Fan fiction is not just for Internet hobbyists anymore. As the publishing industry continues to look for the “next” franchises like “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent,” it seems some publishers are seeing if they can duplicate “Fifty Shades of Grey’s” success.
Just as “Fifty Shades of Grey” was initially a “Twilight” fan fiction that was repackaged and rereleased as its own story after becoming an Internet phenomenon, Simon & Schuster is looking to share Anna Todd’s One Direction fan fiction. Titled “After,” the story of 18-year-old Tessa Young who meets “a rude boy named Harry, with too many tattoos and piercings, who shatters her plans” has garnered more than 800 million reads since its first installment was published on Wattpad
The 25-year-old Todd sold “After’s” worldwide rights to Simon & Schuster for a reported mid-six figure deal. The first installment in the trilogy will be available in bookstores and e-books in November 2014, while the second and third installments will be released in January and March of 2015.
Simon & Schuster’s Adam Wilson, the editor who acquired the story, tells Publishers Weekly
that some changes to the original story will be made. “The book is very long, so we’ll edit it down and get to the core of the story,” Wilson says. “We’re committed to keeping the story people know but we want to reach traditional readers as well.”
The names of Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne and Louis Tomlinson will be changed as well. Harry’s new name will still begin with an H, Todd reveals on Twitter
It’s unclear if the sexually explicit nature of the story will be toned down or if the novels will be released as erotica like “Fifty Shades.” UTA is looking to sell the rights to an “After” movie.