Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Around the Word

  • The Scarlet Letter? A Scarlet Letter? A Letter That Is Scarlet? Red Letter Days? With Lulu Titlescorer, the self publishing company aims to help authors assess their title’s chances of topping the New York Times bestseller list. On GalleyCat, the folks at Lulu explain that their research team analyzed the title of every hardback fiction bestseller between 1955 and 2004, then compared them to a “control group” of not-so-bestselling titles by the same batch of authors. While Titlescorer’s grammatical analyses can’t account for intangibles (musicality, suitability, timeliness), the program is appealingly scientific—at the very least, it gives authors another outside opinion to consider. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think: useful tool or amusing procrastination device?
  • Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty is joining the pack of “presidential candidates and wannabes” churning out pre-election inspirational autobiographies, and according to Minneapolis City Pages, his will bring “some smackdown to the ring.” Turns out T-Paw has hired Mark Dagostino to ghostwrite his upcoming book, Courage to Stand—the same Mark Dagostino who ghosted Hulk Hogan’s 2009 memoir, My Life Outside the Ring.
    Clearly, Pawlenty must have impressed with the writer’s hard-hitting (ha!) prose.

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