Bestsellers and Book Hospitals @ Link Wanderlust


What exactly is a bestseller?

“Make ’em laugh, make ’em cry, make ’em wait,” says Charles Reade, author of bestseller The Cloister and the Hearth. Although bestsellers have a shorter lifespan as culture changes rapidly, aspiring writers and ambitious editors often wish to know what it takes for a book to have huge appeal. Computers can now gauge what kind of book is in the run for bestseller. Meet the bestseller-o-meter.

The “bestseller-o-meter”, as the authors call their computer, not only detects – by tracing word patterns and measuring emotional language – the double helix that makes some books more fit for survival than others; it can also, by examining the use and positioning of prepositions such as “from” and “of”, tell you if the author is male or female, American or British.

According to the bestseller-o-meter, a bestseller book features domesticity, cats and girls or women. There are even certain verbs that characterize what will sell, ‘love’ being one of them.

Read When Harry Met Fifty Shades by Frances Wilson for more secrets about the bestseller code.


Also have you heard of a book hospital? Such a place exists. Read the amazing story of Donald Vass, a book mender at the King County Public Library in  Seattle.

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