Lulu Titlescorer Tests Your Title: NaNoWriMo Tip #29

By Jason Boog 

Last week, we posted about how the self publishing company Lulu developed Titlescorer–a way to measure your novel title’s hypothetical success against historical bestseller lists. It is the perfect tool for the final days of National Novel Writing Month.

Here’s how it works: “We commissioned a research team to analyse the title of every novel to have topped the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List during the half-century from 1955 to 2004 and then compare them with the titles of a control group of less successful novels by the same authors. The team, lead by British statistician Dr. Atai Winkler, then used the data gathered from a total of some 700 titles to create this ‘Lulu Titlescorer’ a program able to predict the chances that any given title would produce a New York Times No. 1 bestseller.”

According to the program, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius has a 26 percent chance of being a bestselling title. Twilight has a 36 percent chance of being a bestselling title. The programmers remind us: “this is not an exact science” and that a good title requires “your own low-tech judgment” as well. This is our twenty-ninth NaNoWriMo Tip of the Day.

UPDATE: Lulu responds on Twitter:  “Glad you guys like that Titlescorer so much. I feel like I should point out that the Titlescorer is a hobby project of the engineers here and hasn’t been updated in a while.”