Thursday, January 12, 2006

Here's a fun time waster for writers: Enter the title of your novel, & the Lulu Titlescorer will predict its chances of becoming a bestseller. My YA novel Chasing Monday scored a whopping 79.6%, while my midgrade Purple Panic came out at 41.4%. The 3 picture book titles I tried came out much lower, but the formula is based on bestselling novels for adults, so I don't think it would be particularly accurate with books for young children. (After all, I doubt a novel called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie would have topped the bestseller list like the picture book did!) It also doesn't seem to account well for plays on words, & they readily acknowledge that it may be way off with some titles, but they claim it was accurate for nearly 70% of titles tested. Take it with a hearty helping of salt!


Steve said...

Hey, I tried "Chopping Block" and also got 79.6% Maybe it just likes noun modified by verb!

Alison said...

Hmm, but "chopping" is not really functioning as a verb there, is it? The block isn't chopping (or at least I'd be surprised if it was!). Seems more like it's a noun meaning the act of chopping. But yeah, the title scorer obviously just gives higher scores to titles that start with verbs. I'm sure a lot of bestsellers have titles that start with verbs, but the whole thing begs the question of how much of a book's success is due to its title and how much is because of the content & writing, or even despite the title. Maybe it's just a coincidence that books with those types of titles sold well.