Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve heard of Fifty Shades of Grey. Half of your female friends on Facebook have probably posted about it. Recently, fans of the NSFW podcast on the TWiT network banded together to write a novel, in the spirit of Fifty Shades of Grey. From discussions that I’ve heard on other shows on the TWiT network, it sounds like they viewed it as a social experiment of sorts. The results were surprising.
The book, The Diamond Club, was a crowdsourced effort. Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, the hosts of the NSFW podcast, asked their listeners to contribute to the book. Listeners contributed a chapter each, following very loose parameters. On one of the TWiT shows, Brushwood referred to the effort as similar to other books in the genre, minus any plot or character development. If you want a laugh, go hunt down some passages quoted from the book.
The results? According to Gizmodo, despite the almost farcical nature of the book, it peaked at #4 on the iBook store. Do you think this shows that the rankings in the iBook store can be gamed? Or does it show that people will purchase anything in that genre, thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey? I think it is probably a little bit of both.