Sylvia Day – another star of self-published erotica – scores huge hit for Penguin at the tills
The follow-up to Day's smash hit Bared to You, a novel which was originally self-published in April this year and acquired by Penguin in May, Reflected in You tells of the love affair between Eva and Gideon: "He was beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life". Originally entitled Deeper in You, but changed because some booksellers "felt the title was too suggestive", it sold 82,759 copies in the UK in the last week, according to Nielsen BookScan. Only two novels have had stronger opening-week sales since Nielsen's records began in 1998, according to the Bookseller: JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, and Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol.
The Bookseller's charts editor Philip Stone also points out that more money – £420,000 – was spent on Day's novels last week than on the works of Iain Banks, Ian McEwan, Philippa Gregory, Marian Keyes, Sebastian Faulks, Philip Pullman, Cathy Kelly, Jackie Collins, Tom Clancy, Henning Mankell, Yann Martel, Alexander McCall Smith, Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, Victoria Hislop, PD James, Pierre Dukan, Stieg Larsson, Ian Rankin, Zadie Smith, Karin Slaughter, Paulo Coelho, and Salman Rushdie combined.
"It's Penguin's biggest ever paperback sale (since official records began), which I think is quite incredible given Penguin is the house of Jeremy Clarkson, Jamie Oliver and Jeff Kinney," said Stone. "I think its mega-sale proves two things: one, that the erotica boom is here to stay, and two, that there's still life in the printed book. Reflected in You has been on sale in digital formats for a month already and has topped the Amazon.co.uk Kindle chart for almost as long. Despite this, the paperback edition still enjoyed one of the strongest ever opening-week sales for a printed book since records began."
Reviews of the novel from readers on Amazon.co.uk are rapturous. "Reading Reflected in You is like going on an emotional roller coaster; there is drama and angst; there are secrets and misunderstandings; there are arguments and punishment screws but then you also have the hot sweaty make- up sex and some incredibly sweet moments between them!" writes one reviewer, pointing to some of her favourite quotes: "I'd rather argue with you, angel, than laugh with anyone else", and "I am obsessed with you, angel. Addicted to you. You're everything I've ever wanted or needed, everything I've dreamed of. You're everything. I live and breathe you. For you."
Although Day's Amazon reviews suggest her books are better than James' – Reflected in You has an average rating of 4.7 out of five, while Fifty Shades of Grey gets just 3.2 - Day still has some way to go before she catches up with the British author's sales. The first book in James' trilogy ,Fifty Shades of Grey, became Britain's bestselling book ever earlier this summer, with sales of 5.3m copies in print and ebook.