Written by Brandon Williams on Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

E.L. James can be credited with a lot of things, including the rise in sex shop sales, but one of the most important things she and others like her appears to be revolutionizing the publishing industry.

Because Fifty Shades started out as an eBook, publishers are now storming the various online platforms such as the fan site that James first got noticed on and looking for the next E.L. James.

Pearson, owner of Penguin Books, purchased grassroots publisher Author Solutions for $115m last week. The purpose of the purchase is so they themselves won’t have to seek out the next big thing, but rather they will already own that author’s work.

Scottish author Denise Mina says the eBook will soon change how authors write. “Nobody knows what sells,” she said. “More so now because the market’s changing so fundamentally because of Kindle and electronic publishing. With literary production, it’s going to change the sorts of stories that we hear, which is amazing.”

Self-published books were up 50% in 2011 over 2010. Self-publishing eBook author Tricia Bracher welcomes the news. “There were always too many people trying to get work published and there was nowhere left to turn to prior to this,” she said. “I am intrigued to know how publishers are going to maintain quality control, but I am cautiously optimistic.”

With tons of the authors being published, it’s only a matter of time before the next E.L. James pops out of nowhere and catches fire.

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