The Bestseller Code

Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel

Author: Jodie Archer,Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250088283

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 320

View: 9489

"When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so."—Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Ask most people about massive success in the world of fiction, and you’ll typically hear that it’s a game of hazy crystal balls. The sales figures of E. L. James or Dan Brown seem to be freakish—random occurrences in an unknowable market. But what if there were an algorithm that could reveal a secret DNA of bestsellers, regardless of their genre? What if it knew, just from analyzing the words alone, not just why genre writers like John Grisham and Danielle Steel belong on the lists, but also that authors such as Junot Diaz, Jodi Picoult, and Donna Tartt had telltale signs of success all over their pages? Thanks to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the algorithm exists, the code has been cracked, and the results bring fresh new insights into how fiction works and why we read. The Bestseller Code offers a new theory for why Fifty Shades of Grey sold so well. It sheds light on the current craze for dark heroines. It reveals which themes tend to sell best. And all with fascinating supporting data taken from a five-year study of twenty thousand novels. Then there is the hunt for "the one"—the paradigmatic example of bestselling writing according to a computer's analysis of thousands of points of data. The result is surprising, a bit ironic, and delightfully unorthodox. This book explains groundbreaking text-mining research in accessible terms and offers a new perspective on the New York Times bestseller list. It's a big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology that will be provocative to anyone interested in how analytics have already transformed the worlds of finance, medicine, and sports. But at heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works, and a fresh take on our intellectual and emotional response to stories.
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The Bestseller Code

Author: Jodie Archer,Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250088275

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 2805

"When a story captures the imagination of millions, that's magic. Can you qualify magic? Archer and Jockers just may have done so."—Sylvia Day, New York Times bestselling author Ask most people about massive success in the world of fiction, and you'll typically hear that it's a game of hazy crystals balls. The sales figures of E. L. James or Dan Brown seem to be freakish—random occurrences in an unknowable market. So often we hear that nothing but hype explains their success. But what if there were an algorithm that could reveal a secret DNA of bestsellers, regardless of their genre? What if it knew, just from analyzing the words alone, not just why genre writers like John Grisham and Danielle Steel belong on the lists, but also that authors such as Junot Diaz, Jodi Picoult and Donna Tartt had tell-tale signs of success all over their pages? Thanks to Jodie Archer and Matthew Jockers, the algorithm exists, the code has been cracked, and the results bring fresh new insights into how fiction works and why we read. The Bestseller Code offers a new theory for why Fifty Shades sold so well. It sheds light on the current craze for dark heroines. It reveals which themes tend to sell best. And all with fascinating supporting data taken from a five year study of 20,000 novels. Then there is the hunt for “the one”—the paradigmatic example of bestselling writing according to a computer’s analysis of thousands of points of data. The result is surprising, a bit ironic, and delightfully unorthodox. This book explains groundbreaking text mining research in accessible terms and offers a new perspective on the New York Times bestseller list. It is big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology that will be provocative to anyone interested in how analytics have already transformed the worlds of finance, medicine and sports. But at heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works, and a fresh take on our intellectual and emotional response to stories.
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The Bestseller Code

Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel

Author: Matthew Jockers,Jodie Archer

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0241243718

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 256

View: 1519

What if an algorithm could predict which manuscripts would become mega-bestsellers? Girl on the Train. Fifty Shades. The Goldfinch. Why do some books capture the whole world's attention? What secret DNA do they share? In The Bestseller Code, Archer and Jockers boldly claim that blockbuster hits are highly predictable, and they have created the algorithm to prove it. Using cutting-edge text mining techniques, they have developed a model that analyses theme, plot, style and character to explain why some books resonate more than others with readers. Provocative, entertaining, and ground-breaking, The Bestseller Code explores the hidden patterns at work in the biggest hits and, more importantly, the real reasons we love to read.
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Becoming Bestsellers: John Grisham and Danielle Steel (Sample from Chapter 2 of THE BESTSELLER CODE)

Author: Jodie Archer,Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1250137950

