Random House, the publisher of E. L. James’s mystifyingly successful “Fifty Shades of Grey” is sharing the wealth this holiday season in the form of $5,000 Christmas bonuses for every employee in the company -- from editors to mailroom clerks.
The New York Times’ Leslie Kaufman reports that Random House held its annual Christmas party in New York on Wednesday, when Markus Dohle, the company’s CEO, made the announcement. Perhaps not surprisingly, the announcement met with several minutes’ worth of cheering by partygoers.
“Fifty Shades,” which began as series of “Twilight” fan-fiction stories posted on websites, was first published last year by a small print-on-demand publisher in Australia. It became a runaway hit through word-of-mouth on book blogs and was snatched up by Random House’s Vintage Books imprint in April.
In August, the British author James became the best-selling author of all time in the U.K., unseating former champion J. K. Rowling. In the United States, “Fifty Shades” has sold some 35 million copies. The book has topped the New York Times paperback best-seller list for the past 37 weeks.
The bonuses will be doled out to everyone who has worked for Random House for at least a year, with other employees receiving prorated bonuses. Employees will receive the money in their next paychecks.