Monday 22 July 2019

How Joe's Star of the Sea shot to No 1

Author: Joe O'Connor
Author: Joe O'Connor
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

The Richard and Judy Book Club helped to turn novelist Joe O'Connor into an overnight literary star.

In 2004, Star of the Sea, the Dubliner's novel about a famine ship, was ranked at number 337 in the sales chart when it was recommended on their Channel 4 show by guest reviewer Bob Geldof as a "masterpiece".

It shot straight to number 1 in the UK bestseller chart and went on to sell over 800,000 copies in a year.

Books recommended by Richard and Judy's TV shows, and more recently their website, have notched up sales worth over €200m.

Among the titles to have taken off after being featured on the show are The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

The Bookseller Magazine said of Richard and Judy: "No two people in television have had a greater impact on the book trade in the past few years."

Irish Independent

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