Monday, 29 September 2008

Does Your Novel Have A Bestselling Title?

Print-on-demand publisher lulu.com has come up with an interesting Titlescorer to tell you if your title will get your novel onto the bestseller list. They hired a team of statisticians to analyze the titles of the past fifty years of the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller list, with a control group of bestselling authors' less successful books, in order to create a program to detect what elements of a title show up as bestsellers the most. While I have a few problems with the methodology (I'll let you figure those out for yourself) it's lots of fun.

I haven't had a novel published yet, but I've written three and I've started a fourth. My first, Hard Winter, has a 69% chance of being a bestseller! My second, Roots Run Deep, came in at only 22.9%, while my third, A Fine Likeness, got a measly 10.2%. Strange, because that's my best work yet! My work in progress, with the working title Unity, has a 59.3% chance of being a bestseller. I don't really like that title, but maybe I should stick with it.

2 comments:

Keefieboy said...

Cool tool! My 'Travels In Xanadu-du' scores 69% too.

Madison Woods said...

Thanks for posting this link. The title I picked scored very low, 10.2%, but a modification of the same title scored better at 44%. If nothing else, it helps with the brainstorming :)

Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Civil War Horror blog, where he focuses on Civil War and Wild West history.

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