The Bestseller Code Book Summary By Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers

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The Bestseller Code is a book that reveals the incredible power of a computer algorithm that can uncover the mystery behind popular best-selling books.

By analysing over 1000 of the most successful titles, patterns have been revealed that show us which ideas, stories and character dynamics are consistently working their way to the top of the charts.

It is an incredibly comprehensive book that takes readers on a journey through the intricate inner workings of bestselling books, providing them with insights into what makes them so appealing and successful.

Whether you're an aspiring author or just someone who loves to read, this is one book you won't want to miss out on!

The Bestseller Code Book

Book Name: The Bestseller Code (Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel)

Author(s): Jodie Archer & Matthew L. Jockers

Rating: 4.5/5

Reading Time: 19 Minutes

Categories: Motivation & Inspiration

Author Bio

The Bestseller Code is written by Jodie Archer, a published author and former editor at Penguin Publishing in the UK.

She has an impressive academic background, holding a PhD from Stanford University, which she has put to use as a consultant for writers and literary businesses.

Jodie brings to the table experience and insight that makes The Bestseller Code stand out from the rest.

Her knowledge of both literature and business give readers a presentation of how two seemingly disparate worlds can interact so strongly that they create bestsellers.

Once you've read her book, you're sure to have gained a newfound understanding of just how successful literature is made today.

Unlocking The Secrets Of The Bestseller Code: How Computers Help Publishers Predict What Books Will Sell


When it comes to determining the success of a novel, publishers are looking for that special “magic sauce” to make their releases rocket up the best-seller lists.

But it’s not an easy task– historically, it’s been just as difficult to predict a book’s success as predicting next year’s weather!

Fortunately, we’re entering a new era in which cutting-edge computer technology can help us figure out exactly what ingredients create a bestselling book.

With this new understanding, you’ll discover why sex doesn’t sell when it comes novels, and why female authors have an edge when it comes to style.

You’ll also get to examine which novel achieved a perfect score using the “bestseller-ometer”!

So if you want to learn what really makes a bestseller– keep your eye on The Bestseller Code book.

It will provide you with all the essential insights into this fascinating field!

Predicting The Next Best-Seller: An Uphill Battle Of Luck And Probability

It’s almost impossible to predict which books will rise up to be bestsellers in the literary industry.

Even though there are countless books published every year, only a small portion of them make their way onto the coveted New York Times Bestseller list.

According to Bowker, a company that issues ISBNs for books, less than 0.5% of the approximately 50 thousand fiction books published annually reach this status – and those that do stay on this list for more than one week are even fewer.

Surprisingly, literature critics have noticed an interesting trend: being a bestseller doesn’t necessarily mean it is well-written or liked by readers.

While social media influencers and marketing strategies can help spread awareness about particular novels, reviews tend show that bestsellers often don’t include high quality writing or unique plots and characters.

This is made evident when looking at works like E.L James‘ Fifty Shades of Grey or Stieg Larsson’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series – both were extremely popular yet highly criticized for their jumbled story lines and two-dimensional characters.

It’s clear then, that predicting what books become bestsellers isn’t an easy task – publishers struggle to anticipate its success since popularity isn’t heavily dependent on its quality of writing or content as much as marketing techniques.

The Powerful Prediction Tool Of The “Bestseller-Ometer” Gives Publishers A Chance To Find Undiscovered Bestsellers

The future of the publishing industry is looking brighter due to a breakthrough in determining novel success: an algorithm called the “bestseller-ometer”.

This remarkable invention was developed and tested by authors over the past five years, who conducted research into the components of best-selling books and spotted some amazing patterns.

Upon testing their “bestseller-ometer”, they discovered that it could successfully pick 80 to 90 percent of the books that ended up on the New York Times best-seller list – even from previously published (anonymous) manuscripts!

To put it into perspective, when Dan Brown’s Inferno and Michael Connelly’s The Lincoln Lawyer was fed through, both received a 95.7 percent chance and 99.2 percent chance of best-seller status respectively – and sure enough, both books had been ranked number one!

Still, this algorithm could be exceedingly helpful within the publishing world.

Some authors such as Stephen King and James Patterson have produced reliable bestsellers for years but will not last forever – so discovering a new generation of hit makers requires reliable data in order to pinpoint potential writers before they enter into obscurity.

In essence, having access to an accurate predictor would help narrow down potential bestselling authors more easily than before.

For instance, J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter series was very nearly not published initially due to being rejected 12 different times; fortunately though, if publishers had possessed this tool beforehand, they would have seen that it had a 95% chance of becoming a bestselling series!

Indeed, the possibilities are suddenly endless with something like this on hand; with its assistance, more undiscovered authors can receive recognition for their work while creating more opportunities for publishers in terms of narrowing down who has potential and who does not.

As long as writers keep producing creative work with striking accuracy,-it’s safe to conclude that we’ll be seeing lots more novels hitting high ranks soon!

The Algorithm For Predicting Bestsellers Analyzes The Topic, Not The Genre Of A Book


When it comes to writing a novel that will be a major success, the topics you include are of utmost importance.

While bookstores categorize by genre (mystery, science fiction, etc.) it’s the book’s topics – not its genre – that really determine its success.

Love and crime are examples of consistently popular topics that appear in many genres, but their prominence in any given novel varies greatly – even the mild presence of either can boost the chance of its becoming a bestseller.

The Bestseller Code algorithm looks at every single word used in a novel and breaks down each topic it falls into to analyze its context.

For example, if “body” is used in Fifty Shades of Grey it’s often associated with sex; however, when used in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it may refer to criminal or violent acts.

