I recently received an email from my Macmillian sales rep alerting me that Oprah has selected the next book for her Book Club. There is always a frenzy surrounding the announcement, which is shrouded in secrecy. This is what Macmillian knows:
1. Oprah #64 is one of their titles.
2. Oprah will announce the book on September 17th. That will also be the onsale date of the title. (At least, the official Book Club-stickered edition. No guarantees that the book hasn’t been out already.)
3. The selection is a $28.00 hardcover.
4. Books must be ordered in carton quantity (16).
Booksellers have to order blindly, as we need to have the book in stock on the annoucement date, so of course we are going to speculate about what the book may be.
My thoughts? The most conspicuous book of the fall, Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM, happens to be a Macmillian (FSG) $28. Is it possible that Oprah would choose his follow-up to THE CORRECTIONS as a way “make friends” after the Franzen fracas last time? It IS the most talked about book of the year, and Oprah is all about forgiveness. The last time Oprah chose a hardcover for her Book Club was with selection #62, THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE by David Wroblewski, which had already been a runaway bestseller.
It’s all speculation, of course, but it would make a good story. And who isn’t dying to read FREEDOM? Even President Obama couldn’t wait until it was released!