

Fifty Shades of Grey parody

via Galleycat

Like the mighty ouroboros, the publishing industry has devoured itself.

So, Fifty Shades of Grey. It's a BDSM erotica book by E.L. James, which started as Twilight fan-fiction, before becoming a small-press phenomenon. Random House paid seven figures to buy the book and its two sequels. The movie rights have been bought by Universal Studios and Focus Films. 

And now, Andrew Shaffer has sold a parody, Fifty Shames of Earl Grey, to Da Capo. Shaffer is behind the literary-themed Evil Wylie and Emperor Franzen Twitter accounts. 

Fifty Shames of Earl Gray. A parody of a copy of a crappy novel. If literature were quantum physics, something would have just exploded. 

Image of Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy
Author: E L James
Price: $8.97
Publisher: Vintage (2012)
Binding: Paperback, 514 pages
Rob Hart

News by Rob Hart

Rob Hart is the class director at LitReactor, as well as the associate publisher for MysteriousPress.com. He's the author of The Last Safe Place: A Zombie Novella, and his short stories have appeared in publications like Shotgun Honey, ThuglitCrime Factory, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir. His debut novel, New Yorked, will be published by Polis Books in June 2015. He lives in New York City, and you can find his website at www.robwhart.com.

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Renee Miller's picture
Renee Miller from Tweed, Ontario is reading The Wolf Gift April 3, 2012 - 8:07pm

I think my head just exploded.

bebipoop's picture
bebipoop from Philippines is reading pygmy April 3, 2012 - 9:29pm

I'd rather read this instead of Twilight.

JamieMarriage's picture
JamieMarriage from Sydney, Australia is reading Spider, Spin Me a Web - Lawrence Block April 3, 2012 - 9:37pm

Makes me confident in the fact that no matter how terrible your work you might still get a paycheck for it.

...Actually it may be; only if your work is terrible will you get a paycheck for it.

jacks_username's picture
jacks_username from Louisville, Kentucky is reading Games Of Thrones April 3, 2012 - 9:59pm

I'd rather people just didn't read books than read these books.

alisia's picture
alisia from Byron, NY is reading The Goldfinch by: Donna Tartt April 3, 2012 - 10:17pm

"Mommy Porn," is clearly the next bandwagon. If you're looking to write a breakthrough and you're not inundated with other tasks, you'll want to write some Mommy Porn. Once 50 Shades really drops and becomes a movie, the market is going to be saturated with this type of fiction. I've never read it, likely because I don't subscribe to Twilight fan fiction sites, but this is going to be the next "it thing."

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading East of Eden, by John Steinbeck April 4, 2012 - 12:57pm

Sometimes I wonder if I should just give up on my reputation.
Seven figures? Film rights sold? Fucking really? What am I doing with my life?

Expect my novel Harry Potter and Dumbledore's stones to be out soon.
And the script for Sparkly Dicks and Horrible Plot: Part 4.

Somebody write me a goddamn check!

Miranda McCausland's picture
Miranda McCausland from Guelph, Ontario, Canada is reading Pretty Neat April 4, 2012 - 2:38pm

How is shades of grey like twilight? Other than the painfully obvious mary sue self insert of a female protagonist aka empty vessel for lonely reader to inhabit, and they are both embarassing fantasies...

I don't know how actual mothers write this stuff with no concern for their kids embarassment in the future. "Hey mom! How'd you earn that first million?" "Well you see kids, your father made my sex life so painfully boring that I needed to fantasize about sparkly vampire lust and losing my virginity to a psychopath sadomasochist with a torture room. You're welcome!"

Parker Long's picture
Parker Long April 29, 2012 - 3:06pm

Here's a very funny parody of Fifty Shades of Grey called Fifty Shades of Black and Blue http://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Shades of Black and Blue

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading East of Eden, by John Steinbeck May 3, 2012 - 1:37am

Why don't they just call it 50 ways to suck my vampiric dick?