Blushing fifty shades of red

Studio 360

The erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” tells the story of a young woman named Anastasia and her bondage-loving boyfriend Christian. E.L. James began “Fifty Shades of Grey” as fan-fiction based on the “Twilight” series, but after she edited out the vampire bits, Knopf’s prestigious Vintage imprint picked up the book — by then a trilogy — and released it in 2012. Before long, the three “Fifty Shades” books occupied all the spots on The New York Times bestseller list. 

Studio 360’s Eric Molinsky talked with publishing insiders at Book Expo America in 2012 to hear how they hoped to hitch a ride on the erotic fiction bandwagon.

Then, we sent reporter Rebecca Lee Douglas to figure out who exactly is reading this smutty bestseller. Everybody’s reading it, but a book this risqué makes for some awkward conversations. 

(Originally aired June 8, 2012)

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