Thursday, December 22, 2005

Cart Before the Horse

Or like buying gas before you have a driver's license.
Or whatever.
Simon Haynes has posted a time-waster on his blog from Lulu. so one can check out the title of your WIP and see the odds of it becoming a best-seller...
I played dirty.
I did mine. It was significantly unimpressive. 39 % or something.
Then I did the DaVinci Code!
Same result.
HAW! HAW! HAW!
Point is your "working title" has, so they say, a good chance of being discarded in favor of another dreamed up by the arcane machinations of the Marketing Department - while on crack.
The important point is that there are styles in titles. Styles change. Marketing is probably aware of them. We hope they don't think like the generals of WWI.
Some of the best-sellers or classics of yesteryear might be passed today with a yawn and a burp.
Imagine now the disappointment by a avant reader today on reading the back blurb of Moby Dick? Or someone into horror/death etc. faced with As I Lay Dying?
We will except the intrinsic self-mockery of titles such as The Italian Shiekh's Pregnant Virgin Bride. Those titles are a law unto themselves and should not be considered.
Probably not fair to include classics, some were not best-sellers at the time.
There are beauties out there, from years gone by which illustrate changing tastes, but it's too early in the morning for my intravenous to kick in.
Anyone's brain in gear?

16 comments:

Muse said...

Brain atrophied. But here

http://www.adlerbooks.com/worstbook.html

is a list of worst (imaginary) book titles. Among them:

Lemming... Pet or Pâté?
How To Fly A Plane (Braille edition)
An Illustrated Guide to Enemas

Bernita said...

You're sick, Muse, go back to sleep.

James Goodman said...

My brain must already be in vacation mode, but I can't figure out how the test could be in anyway accurate. Most titles are at the very least moderately original, so logistically it would be next to impossible to actually trend that type of data. I'm off to drink more coffee, maybe that will help. :D

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Pssssttt...Bernita...you keep spelling Simon's last name wrong (even over on M. Snark) It's a 'y' not an 'i' LOL

Bernita said...

~gulp~
Do you suppose I can pass it off as intentional so it looks like "pains"?
here I can fix it.
I think they describe it by giving a numerical weight to the grammatical bits.
But that does not take into consideration the emotional value certain words have on the imagination. In other words, John Brown's Body is rated the same as King Vladimir's Crown.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You know, there are some things you just don't want illustrated muse!

I plugged in some bestsellers and they came up with odds below 30%. Just goes to show - if you get the tshirts printed up with the wording breast-height, all the men will remember the title and it's like a subliminal message then.

Now, if I can just get Pamela Anderson to wear the tshirt, I'll be set.

Dennie McDonald said...

I like Sandra's take!!

I have the right shirt - and the uh, other parts - I'll have to try that instead of the tote bag with my website!

Muse - too funny - weird - yet funny.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm ran my titles through.

Guess I better take up knitting.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

My first WIP got 44.2%. My second one got 66.7%.

mary beth said...

Mine was 10.2
:-)

Bernita said...

The best T-shirt of that nature I saw read "Stop staring at my tits."

Candice Gilmer said...

I ran the title of the novel I'm shopping around right now -- got a 41.4% chance of a bestseller... :)

Guess I could do better???

Bernita said...

You rate better than Dan Brown, Candace!

Candice Gilmer said...

Well, maybe my title isn't that bad after all ! LOL

Mark Pettus said...

This book title has a 79.6% chance of being a bestseller title.

Now, I'm flattered, don't get me wrong, but I'm not so sure of the/my input, so I'm not sure of the output either (assuming I accept the premise, which I'm even less sure of).

Transit Gloria

You try it. Try to answer those really straight-forward questions at Lulu. Go ahead.

See what I mean?

Bernita said...

My take gave it a 55.4% chance, Mark.
And no, the mechanics do not take resonance into consideration.
"Code" for example, suggests mystery but in this metered analysis all nouns have the same value.
These things are a BLAD = blog fad.
Very much the same as "which middle earth creature are you?"