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"Esquire" Bets New ‘Dude Lit’ Will Entice Men to Read Fiction

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While women devour fiction books like the racy Fifty Shades of Grey, a major publisher is betting that more men will at long last take up reading via an eBook series that will launch June 5 -- Fiction for Men.

The collection -- a collaboration between Esquire magazine and Open Road Integrated Media -- is meant to be funny and action-driven.

"Each story is about something that men can relate to," Esquire's editor-in-chief David Granger wrote in an email to ABC News.  "One of the stories -- about a drug deal gone bad -- is surprising and exciting and violent and taps into one of the parts of life that many men dread: f***ing up in an irreparable way."

The theme of another is basketball and "the inevitability of aging;" and the third is about a boy deciding to "take on some of the trappings of manhood," according to Granger.

The first volume will highlight short stories by authors Aaron Gwyn, Luis Alberto Urrea and Jess Walter and Esquire will offer up new fiction every month.

Granger said he has no idea if this new testosterone-laden "dude lit" will tap into the new lucrative eBook market.

"This is an experiment," he said.  "I see how rabidly men, as well as women, consume the works of writers like Michael Connelly and Lee Child and James Lee Burke and I know there is a market for well-crafted, plot-driven stories."

According to several national surveys, only one-third of all American readers are males, and fiction is not their genre of choice.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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