E-books making erotic literature more publicly acceptable
With the advent of the electronic book, an increasingly number of women are becoming ardent fans of erotic literature, say publishers.
This is evident as The Perfect Submissive, Body Temperature And Rising and Dark Desires, the titles published by British specialist publisher Xcite, were unashamedly on display in the bustling corridors of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's biggest publishing event that closed on Sunday.
The erotic book is "an ideal genre for e-books", said Peter Ferris, non-executive director at Accent Press, whose imprint Xcite is the biggest British erotica publisher.
"Print book sales were starting to decline. Getting into the major book stores was difficult. Some stores are not happy to take them and the buyers are very hard to reach," News24 quoted him as saying.
And then Fifty Shades of Grey came along.
The 2011 erotic novel by British author EL James was the first part of a trilogy about a relationship between a college graduate and a young business magnate and has sold tens of millions of copies worldwide.
Since Fifty Shades of Grey started to top the bestseller lists, ebook sales have undergone "a very large increase" and made erotic literature more publicly acceptable, Ferris said.
"It raised the attention level or people's awareness of erotica. It made it more mainstream, more acceptable. It's no longer something you don't talk about, it's in the bestsellers' charts," he said.
Xcite now expects its ebook sales to be three times higher than the printed book sales this year.
Germany's Jolanta Gatzanis, editor in charge of erotic literature at the publishing house that bears her name, said e-books had been flying off the digital shelves, and without having to be promoted.
"We sold a lot of electronic books this year without doing much publicity. That really surprised us," she said.