Friday, January 26, 2007

You Have to Love Oprah

You have to love Oprah Winfrey and her book club picks. You have to. Either that, or -- if you are promoting a book and interested in book publicity opportunities of your own -- you will drive yourself crazy at the injustice of it all.

John Steinbeck. Pearl S. Buck. Leo Tolstoy. All of these authors, wonderful and worthy (and yet deceased and beyond reaping the benefits of book promotion opportunities), have had their books selected by the most famous book club of them all.

And who is the latest author to join the ranks of the Chosen Ones? You guessed it: Sidney Poitier. According to, Oprah has just selected Poitier's autobiography, "The Measure of a Man, for her book club.

Look: a bigger Poitier fan than this book publicist you will not find. I love Sidney Poitier. Always have. Always will. I will certainly buy a copy of his book.

But is Sidney Poitier a poor, struggling writer in need of the career boost that admittance to the Book Club would provide? Hardly. Sidney Poitier needs more prestige and adulation the way Jay Leno needs another automobile.

Does Oprah have a right to choose the books for her club? Sure.

I just wish she'd get back to choosing authors whose lives would change because of Oprah's Book Club ... and who could be given the opportunity to change others' lives because of it, as well.

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