A new study out of Stony Brook University employs a complex statistical model to figure out what makes a book successful. Judging books on the basis of Amazon sales, awards won and Project Gutenberg downloads, the scientists determined that successful books have a higher-than-average ratio of self-references, prepositions and coordinating conjunctions. Unsuccessful books, on the other hand? A high ratio of adverbs and location markers.
Our favourite American editor of an across-the-pond publication – Emily Bobrow of More Intelligent Life – chats with The Morning News about Anglo-American stylistic differences: “The English work hard but pretend not to, while Americans often strain to look busy.”