Saturday, May 19, 2007

Odd stats

A while back, my novel The Opium of the People was added to the search inside feature at I was just over there, and it gives these odd little statistical breakdowns for the word usage in the book. I thought it was kind of a fun little feature, but I'm not sure how helpful it really would be to a potential buyer. About the only thing I think you can really draw from it is that my writing style is very approachable. I don't try to overwrite. More often than not, I'll use simple sentences and words as opposed to trying to impress people with my vocabulary. I often think of myself more as a story teller than a writer..but that's for all of you to decide.

So, since I found this neat little feature, I decided I would compare my book to the two books I bought last night, Rollback by Robert Sawyer and Everfree by Nick Sagan. Both of these writers are what I would consider very approachable. So, here goes...

For readability, they have three categories: Fog Index, Flesch Index, and Flesch-Kincaid Index. The Fog Index is supposed to tell you how many years of formal education you need to have in order to understand the book. The Flesch Index gives a score between 1 and 100. The higher the score, the easier it is to read. The Flesch-Kincaid Index tells you what U.S. grade level you need to have in order to understand the text.

Fog Index:
Opium: 8.0
Rollback: 8.2
Everfree: 8.5

Flesch Index:
Opium: 74.7
Rollback: 71.6
Everfree: 69.6

Flesch-Kincaid Index:
Opium: 5.7
Rollback: 6.2
Everfree: 6.4

Complexity is broken into three categories: Percentage of complex words, syllables per word, and words per sentence.

Complex Words:
Opium: 9%
Rollback: 8%
Everfree: 10%

Syllables per word:
Opium: 1.4
Rollback: 1.5
Everfree: 1.5

Words Per Sentence:
Opium: 11.4
Rollback: 12.0
Everfree: 11.3

Again, I don't think these numbers really mean anything. It's just kind of fun to look at.

Order a copy of The Opium of the People

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