How to Ensure a Book’s Success: Lessons from the Silver Screen

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Nicholas C. Rossis

Nobody knows anything | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksIN 1983, screenwriter William Goldman coined the famous saying that in Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything” when it comes to predicting which films will succeed at the box office.

This holds true for books, too. However, the Economist recently published a 10-year study on movies that analysed the performance of over 2,000 films to see which factors help make a movie a hit.

The results show that there is much a movie studio can do to help a movie become a box office hit. Interestingly for us, most of that can also be applied to books, to help ensure their success.

The Budget

Budget | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThe study found that the strongest predictor of absolute box-office receipts is a film’s budget.

Even if it got no boost from its cast, from favourable reviews or other factors, a movie would generate an average of 80 cents at American and Canadian cinemas for every…

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