Self-publishing services platform Lulu has partnered with book data firm BookLamp to offer self-publishing authors a deep, data-driven view into what is really inside their manuscripts.
Dubbed Helix, the new service allows Lulu customers to send their book manuscripts through BookLamp’s data machine which tells them how much their book is like other books in the same genre, what themes are present and how intensely.
“We provide useful, objective information about what your book looks like compared to the rest of the genre,” said BookLamp founder and CEO Aaron Stanton.
When BookLamp first developed the idea for this service years ago, it was thought that authors would use the information in conversations with agents and publishers to show them just how appropriate their book was for a certain audience in service of securing a publishing contract. With the rise of self-publishing, the service is now designed to give authors an idea of the market they’re entering.
What the service doesn’t do is tell authors what they may want to know most of all: Is my manuscript any good?
“We don’t do subjective analysis – we don’t say whether this is a good manuscript or bad manuscript,” said Stanton. “But, if this is a romance book that has magic in it and you want to know what percentage of romance novels have magic in them, we can tell you.”
The service has been in beta since March but will be launched more publicly at Book Expo America in New York next week. It costs authors $49 and currently it’s only available through Lulu but Stanton said that BookLamp is in the process of bringing it to other self-publishing platforms after it has gotten Lulu’s version up and running.