Tuesday, July 05, 2016

The Bestseller Code: The words that make a successful book

'Need', 'want' and 'do' are twice as likely to appear in bestselling books than others


Good news for budding authors needing a little hand in writing that best-selling book: there’s now a formula for writing successful novels. Well, it won’t help you write the whole book, but it may help you get on the right track.

Former acquisitions editor for Penguin UK, Jodie Archer, and associate professor of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Matthew Jockers, have been compiling data for the last five years, trying to find out what makes a bestseller.

After analysing 20,000 randomly selected novels from the past three decades, the pair worked out what makes a book ‘successful’ (i.e. one that has appeared in The New York Times bestseller list).

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