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Image / Editorial

#AskELJames Was A PR Disaster


by Jeanne Sutton
30th Jun 2015
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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 18: Author E.L. James promotes her new book, "Grey" at E.L. James: Grey Book Event at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on June 18, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Yesterday Fifty Shades of Grey author EL James got trending on Twitter. But not in a remotely good way.

The best-selling author of the erotic franchise which depicts the relationship between a naive college graduate and billionaire businessman, decided to use Twitter to talk to her fans, with questions invited via the use of #AskELJames. So far, so simple. You would think that.

However, because Twitter is a smorgasbord of differing opinion and simmering pot of online outrage, some people who find James? writing not up to scratch and her depiction of a BDSM romantic relationship abusive, decided to flood the hashtag with critical tweets.

Here are just some of the shots fired:

Some people did come out in defense of the author and slammed the onslaught of tweets.

Anne Rice, the author of Interview with a Vampire, posted about the incident on her Facebook:

While the entire PR exercise is a disaster, there was one question left unanswered that has genuinely niggled at us since we read the books.

Answers on the back of a telegram please. No emails.

We suspect EL James is having the last laugh, despite the universal panning of her literary output. Not only was the movie adaptation of her first novel a box office success, amassing over $500 million worldwide, but her latest book, Grey, the first in a trilogy told from ‘romantic’ hero Christian Grey’s point of view, smashed book sales records. In the UK it sold 647,401 copies in three days. All of her books in Ireland have accumulated sales of nearly half a million, The Journal reports.

What are your thoughts on the #AskELJames fiasco? Was it outright bullying? Or a justified feminist berating?