E.L. James, the author of the Fifty Shades trilogy, has been named Publishers Weekly's Publishing Person of the Year for 2012. James, the pen name of Erika Leonard, became the author of the fastest-selling adult series of all time after her erotic trilogy, initially posted online as Twilight fan fiction, became a massive viral hit. The series was acquired by Random House's Vintage unit in March and the books--Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed--have sold over 35 million copies in the U.S. alone (combined print and digital), bringing in more than $200 million in revenue to the publisher. Because the success of the series continues to reverberate throughout the industry in a number of ways--among other things, the money it's brought in helped boost print sales in bookstores and turned erotic fiction into a hot category--we have selected James as the most notable player on the publishing stage this year.
PW's interview with James is available online now, and profiles of our five other notable people of the year, will be available online to coincide with the publication of the December 3rd issue of the magazine.