The Devoir Challenge. How to write like an American Bestseller

by ANDREW PIPER When the books editor of Le Devoir, Catherine Lalonde, called to ask if my lab would supply a data-driven guide on how to write like a bestseller, I enthusiastically said yes. But I expected everyone else would say no. Surely writers will be allergic to data. And surely Quebecois and Canadian writers won’t want to…

Quantifying the Weepy Bestseller

Are commercial novels really more sentimental than literary fiction? NovelTM members Andrew Piper and Richard Jean So consider this question in a recently published article in the New Republic: If you want to be a great writer, should you withhold your sentimental tendencies? The answer for most critics and writers seems to be yes. Sentimentality…

Goodreads v. Amazon

What difference does book-selling make for book reviews? This is the topic of a new paper accepted at the International Conference on Web and Social Media 2015 (ICWSM) co-authored by NovelTM director Andrew Piper with NovelTM student Stefan Dimitrov and collaborator Derek Ruths of the Network Dynamics Lab. Looking at 2.5 million reviews from the two platforms,…