Friday, October 24, 2008

Oprah Freaks Over the Kindle

Live blogging the Oprah Winfrey Show (something I never thought I would say):

Will an endorsement from Oprah Winfrey on her show this afternoon serve as the tipping point for Amazon's Kindle ebook reader?

As I write this post, Oprah is literally freaking out about the gadget and has just told her audience to open up their surprise packages containing their own new Kindles. She is so over the top and hyper this afternoon (almost a parody of the infamous Tom Cruise appearance on her show) that Amazon management must think they've died and gone to heaven.

She just introduced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and the two of them are yucking it up about how great the ebook reader is. I have to say it again: Oprah is jumping around and shrieking as if she's on speed and Bezos is cracking up at her antics. She's just gone to commercial and promised to demonstrate how to download books and newspapers to the Kindle when she returns (something she failed to do, but she did close the show by saying there would be a Kindle "school" on for those who want to buy one now).

She also hinted at a special deal that Bezos is going to announce for everyone who didn't receive a free one in her audience this afternoon (this is supposedly a live show).

Here's the (not so big) special deal that Oprah hinted at earlier: go to and get the special discount code good for $50 off the current price of the Kindle for use when ordering at Amazon. Do keep in mind, though, that a new version of the Kindle is said to be coming out sometime in January and the new version might make you wish you had waited until then.

Oprah's television personality is not something I can take in doses of much over five minutes at a time but she definitely has a huge audience so this may be the best thing to happen to Amazon in a long, long time. Can she do for the Kindle what she does with her book club choices? Considering the price of a Kindle, I doubt it, but it sure won't hurt.


  1. Oprah’s messages boards and other blogs are excited about her latest gadget endorsement. Bezos and Oprah are very smart about this one.

  2. Good post. This is all over the internet, but it's nice to finally hear a first-hand account of the show.

    Literary License

  3. Welp, it never much matters to ME what Oprah says about books...and it doesn't much matter to ME what she says about the Kindle. However, even if it did, $50 off isn't enough to make it affordable for me.

    I know I'm in the minority, though. Being endorsed by Oprah seems to be the ticket to stardom for writers. But the vast majority of her picks don't align with my own reading preferences. I have read some of her picks because they were more in line with things I enjoy reading. But I have such a huge TBR list that I don't go out of my way to read something because she says its good.

  4. Thanks, Gwen. I'm not an Oprah fan and accidentally stumbled onto this particular program about five minutes before the Kindle portion of the show.

  5. I pretty much agree, Jen. In fact, I've mentioned a couple of times that I find those stupid "Oprah Book Club" stickers on book covers to be such an embarrassment that I refuse to own them.