But whether he intended to or not, the 30 year-old entrepreneur has created a Facebook book club, as it were, and as one of the most influential people in the world, his literary endeavor will naturally be likened to that curated by another most influential person: Oprah Winfrey. A close look, however, shows that that actually the two bear little in common.
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"The [respective book clubs] are so very different," says Jim Milliot, editorial director at Publisher's Weekly, employed with the company for nearly 22 years and a publishing insider for over 30. "For one thing, Zuckerberg hasn't worked with the publishers yet to help facilitate sales."
In contrast, Winfrey worked well in advance with publishers, who were eager to know what was on her agenda. "It was a huge deal when [publishers] knew she was going to make an announcement," adds Milliot.
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And of course there was that all-important "Oprah Book Club" sticker, a badge that still holds relevance to readers. Reprinting an old book with that new badge on a massive scale was no easy task. "It was a rather elaborate production," Milliot says.
It paid off, both for Winfrey and for the dozens of authors it spotlighted during its 15-year run. The club's 2007 reprint of Jeffrey Eugenides' "Middlesex," originally published in 2002, has sold 710,000 copies, Nielsen reports.