he bestselling 50 Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James, which has sold over 65 million copies worldwide, is set to rake in even more cash: Random House’s Doubleday plans to release the books in hardcover for the first time in the U.S. on January 29, in time for Valentine’s Day. (The books are already available as hardcovers in the U.K.)
With their availability in hardcover, 50 Shades will complete an almost entirely reversed traditional publishing cycle. The books started out as Twilight fan fiction posted online. A tiny Australian publisher then released them as ebooks and print-on-demand paperbacks, selling about 250,000 copies. Random House snapped up the rights in a seven-figure deal, rereleased the ebooks and made 50 Shades widely available in paperback for the first time — where it achieved stratospheric success. Finally, a little under a year later, the books will be released in their most expensive format: The hardcover list price is $26.95 per book, USA Today reports (though that will surely be slashed by retailers like Amazon and there will be a three-book bundle for $80.85.
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