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 256

View: 6555

This sneak peek teaser - featuring literary giants John Grisham and Danielle Steele - from Chapter 2 of The Bestseller Code, a groundbreaking book about what a computer algorithm can teach us about blockbuster books, stories, and reading, reveals the importance of topic and theme in bestselling fiction according to percentages assigned by what the authors refer to as the “bestseller-ometer.” Although 55,000 novels are published every year, only about 200 hit the lists, a commercial success rate of less than half a percent. When the computer was asked to “blindly” select the most likely bestsellers out of 5,000 books published over the past thirty years based only on theme, it discovered two possible candidates: The Accident by Danielle Steel and The Associate by John Grisham. The computer recognized quantifiable patterns in their seemingly opposite, but undeniably successful writing careers with legal thrillers and romance. In Chapter 2, Archer and Jockers analyze this data and divulge the most and least likely to best sell topics and themes in fiction with a human discussion of the “why” behind these results. The Bestseller Code is a big-idea book about the relationship between creativity and technology. At heart it is a celebration of books for readers and writers—a compelling investigation into how successful writing works.
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Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature

Author: Matthew Jockers

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319031643

Category: Computers

Page: 194

View: 3832

Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature is written with students and scholars of literature in mind but will be applicable to other humanists and social scientists wishing to extend their methodological tool kit to include quantitative and computational approaches to the study of text. Computation provides access to information in text that we simply cannot gather using traditional qualitative methods of close reading and human synthesis. Text Analysis with R for Students of Literature provides a practical introduction to computational text analysis using the open source programming language R. R is extremely popular throughout the sciences and because of its accessibility, R is now used increasingly in other research areas. Readers begin working with text right away and each chapter works through a new technique or process such that readers gain a broad exposure to core R procedures and a basic understanding of the possibilities of computational text analysis at both the micro and macro scale. Each chapter builds on the previous as readers move from small scale “microanalysis” of single texts to large scale “macroanalysis” of text corpora, and each chapter concludes with a set of practice exercises that reinforce and expand upon the chapter lessons. The book’s focus is on making the technical palatable and making the technical useful and immediately gratifying.
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Nabokov's Favorite Word Is Mauve

What the Numbers Reveal About the Classics, Bestsellers, and Our Own Writing

Author: Ben Blatt

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1501105388

Category: Humor

Page: 288

View: 5368

What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? How can we judge a book by its cover? Data meets literature in this playful and informative look at our favorite authors and their masterpieces. “A literary detective story: fast-paced, thought-provoking, and intriguing.” —Brian Christian, coauthor of Algorithms to Live By There’s a famous piece of writing advice—offered by Ernest Hemingway, Stephen King, and myriad writers in between—not to use -ly adverbs like “quickly” or “fitfully.” It sounds like solid advice, but can we actually test it? If we were to count all the -ly adverbs these authors used in their careers, do they follow their own advice compared to other celebrated authors? What’s more, do great books in general—the classics and the bestsellers—share this trait? In Nabokov’s Favorite Word Is Mauve, statistician and journalist Ben Blatt brings big data to the literary canon, exploring the wealth of fun findings that remain hidden in the works of the world’s greatest writers. He assembles a database of thousands of books and hundreds of millions of words, and starts asking the questions that have intrigued curious word nerds and book lovers for generations: What are our favorite authors’ favorite words? Do men and women write differently? Are bestsellers getting dumber over time? Which bestselling writer uses the most clichés? What makes a great opening sentence? How can we judge a book by its cover? And which writerly advice is worth following or ignoring? Blatt draws upon existing analysis techniques and invents some of his own. All of his investigations and experiments are original, conducted himself, and no math knowledge is needed to understand the results. Blatt breaks his findings down into lucid, humorous language and clear and compelling visuals. This eye-opening book will provide you with a new appreciation for your favorite authors and a fresh perspective on your own writing, illuminating both the patterns that hold great prose together and the brilliant flourishes that make it unforgettable.
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Jaws

Author: Peter Benchley

Publisher: Fawcett Books

ISBN: 0449219631

Category: Fiction

Page: 278

View: 5107

When three people are killed by a great white shark in three different incidents, the police chief of a Long Island resort town is forced to take action
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Hit Lit

