Deadline reports that there has been “something of a stampede of bidders” for the film rights to a self-pubbed science fiction title, Wool, which, because it’s “an internet sensation” that attracted the interest of Hollywood, is being called “the sci-fi version of Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Publishers Weekly reported on the book early last month, pointing out that there has been little press about it, except for and a review on BoingBoing.

Wool began life as short story, followed by four more titles, which are collected in Wool – Omnibus Edition (Amazon/CreateSpace; 9781469984209). The five individual titles and the omnibus edition are available through wholesalers as print on demand. According to WorldCat, just a few libraries own any of them.

Despite strong interest from traditional American publishers, Howey has not yet made a deal with any of them, because, he told PW, he doesn’t find their terms attractive. On his blog today, he announces that he struck a deal with Random House in the UK for publication in January. From the sound of it, though, he hasn’t changed his mind about American publishers,

I now have a native-language (mostly) publisher while remaining indie here at home. With feet firmly planted on both sides of the fence, I’ll get a taste of the traditional route without signing over my life. I can still write what I want over here. I won’t lose the sales that allow me to write full-time. And foreign book contracts, let me tell you, are much more progressive and author-friendly than domestic ones.

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