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'Fifty Shades' tints book world

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Date published: 9/9/2012


AP National Writer


--The "Fifty Shades" phenomenon may get even hotter this fall.

Booksellers and publishers expect at least a dozen novels to benefit from E.L. James' multimillion-selling erotic trilogy, a list-topper since early spring, and new ones continue to be acquired. Releases likely to catch on include Sylvain Reynard's "Gabriel's Inferno" and "Gabriel's Rapture," Sylvia Day's "Reflected in You" and a compilation of Harlequin novellas unsubtly titled "12 Shades of Surrender."

Just in the past two weeks, St. Martin's Press took on Sara Fawkes' self-published hit, "Anything He Wants (Dominated by the Billionaire)," and Gallery Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, signed up Jennifer Probst's "The Marriage Bargain."

Open Road Integrated Media, a digital publisher, announced it would release the popular "Eighty Days" trilogy, written by a "well-known publishing insider" and a "familiar figure in London's fetish scene" collectively known as Vina Jackson.

"We're in a moment of time, let's put it that way," says Louise Burke, Gallery's publisher and executive vice president. "There's a flurry of agents coming to us with books."

Cindy Hwang, executive editor at Berkley Books and Sylvia Day's publisher, says that thanks to "50 Shades" the door between erotica and mainstream fiction has been "kicked down completely."

The market, "this fascination with the über-rich," demands more masters of the universe, at least fictional ones.

Still, Hwang adds, "there will be other kinds of books."

New novels are coming from James Patterson, Mitch Albom, Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell. J.K. Rowling will find out how many of her adult "Harry Potter" fans are game for a book without wizards with "The Casual Vacancy."

Justin Cronin follows his best-selling "The Passage" with "The Twelve," the second of a planned trilogy.


Ken Follett has a pair of projects: A TV miniseries of his epic Medieval saga "World Without End" is scheduled to air on Reelz Channel starting in October. And his new novel, "Winter of the World," is the second of his "Century" trilogy on war. The author explained during a recent interview that "Winter of the World," a World War II story running nearly 1,000 pages, was as an education for him.

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