There was a time when having an Oprah Book Club stamp on the cover of a book was like having a license to print money for the book publishing industry. So there is undoubtedly celebrating going on in the halls of Manhattan’s biggest publishers with Oprah Winfrey’s video announcement yesterday that she was reviving her famous book club.
The book club will now be a feature of her television network, OWN, and she is describing it as Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 because she is calling it a “digital, online” club. She said digital versions of the book will be created specifically for her club, with special features like enabling readers to share their favorite passages and to see which passages are Oprah’s favorites.
“This is way different than the old book club because as we know, there are so many ways we can read and discuss, get together and connect these days,” she said on the video, which is filmed from her offices in Chicago.
Oprah said she was so excited reading the book Wild by Cheryl Strayed that she was upset that she didn’t have the Oprah Winfrey Show any more as a vehicle to tell everybody about it. So she decided to start another club because of the strength of one book—an honor that Cheryl Strayed will be able to ride on for the rest of her life. The book is about Strayed’s 1,100-mile journey on foot.
“The book is about being brave when you didn’t think you could be,” Oprah said.
With the new digital format, readers will be able to chat online with the authors and Oprah via Facebook and Twitter while they are reading. More information on the book club is available on Oprah’s website, Oprah.com/bookclub.
At its height, Oprah’s Book Club turned books like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and James Frey’s A Million Little Pieces into instant bestsellers, causing writers and the publishing industry to wait with bated breath for each new selection—and even influencing some writers to craft books with elements that they thought might appeal to Oprah. Over the course of the club’s 15-year run, Oprah recommended a total of 70 books, with sales estimates for those books at about 55 million.
Here’s the video of Oprah announcing the new club: