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January 03, 2006

The Blooker Prize

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

Have you heard yet of that new form, the "blook"? A blook is a book made out of material that first showed up on a blog. The publish-it-yourself outfit -- whose service I hear good reports about, by the way -- is sponsoring a new prize for the best blook of 2005. But hurry: entries for the Blooker Prize have to be submitted no later than January 30.



UPDATE: Lulu has also sponsored a study of what makes for a good bestselling-book title. The results are amusing, with John ("Spy Who Came in from the Cold") Le Carre recognized as the master of the bestseller-title. You can see how well your own book's title fares here. The title of the novel The Wife and I just published scores better than "The Da Vinci Code"!

posted by Michael at January 3, 2006


The English humorist Alan Coren was told by his publisher that the only books that consistently sold well were about golf, cats, or Nazis. Coren then titled his next collection Golfing for Cats, with a cover showing a cat swinging a club on the links and (if memory serves) a swastika flag marking the location of a hole.

One title formula that was extremely popular in the spy thriller genre for many years took the form of The [Proper Name] [Noun]. Adam Hall (a pseudonym for Elleston Trevor) probably started the trend with The Quiller Memorandum in 1966, following up with The Warsaw Document, The Sinkiang Executive, The Mandarin Cypher, The Peking Target, etc. (I've read several of them, and although they are no more realistic than James Bond novels, they're better written.)

The series apparently was popular, and quite a few other writers trying to mine the same vein adopted Hall's title strategy.

Posted by: Rick Darby on January 4, 2006 1:18 PM

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