"Fifty Shades" the S&M series that became a surprising runaway best-seller this year, has paid off in a big way for workers at a Random House distribution center outside Baltimore. As noted in this article in the Baltimore Sun, each of the 800 workers -- from supervisors to secretaries -- will receive a $5,000 bonus, a company official announced at the Westminster center's holiday party.
Company CEO Markus Dohle said that E. L. James' trilogy -- "Fifty Shades of Grey," "50 Shades Darker" and "50 Shades Freed" -- was a major factor in the company's success this year.
"It is the biggest phenomenon in book publishing," Dohle was quoted as saying. "Especially the velocity of the sales."
If you recall, the series sparked controversy at some libraries, as officials debated whether to put the steamy books on the shelves. In Harford County, the book was banned, though readers could borrow it from most other libraries in the region.
Mary Hastler, director of the Harford County Public Library, said James' book violated the system's policy on pornography -- and was poorly written to boot. "I've been doing this a long time, and I knew it was going to make some people happy and others unhappy. That's just a given. But if I had gone against our policy, it would have been a lot more difficult for me," she told the Sun at the time.