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"Fifty Shades" author offers readers a how-to "Journal"

"Fifty Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess (A Journal)" Random House

E L James' latest project is a journal that also offers a few tips on one of life's most enduring passions: writing.

Vintage Books announced Monday that James has collaborated with the publisher on "Fifty Shades of Grey: Inner Goddess (A Journal)," which will serve as a how-to-guide for aspiring writers to be released on May 1.

It includes lined pages for readers to set down their own ideas, or "inner goddess," excerpts from the novels, writing tips, a writing playlist and a foreword by the author. The journal pages are divided into sections inspired by the "50 Shades" protagonists, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey.

Vintage, which is a paperback imprint of Random House Inc., says the journal will have a soft leather, "bonded" cover, and will include a red ribbon marker so readers won't lose their place.

"As E L James traveled and met with readers, there was a great curiosity about how she got started writing," said Vintage/Anchor's Anne Messitte, the acquiring publisher of the "Fifty Shades" series. "Her personal story is inspirational to many women, and journaling was an important part of her writing process."

James' erotic trilogy was acquired by Vintage last year and has sold more than 70 million copies worldwide. The series is also being made into a movie by Universal Pictures and Focus Features.

The "Journal," though, could get its fair share of lashings, as even some critics -- who admitted to being lured into the novel's pleasures -- have said that James is not the strongest writer.

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