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Oprah slow to Kindle - fans left out in cold

What, no O?

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Oprah fans who bought into the electronic book revolution for Christmas have been disappointed to find that less than half of Winfrey's recommended books have gone electronic, and the chat show goddess hasn't even put her own magazine O onto an e-ink screen.

The most influential woman in America (and, quite possibly, the world) endorsed Amazon's electronic book back in October - telling fans it was her favourite electronic gadget and prompting many of the less technically literate to rush out and order one.

The Kindle is unique among electronic books as content is delivered over the cellular data network without user interaction - so magazine subscriptions can be automatically updated and purchased books automatically delivered. That is assuming those subscriptions don't include Oprah's titles O and O At Home, neither of which are available.

Oprah's book club has been hugely influential in promoting works, and the "Oprah Effect" has been credited with driving sales up by as many as a million copies - but less than half of the books recommended by Oprah are available in an electronic form (though at least one is freely available from Gutenberg).

Kindle buyers could have checked this out before purchasing, but through Oprah Amazon has managed to get the Kindle into the hands of punters who don't know a PDF from a Plucker, and don't want to know. If Amazon is going to prevent being inundated with returned Kindles they're going to have to make sure their platform supports the kind of content Oprah fans want to see - that is, what Oprah tells them they want to see. ®

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