A Surprisingly Successful "Fake" "Erotic" E-book

Friday, August 31, 2012


Brooke speaks to Justin Robert Young, who, along with Brian Brushwood, inspired their podcast fans to write a fake erotic e-book and improve its ranking in the iBook store by buying it and leaving 5-star reviews. The idea was to mock the success of Fifty shades of Grey and its sequels. The book reached #4, but then something funny happened - people not in on the joke started buying and positively reviewing the book.

Andrea True - More, More, More


Justin Robert Young

Hosted by:

Brooke Gladstone

Comments [16]

Shawn Huff from Austin, TX

This was a game changer. A real piece of needed literature. <>

Sep. 02 2012 09:53 PM
T B from San Francisco

I thought this book was a great read, actually. I liked it a lot more than 50 Shades.

Sep. 02 2012 04:26 PM
Christopher from Tennessee

As a long time listener of NSFWShow, I listened to BriBri and Jurbs through conception of the idea to delivery and the explosive success it had. I thought it was an interesting social engineering experiment and work of art that speaks to the state of both e-market recommendation engines and the state of the sex-book market in the wake of 50 Shades. I heard it even spawned its own spoof novel and more than one attempt to ride the coat-tails of its current success. Not to mention an incredible crowd-sourced review on Amazon. Thanks for doing this quick piece and bringing even more attention to this form of social-engineered art. DIAF <> PIATC

Sep. 02 2012 03:29 PM
Aaron Righter

What a great story! I thought this was a fantastic tribute to the original hoax, well done everyone!

Sep. 02 2012 03:15 PM
Big Al Knine from Your moms closet

It was great. Love this kind of stuff. I. Ought it and still recommend it to people that claim enjoyed the aweful writing displayed on th Fifty Shades series.

Thank you for covering this story.


Sep. 02 2012 02:54 PM
Sunny Snark from Are You Kidding?!

Hilarious! And I'm a huge fan of Fifty Shades.

Sep. 02 2012 02:19 PM

The Diamond Club was an awesome parody of the erotica books at the top of the literature charts. It was amazing to see NPR cover the story. Thanks for the great interview, and I think the seventies "porn" music was a nice touch.

Sep. 02 2012 02:10 PM

Brilliant. Just goes to show that sex sells no matter what format or quality. Plus it goes to show that most people do judge a book by it's cover.

Sep. 02 2012 02:07 PM

Hilarious. Not just a great idea, but a commentary on our society. Shallow, sex-crazed, and lonely. Yeah, public education!


Sep. 02 2012 01:37 PM
Adam Paulauski from Lunenburg, MA

Great interview with Justin. Thanks for covering this little piece of history in the storied career of the NSFW show. :) I'm still surprised it stayed in the Top 10 as long as it did.

Sep. 02 2012 01:31 PM

Nice little bit. Except the music... unless it was meant invoke a sleazy movie from the seventies :)

Sep. 02 2012 01:13 PM

Great idea and very funny! <>

Sep. 02 2012 01:02 PM
Jim Garrison from Kansas

I loved the prank and the fact that it was at #4 for so long. I have straight face recommended this book anytime I hear someone talking about E.L. James or the twilight fan fiction that started this silliness. Thank you for taking the time to showcase the prank and the book on NP freaking R. That's kind of like Gordon Ramsey telling one that their eggs were pretty good.

Sep. 02 2012 12:48 PM
SupaDave from Earth

This was aimed at "punking" the iTunes top-ten list and "50 Shades", not necessarily the female readership. Feelings were hurt, mistakes were made, booklists were scammed.

I thought it a smart and witty parody.

Thank you Brooke and team.


Sep. 02 2012 12:47 PM
Wez from Bristol, UK

I loved this prank and thought it was very clever. It was pointed out to me by my friend Brock Sockman when I was working in New Hoboken recently and we listened to the NSFW show a lot. We listened to so much I went out and bought Blackwater as a result!

Those guys are amazing and inspire a childlike glee in their fans, which isn't a bad thing right? I just wise I had been part of it!

Sep. 02 2012 12:40 PM
Uggie from Ugh

So you made fun of the reading choice a bunch of middle-aged, unhappily married (or single mom) house fraus in the Midwest. Shooting fish in a barrel is so easy, isn't it?

Another pointless exercise! Well done.

Brooke, was it really that funny? Why is this on OTM? Extra 3 minutes to fill at the end, eh?

Sep. 02 2012 10:59 AM

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