shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass

12.21.2004

please restrain jonathan franzen from responding to this in any way to any media outlet or even his mother

Someone actually studied Oprah's impact on book sales and found out that -- shocker! -- it is HUGE*:

Oprah's recommendations had a bigger impact on the sales of books than anything we have previously seen in literature, or seen since,' said Brigham Young University economics professor Richard Butler, whose findings were published in the latest issue of the journal Publishing Research Quarterly. Butler found that Winfrey's recommendation was enough to lift books from obscurity and to keep them on the best-seller lists longer than other titles.

Using USA Today's weekly 150-item best-seller list, Butler and his team of students went about examining the 45 non-children's titles Winfrey picked from her book club's inception in 1996 until she announced its end in 2002.

Of those books, only 11 had been on the best-seller list before her recommendation, and none of them had gone beyond No. 25. Of the first 11 books that Winfrey picked, all went to at least No. 4 within a week, Butler said.


In unrelated news, Courtney Love will write an autobiography. Could anyone have stopped her? Destined to NOT reap the benefits of Oprah's stamp, I'll wager.

*Note the restraint shown in not committing the obvious jokestering.

UPDATED: Jeff provides the following further info on the Love masterpiece-in-the-making in the comments section. (This must be what it felt like when Jewel decided to publish her poetry.) He sez:

Courtney has been threatening an autobio/memoir for a while. Remember this from earlier in the year?

"The book will also include the unpublished liner notes for Live Through This, which the proposal's cover letter boasts "rivals David Foster Wallace at his best." A sample from those liner notes reads, "Like a virus on glucose, you're hungry, but I'm starving. ... I dream of Anne Sexton in her red negligee, with her therapist. ... I dream of life, life, life and truth. Now go to hell.""

2 Comments:

  • At 2:30 PM , Blogger Syntax of Things said...

    Courtney has been threatening an autobio/memoir for a while. Remember this from earlier in the year?

    "The book will also include the unpublished liner notes for Live Through This, which the proposal's cover letter boasts "rivals David Foster Wallace at his best." A sample from those liner notes reads, "Like a virus on glucose, you're hungry, but I'm starving. ... I dream of Anne Sexton in her red negligee, with her therapist. ... I dream of life, life, life and truth. Now go to hell.""

    Link: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1484748/20040202/love_courtney.jhtml?headlines=true

     
  • At 2:34 PM , Blogger gwenda said...

    Yeah, I must admit to being a little flummoxed at why that's "news" (much like the flummoxation of knowing that Oprah can sell some fucking books). The excerpt is priceless -- I hope it includes a similar account of her 40th birthday.

     

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