Cracking the Code of the Twentieth Century's Biggest Bestsellers

Author: James W. Hall

Publisher: Random House Incorporated

ISBN: 0812970950

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 294

View: 1203

Analyzes the common themes in many of the 20th century's best-sellers, what made them best-sellers, and recounts the experiences and discoveries the author shared with students in his popular modern literature college courses.
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Must Read: Rediscovering American Bestsellers

From Charlotte Temple to The Da Vinci Code

Author: Sarah Churchwell,Thomas Ruys Smith

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 144116216X

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 384

View: 2974

A unique survey and interpretive history, spanning 200 years, of the American bestseller.
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Techniques of fiction writing

measure and madness

Author: Leon Z. Surmelian

Publisher: Doubleday Books

ISBN: N.A

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 255

View: 7054

Focuses on the tool of language as the means used to bring order to creativity
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Macroanalysis

Digital Methods and Literary History

Author: Matthew L. Jockers

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

ISBN: 025209476X

Category: Computers

Page: 208

View: 5929

In this volume, Matthew L. Jockers introduces readers to large-scale literary computing and the revolutionary potential of macroanalysis--a new approach to the study of the literary record designed for probing the digital-textual world as it exists today, in digital form and in large quantities. Using computational analysis to retrieve key words, phrases, and linguistic patterns across thousands of texts in digital libraries, researchers can draw conclusions based on quantifiable evidence regarding how literary trends are employed over time, across periods, within regions, or within demographic groups, as well as how cultural, historical, and societal linkages may bind individual authors, texts, and genres into an aggregate literary culture. Moving beyond the limitations of literary interpretation based on the "close-reading" of individual works, Jockers describes how this new method of studying large collections of digital material can help us to better understand and contextualize the individual works within those collections.
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American Film History

Selected Readings, 1960 to the Present

Author: Cynthia Lucia,Roy Grundmann,Art Simon

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118475127

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 520

View: 5818

From the American underground film to the blockbuster superhero, this authoritative introduction explores the core issues and developments in American cinematic history during the second half of the twentieth-century through to the present day. Considers a wealth a subjects ranging from the impact of television, the rise of the new directors, and independent and underground film, to the impact of the civil rights, feminist and LGBT movements on film, American film after 9/11, and identity politics and culture Features a student-friendly structure dividing coverage into the periods 1960-1975, 1976-1990, and 1991 to the present day, each of which opens with an historical overview Brings together a rich and varied selection of contributions by a team of respected authors, combining broader historical, social and political context with detailed analysis of individual films, including Midnight Cowboy, Nashville, Cat Ballou, Chicago, Back to the Future, Killer of Sheep, Daughters of the Dust, Nothing But a Man, Ali, Easy Rider, The Conversation, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Longtime Companion, The Matrix, The War Tapes, and the Batman films among many others Additional online resources, such as sample syllabi, for general and specialized courses, including suggested readings and filmographies, will be available on publication at www.wiley.com/go/lucia May be used alongside The History of American Film: Origins to 1960 to provide an authoritative study of American cinema from its earliest days right through to the new millennium
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How to Write Like Tolstoy

A Journey into the Minds of Our Greatest Writers

Author: Richard Cohen

Publisher: Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1786070227

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 9808

For anyone who has ever identified with a character from fiction, been seduced by a first sentence or been profoundly moved by a story’s end, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a wonderful and illuminating journey into the minds and imaginations of the world’s greatest writers. What made Nabokov choose the name Lolita? Why did Fitzgerald tell The Great Gatsby in the first person? How did Kerouac, who raged against revision, finally come to revise On the Road? Why did Martin Amis give up on writing about sex? Veteran editor Richard Cohen draws on a vast and eclectic reservoir of knowledge to reveal what makes good prose soar. From plot and character development to dialogue and point of view, the motivations, obsessions, tricks and talents of a host of great novelists are brought to the fore, their published works mined and private beliefs unearthed. There’s the nature of originality as plagiarism is discussed, and a weighing of the odds when trying to write about physical intimacies. And how to begin…Or end? From first page to last, How to Write Like Tolstoy is a unique exploration of the act and art of writing, one which enriches our experience of reading both the
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Wired for Story

The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers from the Very First Sentence

Author: Lisa Cron

Publisher: Random House Digital, Inc.

