Instead, Day says, the most significant effect of "Fifty Shades" may be on how publishers find new manuscripts and design book covers. Self-published online books have become the new slush pile, the place where publishers look for undiscovered gems. And the elegant if innocuous covers of the "Fifty Shades" books have become the new standard even for the spiciest fare. Now, you don't have to be ashamed to read BDSM "at the soccer game," Day says.
In the end, "Fifty Shades" may have done more for the past than for the future. Mark Laframboise, the manager of Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington, notes that the popularity of James' novels has brought new attention to older erotic works such as Anais Nin's "Little Birds," Henry Miller's "Tropic of Cancer" and James Salter's "A Sport and a Pastime." And the breadth of James' audience is extraordinary. "Mostly women, of course," Laframboise says, "but from 18 to 80."
You're never too old, after all, to find romance.