E.L. James' wildly popular novel has now surpassed the Harry Potter series in terms of sales. While James' novel is being snapped-up by young and old alike, there is a deeper and more profound message than the eroticism that permeates the entire book. Fifty Shades of Grey is a great example of how the world is rapidly moving away from preoccupations about age differences in relationships. I'm not suggesting that we've got another Lolita on our hands, because we do not.
Nabokov was writing in a very different time in terms of our collective social conscience. James' novel confirms that age differences and, in many cases, cultural differences, are not the barriers they once were. James' also uses technology (e.g., the laptop from Grey) to help further reinforce this connection or potential connection, between people--no matter what their age, race or sexual preference. James' "common sense" approach to packaging the novel helped ensure people would pick it up, sex will never stop selling and she has used this brilliancy to her advantage. Aspiring authors, poets, communicators, corporate storytellers, and all others whose job it is to engage audiences should take note--some things never change. The trick, however, is being able to continue to engage and entertain beyond the sex. In James' case, she has nailed it.
James also has very good timing. Just as e-readers and tablets had finally taken hold with book lovers (remember this was not always the case in the early days for Kindle and other similar products), James' launched Fifty Shades of Grey. This has had and will continue to have a major impact on burgeoning novelists and other writers who may have been turned down, and almost definitely turned-off, by more traditional publishers.