ISBN: 1607742454

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 262

View: 1566

"This guide reveals how writers can take advantage of the brain's hard-wired responses to story to captivate their readers' minds through each plot element"--Provided by publisher.
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How Fiction Works

Author: Oakley Hall

Publisher: Writer's Digest Books

ISBN: 9781582972930

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 228

View: 9632

Think of your fiction like a clock, a marvel of mainsprings and wheels, pinions and pendulums. It's an extraordinary organization of diverse elements, channeling energy and tension into the regular coordination of action and reaction, rotating gears and moving hands. &break;&break;Oakley Hall, writing teacher emeritus, invites you as his apprentice to study fiction's inner workings, the pegs and screws upon which a good story depends. You'll find the elements of fiction examined and illuminated, with insights into how they must interact to create a distinctive story. &break;&break;In sharing lessons taught by years of experience and by citing examples from dozens of esteemed writers, Hall makes working alongside a master thoroughly pleasurable, as well as an invaluable opportunity to craft fiction that is tuned like a precision timepiece.
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Distant Reading

Author: Franco Moretti

Publisher: Verso

ISBN: 1781680841

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 254

View: 6959

The formation of an unorthodox literary critic How does a literary historian end up thinking in terms of z-scores, principal component analysis, and clustering coefficient? In the ten essays collected in this volume, Franco Moretti reconstructs the intellectual trajectory of his philosophy of ‘distant reading’. From the evolutionary model of ‘Modern European Literature’, through the geo-cultural dominant of ‘Conjectures on World Literature’ and ‘Planet Hollywood’ to the quantitative findings of ‘Style, inc.’ and the abstract patterns of ‘Network Theory, Plot Analysis’, the book follows two decades of critical explorations that have come to define – well beyond the wildest expectations of its author – a growing field of unorthodox literary studies.
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Why We Love

The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love

Author: Helen Fisher

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780805077964

Category: Psychology

Page: 301

View: 7317

A revolutionary new study of the origins of love based on physiological research probes the human brain for insights into the origins of the sex drive, romance, and attraction, while also offering practical advice on how to control and channel these desires into healthy pursuits. Reprint. 60,000 first printing.
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Online Gravity

The Unseen Force Driving the Way You Live, Earn, and Learn

Author: Paul X. McCarthy

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476795541

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 304

View: 7236

The Freakonomics of the digital economy, offering fascinating insights into the new rules that are reshaping the online worlds of business, education, and leisure. Are you concerned that technology and the web are moving too quickly for you to keep up? Are you worried about the future of your career in the face of an increasingly global and competitive workforce? We all worry about change. And the changes being brought about by unseen forces in the global economy are profound. Do you know someone who has lost their job in the last five years working in IT, media, finance, or retail? These industries and many others are already feeling the pinch of online gravity: the invisible forces of the online world that govern its role in the global economy—and its effect on you. Industry expert Paul X. McCarthy reveals how online businesses are fueled by a starkly different set of economic rules than those existing purely offline. He calls these forces “online gravity,” which favor the creation of planet-like super-businesses (such as Amazon and Google) from surprising and unpredictable quarters. As more and more traditional industries such as media, music, travel, photography, and even banking are steadily consumed and transformed by giant online enterprises, more and more of the world is feeling online gravity’s increasingly powerful pull. For anyone interested in the future of global technology, economics, or business, Online Gravity is an indispensible book that explains how you can harness these forces to improve your career, your health, your wealth—and even the prospects of the next generation.
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Swim the Fly

Author: Don Calame

Publisher: Candlewick Press

ISBN: 0763651761

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 352

View: 6349

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time—quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl on a date. But that goal starts to look easy compared to Matt's other aspiration: swimming the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) to impress the sizzling new star of the swim team. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.
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