Kindle Oprah update – Dickens is Pick 65, Kindle Oprah thoughts

We’ve suspected the Kindle will be starring in the Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow alongside Jonathan Franzen and Oprah’s 65th Book Club Pick.

What we probably didn’t expect is for the $7.99 Kindle Oprah Book Club selection to turn out to be a public domain book. It’ll actually be a combination of two Charles Dickens classics (Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities). It’s a special version with a $20 paperback discounted to around $13 and a $8 Kindle edition.

After the great expectations created by the secret $7.99 Kindle Edition of the 65th Oprah Book Club selection it’s a bit of a disappointment to find out it’s a combination of two freely available public domain books.

Associated Press spoil the surprise and temper expectations

Associated Press has revealed the pick ahead of schedule -

  1. The AP actually bought a copy of the new Dickens special edition with the Oprah book club logo on the cover. 
  2. It’s published by Penguin and is 800 pages long.
  3. No comments from Oprah though her website recommends Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’.

The Associated Press notes that Oprah has picked Anna Karenina and East of Eden in the past so picking a public domain book isn’t a complete shocker.

Kindle Oprah thoughts

  1. On the one hand it would have been pretty cool to say the Kindle edition is just $7.99 while the paperback is $13. It being a public domain book takes away a little bit of the lustre.
  2. On the other hand being able to say you can get these Dickens books on your Kindle for free is great.
  3. If you bought the book as a blind preorder (like me) you might want to cancel and get the free versions instead – A Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are both available for $0.
  4. A Tale of Two Cities was added on December 1st which adds even more fuel to the Kindle Oprah fire. Amazon must be expecting a Kindle mention on Oprah if it just added the free version a few days ago.
  5. Wonder why Amazon waited so long to get Oprah’s recommendation for the Kindle – If it happens on Monday, that is. We’re already well into the holiday season. In 2008 having it at the end of October helped Kindle sales the entire holiday season.
  6. It’s interesting that the Kindle might need Oprah’s recommendation to re-establish itself as the reading device of choice. It’s still the best device for reading – It just seems the recent entrants and the Press have managed to steal away the limelight.
  7. Amazon has been making quite an effort recently – retail availability, adding lending, TV commercials, Kindle reading apps. Now the Oprah Show magic. Makes you wonder exactly how well Nook is doing and what impact the iPad has had.

Tomorrow, we’ll find out from the way Oprah talks about the Kindle what Amazon’s situation is (at least we’ll get a rough idea) and also exactly how Amazon is trying to position the Kindle.

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