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About the Author: Jodie Archer

Jodie Archer spent her childhood hiding in the changing rooms of the clothing stores her mother managed: she would pile sweaters all over the floor to look as though she were putting together an outfit, and would sit for the 8 hours the shops were open and read books in any genre she was allowed. At this age, she decided the only sensible profession in the world was to be a writer, but sensible people told her that it was not sensible at all to pursue such an unlikely dream.

In pursuit of plan B, she was, for a while, a (not very good) young actress. She would take the parts of the characters and even writers she was most interested in--Alice in Wonderland, Matilda, Charlotte Bronte (which is when she most spectacularly forgot her lines), and once even Winnie The Pooh (which was fatal for her street cred at school). When she was given parts that involved singing on stage, she really proved that she was not meant to be involved in this business at all.

A compulsive writer of letters, stories, scripts and even a newsletter for the neighborhood cats, she never thought again of becoming a writer for real until her school displayed a blurb she wrote for a book she had never, in fact, written, and she was besieged by requests for the text. Still, she was told it would be more sensible to become a lawyer than an author, and she must study English (if she insisted) an then convert to law.

Before she went to Cambridge to study English, Jodie took a year out and wrote for several local newspapers and magazines, and then worked as a runner and researcher in TV. Throughout her following years at St, John's in Cambridge, (where the law was forgotten after her first lecture), she wrote reviews and features for various news outlets, and edited the May Anthologies and other well known university magazines. Once she graduated, she was offered training schemes at Macmillan and Penguin, and spent two years learning the publishing industry before becoming an acquisitions editor at Penguin. While this was exceptionally useful training, it showed her just how hard it is to make it as an author, and she thought it best to play it safe.

Jodie left the UK for a scholarship at Stanford University in California, where she spent time teaching nonfiction and memoir writing alongside her research in contemporary fiction and bestsellers. While at Stanford, she enjoyed the blue skies and palm trees of California and wrote most of her first (unpublished) book. She got her first interest from agents the day her mother suddenly died. Just after that, her marriage broke down, and she abandoned writing for a couple of years.

After she got her PhD, Jodie was recruited to Apple, where she became the lead in research on books. After she was approached by her agent to write a book based on her doctoral research with Matt Jockers, she wrote a pitch. She left the corporate world to write The Bestseller Code after its acquisition became deal of the week in New York.

Finally, at 35, Jodie is a full time writer. She lives in Colorado with her second husband, Bodi, their three cats, and the bullfrogs, snakes, pelicans and coyotes that like to share their land.



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Goodreads rating: 3.91

Hardcover, Published in Sep 2016 by Allen Lane

ISBN10: 024124370X | ISBN13: 9780241243701

What if an algorithm could predict which manuscripts would become mega-bestsellers?

Girl on the Train. Fifty Shades. The Goldfinch. Why do some books capture the whole world's attention? What secret DNA do they share? In The Bestseller Code, Archer and Jockers boldly claim that blockbuster hits are highly predictable, and they have created the algorithm to prove it. Using cutting-edge text mining techniques, they have developed a model that analyses theme, plot, style and character to explain why some books resonate more than others with readers. Provocative, entertaining, and ground-breaking, The Bestseller Code explores the hidden patterns at work in the biggest hits and, more importantly, the real reasons we love to read.

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