at publisher

Dr. Kerry Spencer, our Science Writing faculty member, and her research assistants Morgan LaMonica and Takneeah Cook recently visited New York City to present their research results to publishers, editors, book marketers, and agents. They collected data on 475 Young Adult novels and used it to estimate the effect of book marketing and book content on sales. More than 250 characteristics were recorded for each book, ranging from things like the size of the author advance and whether or not the book won awards, to the type of plot structure and the gender of the protagonist. Bestselling books are marketed, not written, and a minimum threshold of marketing must be met before a book has a viable chance to “break out.”