Infographic: The Waterstones Best-Seller Formula

Infographic: The Waterstones Best-Seller Formula Bookstore Infographic Do you know how there's a formula for choosing the title of your great American novel?

Now there's a similar formula for how to write a best-seller. Waterstones has crunched the numbers on the ten best-selling titles for each of the past ten years, and they say they've identified all the characteristics of a best-selling novel.

They found that 68% of best-sellers were either thrillers or contemporary novels, and that the authors had won an average of four awards and had previously written 13 books. The book should have a male lead (55% of the best-sellers did), be part of a series, (41%), and be set in the US (45%).

And be sure not to verb your title; that's the kiss of death.

In conclusion, any author who wants to pen a best-seller should read the following infographic and follow its instructions to the letter. Because remember, formulaic homogeneity is the key to financial security.

Infographic: The Waterstones Best-Seller Formula Bookstore Infographic


Waterstones via eBook Friendly

About Nate Hoffelder (9908 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on Infographic: The Waterstones Best-Seller Formula

  1. Tough guy loner protagonist, preferably ex-military with PTSD and a physical injury that “humanizes” him, car chases and shootouts galore, and a ticking clock to some “unspeakable horror”.

    Bonus points if the villain is a decadent billionaire with “perverse” sexual preferences.

    Nothing new there. Formula goes way back to Bond and earlier.
    It even has been spoofed left and right.

    • Note that female characters are optional, though useful if played as sex toys, trophies, or victims. Preferably all three.

  2. I’m so old I can remember when the formula was

    Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Self-Publishing: Wie ihr den perfekten Bestseller schreibt [Infografik] -

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: