Thursday, May 26, 2011

Oprah sold books

Oprah Winfrey, now retired from the daily broadcast TV grind, has pretty much dominated the airwaves for the last few weeks. Her exit from the scene has been examined from every direction, and as we saw recently, not only is she the second most powerful celebrity out there (Lady Gaga, for the moment, has her beat), she is also one of the few to also be on the list of billionaires (take that, Gaga).

Over the years, one of the most talked about features of Oprah's show was her bookclub. She touted some famous books, and she discovered some far from famous books. So how did those books do with the readers? Were they bestsellers? The numbers are pretty convincing. Over 3,000,000 Eckhart Tolles, well over 2,000,000 James Freys, 1,300,000 or so John Steinbecks. And the list goes on. These are serious sales. Some books, as this article on the Nielsen blog shows, were absolutely made by Ms. Winfrey. It makes for interesting reading. Publishers, and writers, are going to miss her.

Read The Oprah Effect: Closing the Book on Oprah’s Book Club.

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