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The Science Behind a Bestseller

books304Scientists from Stony Brook University in New York have concocted a test to help define if a book will become a bestseller.

As absurd as it sounds, the researchers created an algorithm to analyzed the words in classic texts from across genres and compared their findings to historically successful work to come up with a recipe for what makes a book sell.

The Telegraph has the story:

They found several trends that were often found in successful books, including heavy use of conjunctions such as “and” and “but” and large numbers of nouns and adjectives. Less successful work tended to include more verbs and adverbs and relied on words that explicitly describe actions and emotions such as “wanted”, “took” or “promised”, while more successful books favoured verbs that describe thought processes such as “recognised” or “remembered”.

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