Steven Berlin Johnson wrote an interesting post about the readability of books. He graphed data that came out of Amazon.com’s “text stats” and had some interesting conclusions regarding sales vs. sentence length and word complexity.
Basically, the better selling authors had shorter and easier to read sentences. To me, this makes perfect sense in terms of word-of-mouth marketing. If readers don’t enjoy a book (it’s hard to read), they will not recommend it.
This concept fits in perfect with my THIRST™ concept … as authors we need to do everything we can to make the book enjoyable to read.
Maybe I can make a tool that would also graph the reading complexity of each page of a novel. That would help highlight problem areas.
The graph he came up with can be seen here. Click it to see the full size version.