Monday, January 13, 2014

The Free Bin: How to Write a Bestseller Edition

A collection of links gathered while doing something besides writing or reading books. Take a look, then get back to reading or writing. We all should, right?

Can word choice really determine a book's ability to become a bestselling classic? (Ruth_W/Creative Commons License)


  • Some computer scientists have developed an algorithm they say predicts a book’s commercial success with 84% accuracy. After downloading tons of books from classics to crap (you’ll have to read the article to see where they put Dan Brown), they’ve come up with a number of factors, including word choice, that can affect sales. Alas, they admit that luck still plays a huge role. 
 
 
  • We live in a culture that seemingly celebrates creative thinking. The truth is, people like the idea of creativity, but will fight against it. From Slate:  “Online job boards burst with ads recruiting ‘idea people’ and ‘out of the box’ thinkers. We are taught that our own creativity will be celebrated as well, and that if we have good ideas, we will succeed. It’s all a lie.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
  • E-readers have made it easier for people to read surreptitiously, which may be how this 1925 title has become a surprise bestseller in digital form.
 
 
“When the author’s agent initially asked the author who he thought the readers of his proposed book would be and he defensively replied, ‘Everyone,’ do you think the author should have immediately realized that there is a thin line between everyone and no one?”



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11 comments:

  1. I knew I could read magazine articles on my IPAD but never thought about the Kindle. Thanks!

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    1. I do it all the time with longer stuff I'd like to savor.

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  2. Thanks for the send to kindle article. I like reading on my iPad but the kindle, being smaller, makes it easier since I hold it in my hand as I walk about the house reading.

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    1. Essentially anything that's formatted to let you print it can be sent to your Kindle. I find it really handy for longer web pieces.

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  3. Foreign Accent Syndrome - Ha, now I have an excuse when i drop Scottish phrases or words in my conversation. A result of reading too many Scottish books and watching too many Scottish TV shows! Love the Drop into Kindle link!

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  4. Sometimes I could easily be mistaken for an elderly British man.

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  5. I love that last item Kelly - brilliant - thanks very much.

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  6. Kelly, thanks for the various links, especially the one to the long articles for Kindle.

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  7. Blogger just swallowed up my comment, so let's try it again.

    Thanks for the Slate piece about the lie that this culture values creativity. Creativity is a close relative of passion in this respect, and both lies edge out the lie one would see a few years ago in newspaper interviews with corporate executives that their companies value liberal arts graduates.

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  8. I like this assortment. I definitely have to check out the algorithm link. I'm skeptical, but it sounds fun.

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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