{Rules of PR no. 42} #AskELJames’ Inner Goddess Is Not A Happy Lip-Biter

It’s a truth universally acknowledged that common sense is not so common.

It’s been nearly four-years since I wrote a {Rules of PR} blog post and I do think today’s #AskELJames Twitter party warrants taking this topic out of retirement.

My inner goddess agrees.

But, where do I even start?

Decisions, decisions, decisions…

Some background information for you first: E.L. James is the ‘author’ of Fifty Shades of Grey aka Masters of the Universe aka her fan fiction based on the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer aka her fan fiction based on Pride and Prejudice that some idiotic ‘publisher’ thought was a good idea to release into the world.

Did you follow that?


I mean you just need to read a few lines of Grey to know that the real hero of the entire Fifty Shades franchise is Christian Grey’s penis:

“I hear her breath hitch and the sound travels directly to my groin.”

“I like my women in skirts. I like them accessible.”

“Her sharp intake of breath is music to my dick.”

“My cock concurs.”

“My cock agrees.”

“My cock agrees, and stiffens in greeting.”

“Her words travel straight to my cock.”

Too bad said genitalia does not have a name, else literary students globally could be studying this masterpiece for the next decade.

Maybe, they’d be so bold as to declare said character a Byronic Hero, compare him to Heathcliff and cite him as simply misunderstood.

But alas, we’ll never know and I do believe Newsweek would concur with that assessment.

Image via SlashFilms

The Not So Brilliant Idea

Publicist: I’ve got a great idea! You’ve outsold Harry Potter, let’s host a Twitter chat! It’s totally the new craze. Everybody does it!

E.L. James: Oooh! Yes, my inner goddess can’t hardly wait! *giggles*

… at least I imagine in my head that this is how it went down. 

Oh, dear.

Maybe E.L. James should have left Masters of the Universe right where she found it: in fan fiction land.

Maybe, just maybe, a few folks should have done their homework.

Maybe Random House or the folks at Vintage Publishing should have hired an actual Social Media Strategist or, heck, a Crisis Communications practitioner for an actual professional opinion on this brilliant plan.

Just because things exist for you to utilize, doesn’t mean you should.

They like me! They really like me!

Too many people associate fame and/or attention with actual love and admiration.

Just ask Velma and Roxie from Chicago.

Today, E.L. James and her publishers learned that just because a lot people bought Grey or Fifty Shades, doesn’t mean anything beyond dollars in the bank.

If money can’t buy you class, it certainly cannot buy you respect either (or the ability not to butcher the English language for that matter — Professor Higgins would be utterly appalled!)

That, fortunately, is one of the few sacred things still left to be earned in today’s society.

From the New York Times to BuzzFeed, the feedback is pretty clear: James has run out of ‘ideas’, her fans are better writers than she is and homegirl had today’s firestorm coming.

From the New York Times:

“Condolences to the 1.1 million people who rushed out to buy E. L. James’s “Grey” in the first four days after its United States publication.”

“That’s right: Ms. James’s own imagination is limited, and she has already taken it about as far as it’ll go.”

“She didn’t exactly invent these characters in the first place: She was a “Twilight” fan who appropriated them, tweaked them and made them hugely salable for a while.”

So, today’s lesson, children, is this: for all Miss James’ shrewd business skills and plagiarizing *cough* I mean Stephanie Meyer-inspiration — James milked her cows until there was nothing left but hot air.

She continued to chase the dragon.

And I’m not sure what is more sad,  that James was actually a published ‘author’ or that she made millions of dollars off of her ‘work’ because society indulged her.

Truth be told, will what the Times said or what Newsweek said or what anyone said for that matter,  negatively affect the Fifty Shades franchise and James?

Probably not, they’re all masochists anyway.

Rules of PR no.42

Quit while you’re ahead.

And if you would like to see the tweets, click here to be taken to Twitter’s search.


Sasha H. Muradali owns the Little Pink Blog (part of Little Pink Book PR, LLC.) Sasha holds a MA International Administration with a concentration in Intercultural Communication from the University of Miami and a BS Public Relations and Dance from the University of Florida. She has been featured in Forbes, CNN and Business Week. Sasha tweets fervidly (@SashaHalima), loves Harry Potter and the colour pink. Find her on LinkedIn, get a copy of the Little Pink Blog delivered to your Kindle and ‘LIKE’ us on Facebook.

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