The Social Contact Centre

to a social networking way of working through the eyes of a Contact Centre manager

Posts Tagged ‘ereader

50 Shades Can Pay

with 2 comments

There can’t be a soul in the United Kingdom who isn’t aware of the literary sensation which is 50 Shades Of Grey. It has just broken records with  the 1 millionth sale on Kindle. Although marketeers are welcome to read the trilogy they should also be paying attention to the message. Apart from the fascinating demographic and the creation of labelling of the Mommy Porn genre, the phenomenal success is yet another example of the rise of Social Media and Social Networking in a concrete way.

The work started as fan fiction which in itself is an enormous subculture. Time magazine ran an excellent, non-judgemental article on fan fiction The Boy Who Lived Forever. While most people may not be interested in the subject matter, I am always interested in numbers. hosts over 2 million pieces of original fan fiction covering a wide range of genres with the Harry Potter section holding over half a million pieces. There is an associated infrastructure of competitions and editing which most people are unaware of. Other interesting similar areas are the huge gaming and roleplaying worlds. When the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants sets up a headquarters on CPA Island in Second Life you need to start paying attention.

EL James moved her stories from a fan fiction website on to her own website after some comments about the content of some stories and then rewrote some elements to take away the direct character references to Twilight and then published as an ebook and by a small Australian print-on-demand publisher. Sales grew through word-of-mouth recommendation and book blogs until finally in 2012, news agencies identified the phenomenon driven by viral marketing. With phenomenal pace, references, spoofs, parodies, huge increases in sales of ereaders and spinoffs are appearing in a way that only social media can drive. Even sales of a piece of music referred to in the novel have increased.

50 Shades Of Grey is a huge success story with important messages:

1. It is a superb example of success of Web 2.0, user-generated content shared for peer review.

2. It is an example of a new business model with money being made from ebooks rather than physical books

3. It hints at the possibility of crowd subcultures to be understood and developed in the way the CPA model has

4. It demonstrates the entrepreneurial opportunity created by large numbers and low costs/barriers to entry

I’ve still not read the books but well done EL James!


Written by greencontact

July 16, 2012 at 9:20 am