Opinion Brief

Glenn Beck: The new Oprah?

The power of the Fox News host to promote a certain kind of book

Novelists know that a plug from Oprah Winfrey can catapult them to success. But thriller authors have a new champion—Fox News star Glenn Beck, who has boosted sales for dozens of writers by endorsing their books on his TV and radio shows. Is the conservative populist helping to revive book sales? (Watch Glenn Beck mockingly make book selections for White House reading.)

Call Beck a mini-Oprah: Glenn Beck clearly "has a massive effect on sales" for writers of political thrillers, says Chris Rovzar in New York. Of course, he won't have to go head-to-head against Oprah Winfrey—Oprah focuses on "inspirational and lyrical fiction," while Beck likes action and intrigue. "But who cares! Schlock writers need to complete their vintage-car collections, too!""Glenn Beck is ‘our Oprah,’ say massively successful thriller writers"Beck must be doing something right: If a conservative populist has The New York Times singing his praises, says Glynnis MacNicol in Mediaite, he must be doing something right. Maybe, in a way, he is the next Oprah. Politics aside, if the man is doing his part to save the struggling book-publishing industry, "he deserves all the credit that can be heaped on him.""Glenn Beck's heroic attempt to keep America literate"No one person can save publishing: Book publishers need all the help they can get, says former Mediabistro writer Sarah Weinman in her blog. But Oprah's power to bestow "the magic elixir of book sales" is decreasing this year, and Glenn Beck is preaching to an audience made up mostly of white males. He can't save the industry—but if he turns his 3 million viewers onto a single book, he has the power to create an instant hit. "Glenn Beck, the new patron saint of thriller writing?"

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