Why Publishers Should Be Thanking Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

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By Cori Cagide, Publicist

The New Year marks the start of new beginnings, “new year, new you” mantras, an influx of gym memberships and an uptick of self-help books being published. New Year’s resolutions are taken pretty seriously by some, who vow to be better, work harder, work less, eat right, get in better shape, etc., with a large majority vowing to do better than last year, and an even larger majority failing to last past the first month of their promise.

Zuckerberg_The End of PowerDon’t fret – it’s not just the common folk of the world who make these resolutions, celebrities are also making promises to themselves on how they’d like to improve themselves or their lifestyles in the New Year.

Take Mark Zuckerberg, for example. For 2015, he is challenging himself to read a new book every two weeks.

He has plenty of encouragement, too – with over 30 million followers and a self-proclaimed “book club” there’s no reason the CEO/Founder of Facebook should have any qualms with completing his challenge. I mean, it’s not like he has to run a company or anything, right?

Zuckerberg announced his plan to do so on January 2nd, encouraging his massive following to join him in a Facebook group aptly named, “A Year of Books” (which has over 67,000 likes to date). According to a piece from Publisher’s Weekly, Zuckerberg says he will be selecting titles with “an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.”

The first book on his list is The End of Power, by Moises Naim, which was released by Perseus in March of 2013. Although the book is almost two years old, publishers are starting to notice the effects of being a part of Zuckerberg’s book club, with the hardcover skyrocketing to #1 in all of its categories on Amazon.

Zuckerberg_OprahAccording to big players like the WSJ, The Atlantic, and the New York Times – being on Mark Zuckerberg’s book list is great for sales – and I think most would agree.

However, the question that keeps coming up is: Will Mark Zuckerberg’s “A Year of Books” be the next “Oprah’s Book Club?” Will he venture into publishing like Oprah did with Harpo? The answer seems to be an overwhelming no. It’s even gotten to the point that Zuckerberg addressed the question on his Facebook page, responding:

“Hello readers, recently I got a challenge from a member of the ‪#‎AYearOfBooks club and it said “Can you beat the popularity of Oprah’s Book Club?”. I don’t know if the number of members of a club is very important, but I had accepted that challenge and you can now find us on Twitter. Follow us here https://twitter.com/AYearOfBooks15.”

I’m curious to see how Zuckerberg will go about finishing the book. True to the typical agenda of a book club, will he open it up for discussion on the “A Year of Books” Facebook page? I was quite surprised to see that after two weeks, Zuckerberg had very little updates on the page. I’m sure his following would appreciate some type of update – what he thinks of the book, how long it took him to read, etc. Maybe that will come at the end.

But watch out, Mark. The clock is ticking. He’s just started the third week of the New Year, which means the second book for your book club. I wonder who the lucky sucker will be to not only gain one of the most famous faces in the world, but his 30,000,000+ followers as well.

Related: Facebook At Work: Will it Work?

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