EL James
EL James gave £1m to charity after earning over £8m after tax (Reuters)

The author of the S&M trilogy 50 Shades of Grey has given over £1m to charity after earning £12.6m in just eight months.

EL James, real name Erika Leonard, gave the money to undisclosed charities after Fifty Shades Ltd made a profit of just over £8m after taxes between February and September 2012.

Over 70 million copies of her book were sold between March and December.

According to the Mirror, her company accounts say: "The company had a very successful first period of trade, during which it secured royalty agreements with numerous international publishing houses and licensing agreements with other organisations."

A report in the Sunday Times also showed how James had remained modest in her spending, despite her huge success.

She paid herself and her husband, Patrick Leonard, £355,000 in dividends on top of their £3,900 salaries.

Sam Taylor Wood to direct

They also still live in their £350,000 terraced house in west London with their two teenage sons. Her most extravagant purchase since becoming a global phenomenon has been a Volkswagen.

James, a former TV executive, began writing the books in 2009 and said she never expected her love story between Anastasia Steele and billionaire Christian Grey to become such a success.

The stories are currently being adapted into films and it was recently announced Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor Wood will be directing the adaptation.

Wood said: "I am excited to be charged with the evolution of Fifty Shades of Grey from page to screen.

"For the legions of fans, I want to say that I will honour the power of Erika's book and the characters of Christian and Anastasia. They are under my skin too."

Producer Michael De Luca said: "Sam's unique ability to gracefully showcase complex relationships dealing with love, emotion and sexual chemistry make her the ideal director to bring Christian and Anastasia's relationship to life.

"EL James' characters and vivid storytelling require a director who is willing to take risks and push the envelope where needed and Sam is a natural fit."