Don't be surprised if you see Maya Angelou's The Heart of a Woman on the May 19 PW trade paperback charts. The 1981 book -- the fourth volume of Angelou's autobiography -- was just selected as Oprah Winfrey's seventh book club pick. The last six -- The Deep End of the Ocean, Song of Solomon, The Book of Ruth, She's Come Undone, Stones from the River, and The Rapture of Canaan -- have catapulted to the top slot within a week or so of Winfrey's on-air announcements. In anticipation of the demand Bantam has printed one million copies of the title in a new $12 trade paper. In addition, Random House has reprinted about 90,000 copies of the book's hardcover edition -- a wise move, since Oprah's choice has been generating renewed sales vigor for that format as well.

Both Random House and Bantam have enjoyed a long publishing relationship with Angelou, beginning with her first book, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the classic autobiography of her young years first published in 1970 (the poet/memoirist has had only one editor, Bob Loomis, for all her adult books).

At President Clinton's first inauguration in 1993, Angelou's dramatic recitation of a moving new p m was enough to get droves of people into the stores to buy all of her books. At that time, PW reported that her sales tripled in many outlets. While Bantam wisely went to press on the Angelou uvre before the inauguration, the publisher was back for more books one week later. Bantam president/publisher Irwyn Applebaum noted that Caged Bird stayed on the national charts for about two years after that reading. Clearly, Oprah's announcement and the June Book Club show (date to be set) that will showcase the author could result in an Angelou bonanza. In preparation for that program, Bantam is reprinting all of its mass market Angelou backlist in trade paper editions (100,000 copies of each title) with new jacket art, and is also preparing point-of-purchase materials, including posters and floor displays, "to encourage readers to spend the summer with this remarkable woman," said Applebaum. Even fans familiar with Angelou's p try, essays and memoirs will have something to look forward to at summer's end, when Random House publishes Even the Stars Look Lonesome, a collection of personal essays similar to 1993's Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now. That book had a 25-week run on PW's hardcover list.