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Oprah nightmare for publishers

Oh the horror! If you look up towards the sky in Manhattan right now, you will see some very sad people dotted along the ever-so-high ledges of those massive media corporation buildings.

Yes, just when book publishers thought life could not get any worse comes the news that Oprah Winfrey, the publisher’s best friend, will shutdown her daytime talk show in 2011. All this comes on the heels of the rise of e-books, the Kindle, the Nook, the Sony e-thingy, and the demise of book coverage in the mainstream US media.

a-camel-yesterdaySo what will be the ultimate go-to source for bookselling when Oprah pulls the plug?

Frankly, there isn’t another ‘superpower of recommendation’ like the Big O, who has the book club selections and features countless authors on the show. Publishers will have to target multiple media sources, including the unofficial media of blogs and social networking sites, and hope many small hits will create a bestseller.

Somehow, I think Oprah loves her literature and that she’s going to remain linked to books one way or another. Odd how this announcement comes very soon after her recent interviews with Stephenie Meyer and Sarah Palin? Perhaps these two ladies were the straws that broke the camel’s back? (Oprah’s lawyers should note I am not actually saying Oprah is a dromedary) I’d probably be ready to pack it in after discussing vampires and foreign policy respectively with those two.

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