Thousands of writers use Google for every step of the writing process, from building novel research to picking the best literary agent. Now, one writer has used Google to name a character in his new novel.
In a literary experiment, author Robin Sloan (pictured) built a Google Adwords campaign, exploring what people are looking for when they click on search terms related to his novel, including “mystery, detective story, sherlock holmes, noir,” and others. Then, by spending a little bit of money, Sloan actually tested out a number of different names for the protagonist of his novel–finding out which name drew the most hits from Google users. In another fascinating experiment, Sloan used the fundraising site Kickstarter to finance his book.
Here’s more about the ingenious experiment: “[I came] up with a whole set of names, basically wide variations on a theme. One was my original pick, but I liked all of them. Then, I created an ad for each one, all with the same body text but each with a different name swapped in for the headline. Allocated a small budget ($40, to be exact) and kicked off the campaign. And wow there are a lot of people searching for stuff on Google. Over the span of 24 hours, my ads made about 100,000 impressions.” (Via Fimoculous)