There’s nothing like trolling soccer moms. Two men have realized this all too well, and they plan to make a few bucks along the way.
Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, co-hosts of the weekly web show NSFW, noticed a trend in the publishing industry. Erotic fiction is selling like hotcakes. British author E. L. James’ “Fifty Shades” trilogy consists of the top-three best-selling books almost anywhere you look. And, in June, the first installment even surpassed J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” as the fastest-selling paperback of all time.
“So, we’re looking at the top-ten e-books on the iBookstore,” said the duo. “And we notice something. … A bunch of books that just look like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey.’”
That’s when they decided. Why not write a book that looks like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” sell it at the iTunes Store, and see what happens? Better yet, why not find random people on the Web to draft it up?
“Our book was written completely by the Internet,” explains Brushwood. “Nobody’s read the entire thing, but it does have three things: a cover that looks like '50 Shades of Grey,' lots and lots of sex, and characters who have jobs that we think are extremely trendy.”
They’ve titled the book “The Diamond Club,” written under the pseudonym Patricia Harkins-Bradley.
According to the book’s description at the iTunes Store, millionaire Roman Dyle marries another woman behind his girlfriend’s back. Brianna Young, in an unquenched thirst for “professional and sexual revenge,” takes it upon herself to join an elite club in the Bay Area. The publishers promise the book is “a story of revenge and discovery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.”
Released on July 29, the book has already managed to climb to the No. 4 slot on the iTunes Store’s “Top Charts” list, falling short only to E. L. James’ trilogy. And it's no small wonder. The market for independent e-books is booming right now.
As Jeffrey Bezos, CEO of Amazon, recently wrote in a letter to shareholders,
Kindle Direct Publishing has quickly taken on astonishing scale — more than a thousand KDP authors now each sell more than a thousand copies a month, some have already reached hundreds of thousands of sales, and two have already joined the Kindle Million Club. KDP is a big win for authors. Authors who use KDP get to keep their copyrights, keep their derivative rights, get to publish on their schedule — a typical delay in traditional publishing can be a year or more from the time the book is finished — and … saving the best for last … KDP authors can get paid royalties of 70%.
Let’s see if “The Diamond Club” can ride the beautiful wave.
“This is a test,” said Brushwood. “Once we crack into the Top 10, is it possible that a terribly-written book that makes no sense — and just has a lot of banging — might just win the hearts of lonely housewives everywhere?”