NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - The Oprah Winfrey gravy train for authors is slowing down.
Winfrey has decided to cut back her book club recommendations, which have translated into a significant boost in sales for the books she selected.
"It has become harder and harder to find books on a monthly basis that I feel absolutely compelled to share," Winfrey said in a statement. "I will continue featuring books on The Oprah Winfrey Show when I feel they merit my heartfelt recommendation."
Vowing "to get the whole country reading again,'' the talk-show host founded her book club in 1996. Her recommendations soon became publishing's version of winning the lottery. Thanks to Winfrey, novels such as Mitchard's "The Deep End of the Ocean'' and Tawni O'Dell's "Back Roads'' reached hundreds of thousands of additional readers.
Publishers were understandably grateful, but some critics complained that Winfrey favored sentimental stories over quality literature. Winfrey herself seemed aware of these concerns and in recent months had picked such weighty books as Mistry's "A Fine Balance'' and Jonathan Franzen's "The Corrections.''
Ironically, Franzen became her most notorious selection. The author made several disparaging remarks about Winfrey and her previous book club picks and Winfrey responded by canceling the dinner she traditionally throws for her chosen author.
-- from staff and wire reports