Fifty Shades of Grey helps stimulate UK book sales

Despite the recession, fans of erotic fiction have contributed to increased sales of 4 per cent in 2012

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It seems 2012 was a bumper year for UK book sales. But with Britian stuck in a penny-pinching recession, industry professionals are asking why – and the finger is pointing at you, erotic fiction fans…

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The Publishers Association has reported that total book sales last year rose by 4% – a surprise contrast to 2011’s 2% decline –- bringing sales to a total of 3.3billion.

The increase is in part due to digital sales, which grew by 66%, and e-book purchases, but the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon has had a part to play, too.

The trilogy garnered combined sales of 10.5million, so readers flicking through EL James’s erotic tales have helped to boost Britian’s book industry (not to mention its knowledge of S&M practices).

The naughty novels, which document the increasingly X-rated bedroom exploits of sexually confident Christian Grey and innocent graduate Anatasia Steele, dominated bookshop shelves all year, with the trilogy taking the top three spots in the 2012 best-sellers chart.

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Fifty Shades of Grey is currently being made into a film, which could hit cinemas as early as summer 2014.