Oprah is the most powerful force in selling books today — possibly ever. She has taken unknown authors and made them #1 NTY bestsellers overnight. If Oprah says shes likes a book, her loyal flock will go out and buy it. It is an amazing power she has over people.
Oprah’s power of marketing has given a huge lift to book publishers and also booksellers. How many copies has Amazon, B&N, Borders, Costco, Walmart, Target, independent book shops sold because of Oprah’s influence? A staggering amount.
Oprah has had around 60 picks. If the average book has sold 1,000,000 copies. That comes to 60,000,000 units! At $10 a pop, that is $600,000,000. Yes, Six-Hundred-Million-Dollars…
Now Oprah has announced that through her iPad App, consumers will be able to buy eBooks directly from her. Effectively cutting out the retailers who have benefitted so much from her book club. I don’t blame Oprah. Why not? I guess she always could have sold physical books from her site and really hurt the bookstores. There will still be consumers of the Kindle and nook who will go to those sites to get their Oprah picks. There will still be people who go into Wal-Mart for the physical book.
But, having Oprah be a direct competitor for eBook sales will change the game. If her fans buy what she tells them to — why wouldn’t they buy from where she tells them to? I think this is the beginning of others who have cult followings selling direct to them and cutting out the retailers.
A list of all Oprah’s Book Club picks.