Cornerstone has reprinted the Fifty Shades trilogy a further three times this week, as retailers and publishers continue to make the most of erotica's "water-cooler moment".Meanwhile, it has emerged that other British publishers had tried to buy the E L James trilogy ahead of Random House, while some turned the books down.
The first title in the trilogy, Fifty Shades of Grey, last week became the 20th book to sell more than two million copies in the UK according to Nielsen BookScan data, with the trilogy's weekly sale surging to 1,442,395, a 47% week-on-week rise.
It also gained the distinction of being the bestselling British novel for an adult readership since records began, ousting Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
Several publishers are understood to have hoped to acquire the trilogy before it was picked up by Century, following Random House US' acquisition of the titles, with others turning it down cold. Orion deputy publisher Jon Wood said: "We tried to buy Fifty Shades, we were engaged in negotiations with the agent for a number of weeks. It was very much a feeling of 'Hey, maybe there is something there'. If there had been an auction in the UK, I think the other UK publishers who were interested would have caught up with it. I think there would have been a big auction over here."
Retailers are continuing to capitalise on strong sales of the titles, with Foyles launching a promotion called "I'll Have What She's Reading‚" aiming to "re-introduce readers to classic titles like Lady Chatterley's Lover, Yukio Mishima's Forbidden Colours or Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer. Web editor Jonathan Ruppin commented: "The Fifty Shades trilogy has become a cultural currency rather than simply a literary phenomenon, a rare example of a water-cooler moment for the book trade."
W H Smith is planning a "major" window campaign in stores, as well as additional themed metre bays which sit at the front of the bestseller charts, building on existing promotional space for the titles.