Sunday, October 07, 2007

Oops! She picked it again!

Oprah's Book Club strikes again. Yes. Once again, the good folks at the Oprah Winfrey Show decided to choose a book that didn't need any more publicity with its book club logo. The offering? Love in the Time of Cholera. Granted, it's a nice, cheerful title (as usual), and will certainly provide Oprah fans with hours of light entertainment (which is what we've all come to expect of Oprah Book Club selections).

But why doesn't Oprah choose fresh, new authors who could benefit from the book promotion that her endorsement would provide? Why doesn't Oprah choose to introduce her audience to books they wouldn't hear about, if it weren't for Oprah's recommendation?

In days of yore, Oprah's book club catapulted unknown authors -- say, Jacquelyn Mitchard -- to the top of bestseller lists. (Remember The Deep End of the Ocean? That was worthy of Oprah's magic book club logo, and many of us wouldn't have had the pleasure of discovering it if Oprah Winfrey hadn't pointed the way to it.)

But Gabriel Garcia Marque, the latest recipient of Oprah's endorsement, won the 1982 Nobel Prize for literature, for pity's sake! He's already a luminary in the literary world. Why does he need the visibility that Oprah Winfrey's book club offers? Well, for the same reason that Tolstoy, Pearl S. Buck, and John Steinbeck needed it, I suppose.

But just once ... just once! ... I wish Oprah and her book-loving staff would harken back to their beginnings find a wonderful, budding novelist whose work is worthy of our notice, and whom we haven't yet discovered for ourselves, and that they'd grace that novelist with all the book promotion potential that her book club logo would provide. I know a book publicist or two who would help Oprah's producers find these gems.

1 comment:

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I totally agree with you, Stacey!