Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Getting Carded and Titling

Today I made scallops l'orange for dinner. One of the ingredients was orange liqueur, so I had to pick some up at the liquor store. When I checked out, the clerk asked me for ID. At my age, that's a compliment! The ironic aspect of it all was that the clerk looked too young to be selling booze herself. Perhaps she was being a stickler to her job training, or perhaps she was so new to the job that she wasn't a good judge of age. I suppose I should have asked her for ID!

The other interesting (well, to the other writers out there) thing that I encountered today was this link:


This is a tool that allows writers to compare their titles to those of best-sellers and see if they have what it takes to make it. You type in the title and select a few options to describe it. The site will then rank its chances of becoming a best-seller. Here are the results for my books:

My first (but certainly not best) novel: Let Silences Be Broken--44.2%

My Season Lords trilogy:

Day of All Seasons--10.2% (ouch!)
Fifth Season--69.0% (that's much better)
Summon the Season Lords--20.1%

The Consciousness Corollary trilogy (featuring Paul Harrison)

Lennon's Line--83.1% (woo-hoo!)
Catalyst in the Crucible--26.3%
The Key to All Locked Doors--26.3%

My overall average is almost 40%, which could be better.

So, what seems to make the difference? Names are important; I think that's why Lennon's Line ranks so high. Length, literal vs. figurative title, and the use of nouns and verbs also make a difference. But I don't think this title analyzer tells the complete story. It ranks Smith's Line just as high as Lennon's Line, even though the latter has alliteration and a celebrity's name. I'm certainly biased, but I think this tool can't account for the intrigue of wondering what the Day of All Seasons is. So I'll keep my titles as they are right now. Besides, if one of these books does get accepted by a publisher, they'll probably do their own title analysis and revise it at will.

OK, time to shut up here and start getting these stories finished....

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