Monday, January 24, 2011

Fun with the Lulu Title Scorer

If you’ve never checked out the Lulu Title Scorer, it’s a lot of fun. You type in the title of your book, and then answer some questions about it (the title), such as whether it’s figurative or literal. You select its grammar structure from a drop down list, as well as the parts of speech of the first and second words.

Lulu commissioned statisticians to study the titles of 50 years’ worth of bestsellers. They identified the attributes, at least as far as titles go, that separate bestsellers from other books. They compared these titles with those of a control group of less successful novels by the same authors.

I typed in the title of the first manuscript I ever wrote: Winds of Saint Domingue … and discovered it has a 59% chance of being a bestselling title. Whoop-dee-do. I typed in the title of my first Young Adult manuscript: Star-Spangled Bikini. It has a 69% chance. (I need to revise that baby, soon as I'm done revising my current WIP.)    ; )  

The original working title for my current WIP was When I Fall, but then Lauren Oliver came out with the fabulous Before I Fall. (Too similar??)

I typed in a couple of new possibilities:

5 Reasons to be Unhappy = 26%.
3500 Reasons to be Happy = 26%.

What about: 3500 Reasons to be Unhappy? or 5 Reasons to be Happy?
Obviously, it's the same, and I'm not going with any variation of those titles.
I typed in my second original working title for the manuscript, which has become my default title: Sunshine Girl = 69%. Much better!

If you haven’t discovered the Lulu title scorer, go have some fun with it.
What are your working titles? Have you scored them? What kind of scores did they get?


  1. I've never heard of this before. I'm definitely going to have to try it out . . . including with some YA book titles that were bestsellers. :)

  2. Thanks for joining me, Cathye, shall enjoy your blog. Carole.

  3. A title scorer? Sounds intriguing--I'm on my way over! Thanks for the idea and the link!

  4. How fun! The title of my NaNoWriMo piece has a 69% chance of success :)


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