Year of the E-book: Fifty Shades of Grey and Oprah 2.0

While many people still frown at the mention of e-books, they're a major boon to the publishing industry. Just imagine that Fifty Shades of Grey has now sold over 10 million copies, and people are still talking about it. What's more, the e-reader offers publishers endless means of promotion with its highlight and share features. And when we didn't think that the e-book business could get any bigger in walks Oprah...

A need for book clubs

After reading about a low-brow book, Fifty Shades of Grey, in a high-brow newspaper, I reviewed it, and I'm still astounded by how popular the review became. In just two months, I received 130 Facebook likes, dozens of comments and over 120,000 hits. That's success for a small-time book blogger. From this experience, I've discovered that I'm not alone: readers want to discuss what they read, particularly if they have strong feelings about it, and what better way than by leaving an anonymous comment and checking back.

I was once a member of a book club, and it was a wonderful experience. I read a lot of books that I never would have otherwise picked up, and I was able to discover other readers' thoughts on a book, sometimes validating my own, but more often than not giving me new food for thought. But it was finding the time to get five busy people together that eventually ended our group.

No need to get together if you have an e-reader

This year I received an e-reader for my birthday, and I won't lie. I love it. I like that I can change the font size and highlight a word to get the dictionary definition. In other words, I no longer have to contend with poor paper quality and cutting-edge designer font, two pet peeves that can ruin the read. But here's the big game changer: I can now highlight my favourite passages and share them.

Enter Oprah

If anyone has the star power to kick start a phenomenon, it's Queen Oprah. On Friday, she announced her new book club, format 2.0. Book publishers are rubbing their palms together as I write this! Readers can not only share their thoughts on Facebook and Twitter (#oprahsbookclub), but they can also read the passages her Majesty liked and commented on, with the Oprah's Book Club 2.0 Digital Edition, of course. Careful, there are several different versions of the book.

Oprah chose Wild by Cheryl Strayed (lucky her!) as her first book for Oprah's Book Club 2.0. Not only can you read the most inspiring quotes from Wild, but you can also get the O reading guide and join the book conversation with the talk show host extraordinaire.

 I'm not sure how Oprah decided on this book, but I'm wondering what is going to happen when and if she decides to feature Fifty Shades of Grey.

I've bought Wild and I will report back on whether or not Oprah's highlighted passages and comments actually enhance the reading experience.

Other book-related posts:

Fifty Shades of Grey, an update
Joyce Carol Oates on her Life and US Politics
Fifty Shades of Grey 
The Blue Dragon by Robert Lepage and Marie Michaud
The Return by Dany Laferrière
Meet Revolutionary Mother 
Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter
Interview with Carmen Aguirre, Chilean Resistance Fighter
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Antagonist by Lynn Coady
Irma Voth by Miriam Toews
Dogs at the Perimeter by Madeleine Thien
Going Down Swinging by Billie Livingston
Incendiary by Chris Cleave
Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell 
The Girl Without Anyone by Kelli Deeth



Post a Comment