Marketing Idea No. 249: The hidden benefits of e-reader and erotica for women

The rise of e-reader and e-book revolution has already some high profile victims like the mighty Borders bookstore. Not only that, even other influential  book stores as well as publishing houses like Barnes & Noble, Simon & Schuster etc. are feeling the digital pain. And with the launch of Kindle Fire, Amazon is about to turn up the heat.

But other interesting benefits are coming out of this e-book and e-reader revolution. All of a sudden purchase of women centered erotic novels have gone up. In fact “Fifty Shades of Grey”, the recent novel by little known writer E.L. James, has taken publishing industry by storm. In March, 2012 this book has become the highest downloaded book in Amazon as well as the number 1 best-seller in New York Times bestseller. This erotica juggernaut didnt stop at that. On March 26, 2012 Universal Studios snapped up the rights for making a trilogy out of this, after going into a bidding war with 2 other major studios. All this for a book, that none knew about when they were celebrating new year on December 31, 2011.

So its abundantly clear that the E.L.James story may have some similarities with the J.K. Rowling story, but 50 shades of Grey is no Harry Potter. So the question is why this sudden rise of female friendly erotica?

As it turns out there was always demand for erotic novels among women, but there was no way for them to hide these guilty pleasures. After all, its hard to hide the cover page of a very graphic erotic novel from the prying eyes of mother, husband or children. But with the coming of age of e-readers, women suddenly found a way to tend to their inner need for erotica without telling the whole world what they are reading.

An unexpected side benefit to Amazon Kindle? I am sure Jeff Bezos is not complaining. Neither are millions of women all over the world whose passion has been re-ignited.

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