Fifty Shades trilogy joins bestselling book franchises

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E.L. James was the publishing phenomenon of recent years with her erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey. (Associated Press)

It's the 100 million club and E.L. James just joined it. Her series of books Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed are in elite company by selling over 100 million copies worldwide. Forty-five of the 100 million books sold were bought by readers in the U.S.

According to the L.A. Times, the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer have sold 120 million copies and Dan Brown's Robert Langdon series is at 200 million books sold. J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series is in a league of its own selling over 450 million books worldwide. The second best-selling book series is R.L. Stine's horror-lite for children Goosebumps. The 63 Goosebumps books have sold upwards of 350 million copies.

On par with the Fifty Shades trilogy is Ian Fleming's James Bond series which also hit the 100-million mark, although its first book Casino Royale has been in print for over 50 years.

With a film production in the works for Fifty Shades of Grey, the series is sure to see another swell of sales when the movie is released in February 2015. 

Other mega-successful book series include The Hunger Games and Divergent trilogies. The Hunger Games publisher, Scholastic, announced that as of July 2012 it had sold over 50 million copies of Collins' books in the U.S. Then in August 2012, Amazon announced that Suzanne Collins' three-part saga has outsold the seven-book Harry Potter series, making The Hunger Games the best-selling book series of all time on Amazon.com (print and e-book sales combined). 

As for the Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, and Allegiant), publisher HarperCollins says that the books have sold 10 million copies as of the first of January this year. Divergent the movie comes to North American theatres March 21.

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