A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Oprah Was Bad for Book Sales – The Atlantic

In Nonsense on March 21, 2012 at 11:29

Stranger Than Fiction

For fifteen years, Oprah Winfrey ruled the publishing industry like a benevolent, daytime TV dictator. A recommendation on Oprah’s Book Club, which ended its run last year, sent almost any book, new or old, straight to the bestseller list. She could get readers to pick up Faulkner. She could get them to pick up Uwem Akpan. (Who? Exactly.)

But despite her success as a taste-maker, Oprah apparently could not get America to pick up more books. According to a recent study, Oprah’s endorsements may have actually hurt fiction sales overall by encouraging her fans to read novels that were longer and more complicated than their usual, less literary fare.

In other words, Oprah made her viewers a little more high brow, and publishers a little bit poorer.


  1. I NEVER read Oprah book club books. I think I read three in the beginning and didn’t like any of them and gave up on her. BLEH.

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