That bestseller formula at last

Budding authors take note. The sensible way to assess your chances of writing a bestseller is of course to look at the qualities of previous bestsellers. It is with public-spiritedness in mind therefore that I have run a frequency analysis on the titles and authors of every bestseller (from the Publishers’ Weekly lists) in the US from the whole of the 20th century. I can now announce the results:

Your best bet for a first name is JOHN, JAMES or MARY; and your second name should be STEEL, KING or IRVING (though other first names might work, such as ROBERT or DOUGLAS).

As for a title, as well as connecting words, you’re really going to need MAN, HOUSE, TIME or WOMAN in there somewhere. My optimal suggestions would be THE HOUSE OF MAN, perhaps, or A WOMAN OF MY TIME.

I look forward to receiving a small royalty share when you’ve put this into action.