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Infographic: The Waterstones Best-Seller Formula

waterstones best-sellerDo 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.

waterstones best-seller


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fjtorres July 27, 2015 um 9:56 am

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.

fjtorres July 27, 2015 um 9:58 am

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

Self-Publishing: Wie ihr den perfekten Bestseller schreibt [Infografik] – July 29, 2015 um 3:10 am

[…] via The Digital Reader […]

dr quark June 11, 2018 um 11:41 am

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

Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog

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