As I’m sure we all know, Oprah is leaving our daily talk show lives for good. Well, at least The Oprah Winfrey Show is and with it goes the Oprah Book Club. I admittedly have never watched an episode of Oprah and I tend to turn my nose up at the Oprah endorsed books. The Christian Science Monitor recently published an article on what the end of Oprah will mean for the publishers of her books and the literary community she created.
Surprisingly, Oprah and her book club have done a lot for both publishers and readers. Since 1996 Oprah has chosen 70 books for her book club, 22 of which were No. 1 best sellers on the USA Today bestsellers list. Oprah has endorsed writers from Toni Morrison (4 books total) to Leo Tolstoy (Anna Kerenina is included on the No. 1 bestseller list following it’s iniciation in to the Oprah Book Club). With all the different social and economical demographics Oprah reaches, it’s actually pretty cool that she promoted the authors and books she did. I don’t want to stereotype but how many regular watchers of day time talk show television pick up Morrison or Tolstoy? Well, more now thanks to Oprah!
As far as the publishers go, when Oprah endorsed Uwem Akpan’s Say You’re One of Them the initial print of the book was 77,000. After Oprah liked it, 780,000 more copies were printed. The O is pretty much gold to publishers and everyone is curious to see what’s going to happen post Oprah.
Never fear though. Oprah is starting her own network! Oprah herself has spoken of creating an entire show concentrating on authors and books. Go Oprah!