Simon and Schuster has announced a new book series, The Office series with Beautiful Bastard and Beautiful Stranger. It’s another series of Twilight Fan Fiction and it’s far from being the first Twilight Fan Fic to be published by a major publisher. And it was also announced right before the final installment of the Twilight movies, Breaking Dawn Part 2, comes out in theatres.
This is obviously part of the continued attempt to find the next big thing. If one series of Twilight Fan Fic made it big then others will do well to. I’m sure the book will sell, just as others have. But, I think this shows a bit of the lack of understanding of publishers of the phenomenon.
Fifty Shades of Grey started as a word of mouth phenomenon when it was still Fan Fic and continued to grow when it transitioned to Fifty Shades of Grey. But at some point in that transition the fact that it was Fan Fic took the back burner. I heard about it from my sister in March, who heard about it from her friends – no one knew it was Fan Fic until I told them.
While the Fan Fic aspect is what got Fifty Shades of Grey going initially, I’ve had enough conversations with fans to know that it’s not the reason for the phenomenon it became. There is simply an infectious quality to the books that no amount of marketing can match. Whether its the descriptions in the book or that bazaar feeling that you want these two unlikely characters to work it out, the reason for the phenomenon is not because it’s Twilight Fan Fic. While I’m glad Fifty Shades of Grey has opened up publishers to look at different sources of literature, I think they’re still working within the box, it’s just a larger box then before. It’s time the publishers started working outside the box too.