Sunday, April 26, 2009

Harding’s Book Still Awaits “The Oprah Effect”

I could be completely wrong about this, so if you have information to the contrary, please don’t hesitate to correct me…

I saw that Tonya Harding was making an appearance on Oprah’s show last week, and the first thing I thought was hmmm… must be a rerun, since Harding’s book (The Tonya Tapes) came out nearly a year ago… Except that they were talking about the 15th anniversary of you-know-what, so it had to be a current episode.

So then I just said hmmmm.

Why did Oprah bother? I’ve no clue, particularly since I didn’t watch it. There was one thing for which I did seek an answer, though: would Harding’s book get a sales boost? After all, Oprah’s touch is downright golden on just about everything she touches. Even if she didn’t make The Tonya Tapes the newest addition to Oprah’s Book Club, Harding was still on her show, making millions more people aware of her book than ever before. (Unless they saw her on HBO’s special, or saw her during the original press tour, or… you get the idea.)

So once I saw the promo, I went to Amazon’s web site to make a mental note of The Tonya Tapes’ sales ranking prior to her Oprah appearance. It was somewhere in the 500,000 range. (As a frame of reference, Scott Hamilton’s recent release The Great Eight currently hovers around the 50,000 rank for sales.)

And a couple days later, I went back to Amazon to check the ranking again. It… was… somewhere in the 500,000 range. Still.

I could’ve simply been a day too late; Amazon rankings can fluctuate quite a bit, even from hour to hour. Harding’s book could have received an Oprah-riffic shot in the arm; I might have missed the whole thing.

Or… maybe even an Oprah episode wasn’t enough to generate interest?

If so…now there’s a sign of something.

As far as a
Clip of the Day goes on this subject—I dug up Nancy Kerrigan’s FS from the ’91 Worlds, where she took bronze as part of a US sweep that included Kristi Yamaguchi and, yes, Harding too.

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