updated - May 23, 2013 Thursday EDT
By Zanub Saeed
It was announced that the new hit book series, "Fifty Shades of Grey," which is popular amongst mothers and older female readers, has surpassed the "Harry Potter" book franchise and Dan Brown's installments, including "The Da Vinci Code," in paperback sales in the United Kingdom.
"Fifty Shades of Grey," which tells the love story between a university student and billionaire with numerous sexual and erotic tones throughout the three-book series, sold more than 100,000 paperback copies just last week, something most of the "Harry Potter" books and Brown's releases could not achieve, said The Daily Mail. The first installment of the book series, "Fifty Shades of Grey," by E.L. James, has been the top-selling book in the U.K. for nine weeks, while all three books held the top three spots in paperback sales for the past six weeks. The two other installments include "Fifty Shades Darker" and "Fifty Shades Freed."
Philip Stone of The Bookseller magazine told The Daily Mail that the books were selling due to great word of mouth. The film rights to the trilogy were sold for $5 million months ago.
"It is highly unusual for a book to sell so well without there being a film adaptation or the author being well known, like Dan Brown or JK Rowling," Stone told The Daily Mail. "Clearly it has become acceptable for something like this to be talked about openly."
The books, by Erika Mitchell under the pen name EL James, were originally written as fan fiction for the popular "Twilight" books, but were changed - mostly the names of the main characters - to become "Fifty Shades of Grey." The trilogy were originally available for free online as e-books, under the name "Master of the Universe," but changed once James sold the story as books, said The Daily Mail.
"The books have crossed into the mass market. Clearly, people aren't embarrassed by it anymore," a spokesperson for Nielson Book-Scan told The Daily Mail.
Casting is currently underway for the film franchise for "Fifty Shades of Grey," including the male and female lead. At the moment no one has been cast, though stories of various American actors taking interested have been reported.
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