This sophisticated system is able to see which topic dominates the story (in Jodi Picoult’s House Rules it was “kids”) and how important those topics were relative to other popular ones like crime and relationships.

What’s more important is that crime was much more likely than sex to be mentioned in successful books.

Ultimately, authors must pay attention to their topics because they make all the difference between a best seller or not!

The Algorithm To Predict A Bestseller: Charting The Emotional Beats Of A Story

It’s no secret that emotional engagement is key to making a book successful.

According to the Bestseller Code, this emotional engagement is paramount when it comes to predicting a book’s likelihood of becoming popular.

Take Fifty Shades of Grey – despite its poor reviews, it still achieved massive success in large part due to its ability to deliver those positive emotional feelings that readers crave.

And surprisingly, according to the algorithm, the main topic of this story was not sex at all; rather, it was an intimate human relationship with little conflict – something that surely resonated with readers everywhere.

Not only that, but factoring the different emotions displayed in any given novel into one graph increases the algorithm’s accuracy even more.

This graph charting emotion arcs casts high and low points against each other like a rollercoaster ride – the more fluctuations (and peaks!) along the way means better chance for popularity among readers.

In terms of Fifty Shades and Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, these particular books stood out: both had curves on their charts like techno music!

Ultimately, authors should strive for books that can hit many different emotional beats and create an immersive experience for their readers — because if anything is clear from The Bestseller Code, it’s that emotions have a major impact on a book’s success.

Computer Algorithms Can Analyze Writing Styles And Help Predict Bestsellers

An algorithm can measure the style of an author and help them determine if what they’re writing is likely to become bestsellers or not.

And in analyzing the writing style of successful authors, it’s been found that most best-selling authors tend to avoid using fancy phrases.

Instead, they employ a simple, straightforward style which readers find easier to comprehend and digest.

Bestseller books employ words like ‘do’ twice as often as those that aren’t best-sellers, while using ‘very’ half as often.

They also tend to have shorter sentences without a lot of adjectives and adverbs – all this making for a smooth read for millions of people.

So if you want your book to become successful, try simplifying your language and avoiding overly complicated terms.

A well-crafted story that’s easy on the eyes will help you reach more readers and increase your chances of seeing your book on the bestseller list!

Writing Styles

When it comes to the style of a book, female authors are scoring higher and outperforming their male peers when algorithms look at it.

This is especially significant when considering that no gender advantage was seen when other factors like plot and theme were evaluated separately.

In fact, when looking at debut books, nine out of the ten were written by women!

But why has the algorithm been able to recognize this bias? It turns out that there is a mix of cultural and gender signals being picked up on by the program.

Male writers tend to have a more refined literary style, while female writers (due to their backgrounds experiences like journalism) write in a more blunt and straightforward manner that appeals to bestseller status.

This can explain why James Patterson’s work (who had an advertising background) was mistakenly assumed to be a woman’s work.

Overall, female authors have proven they can write works that score higher in terms of style than their male counterparts, and algorithms have made sure we take note.

How Titles With Strong Characters Influence Successful Books

A powerful and interesting title can make the difference between success and failure for your book.

According to The Bestseller Code, referencing the main character in a title is still important, albeit a bit outdated.

Naming the character after the book has its heyday in the 19th century, with novels like Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary.

However, today’s trend is to have titles that describe key characters in just a few words but using empowering words such as “the” instead of “a”.

For example, The Client sounds better than A Client.

Furthermore, having an intriguing description helps too; this is why books like The Girl with Dragon Tattoo were more successful than less descriptive alternatives like A Girl to Come Home To.

Of course, having an interesting character in your book isn’t enough; it’s also important to make them strong and appealing.

Here’s where algorithms come into play – they measure certain words associated with characters – such as pronouns and verbs – to determine whether or not those characters are strongly written.

To succeed, use verbs that propel action forward, such as “need”.

For example, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl contained 163 sentences that used the word “need” – which successfully drove her story along!

So if you want your book be successful, remember: write interesting characters who need something!

It could make all the difference when it comes time for your book’s release!

The Algorithm Helps Writers Find Success Using Data And Objectivity

Find Success

The bestseller-ometer has revolutionized the book industry and it can be a great asset to book clubs, first-time authors, or anyone looking to recommend a good novel.

With the use of graphs and data, you can back up your recommendation with an objectively greater chance at success.

For first-time authors, this algorithm could be incredibly helpful in providing them with guidance as they explore their voice and style.

It is almost like having a mentor without actually having one!

The algorithm will inform them if they’re on the right track towards finding success in the literary world.

The bestseller-ometer serves as a better predictor of success than any critic’s review, which could give new writers a chance to succeed even if the critics don’t agree with their work.

Dave Eggers’ The Circle is just one example of how this algorithm can correctly predict future bestsellers!

In short, the bestseller-ometer can provide guidance for picking novels to recommend and also gives new authors more opportunities for success in the literary world – raising their visibility (and sales!) exponentially.

Wrap Up

The Bestseller Code is an insightful and informative book that explains why some books become best selling sensations while others just never catch on.

It looks at the data of over a thousand top selling books and reveals that they share common patterns which can be used to create an algorithm that accurately determines which books have what it takes to become successful.

The actionable advice from this book is for readers to read more books, keep track of what appeals to them, and analyse the themes, characters, plot and style until a pattern emerges.

By doing this, readers will start to understand why one book became a hit and not another.

Ultimately, The Bestseller Code provides the knowledge necessary for authors to get their own work out there – if you understand what makes something popular, you can tailor your writing accordingly!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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