Publishers Weekly Names E. L. James 'Publishing Person of the Year'
Publishers Weekly, the bible of the American book trade, has named Fifty Shades of Grey author E. L. James its ‘publishing person of the year’ for “shaping and, sometimes, transforming, the publishing industry”. The accolade has never been won by an author before; it is usually given to people like Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.
Citing the staggering number of copies and her influence on other authors (if you haven’t seen the knock-offs yet, you’re obviously not looking very closely), Publishers Weekly had this to say about the award:
Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways – among other things, the money it's brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category – we have selected James as the most notable player on the publishing stage this year.
Not unsurprisingly the U.S. press has been less than kind about giving the title to James and the comments on Publishers Weekly’s site were even more scathing:
'I want to die. Or kill. Or just eat some cake until this literary pain goes away.' wrote one. 'Seriously? Is this the best you guys can do? Hilary Mantel becomes the first woman to win the Booker Prize twice and you pick EL James? Lay off the eggnog and rethink your decision,' said another.
Did James just get lucky? Probably. Did she change the face of publishing? Well, not exactly, unless you count all the imitators looking to capitalize on her success - which we get with each new successful author. Just look at J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
What scares me is that PW thinks 30% of her readership is MEN. Really?
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