She points to one of the latest entries as an example: Jenna Bush Hager’s book club on The Today Show. She recently announced her August pick, Nicole Dennis-Benn’s novel Patsy, to excited cheers from her audience. McLean says the first five books chosen by the “Read with Jenna” book club saw a significant boost in their sales. “We’ve seen these books overperform about 500% compared to the rest of the market for fiction during that time. So that’s a very healthy performance.”
It’s too soon to have the numbers for Patsy, but Dennis-Benn is excited for her book’s prospects, “It’s every writer’s dream, I won’t lie about that,” she says. “It’s really a dream come true, to have this happen, to expose more individuals to the Patsies in our society.” She adds that many of those who will now read the book might never have been exposed to a character like Patsy, an undocumented immigrant to America who leaves her child behind in Jamaica to pursue her dream of fortune and romance with another woman. “You know when you’re writing, you’re not sure who you’re gonna be connecting to,” Dennis-Benn says. “You just know that you’re writing for yourself. And you’re hoping that somebody gets the message. And so when these people who have a platform pick our books, it means it’s gonna be read widely.”
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