DATA-DRIVEN PUBLISHING HOUSE INKITT CELEBRATES FIRST ANNIVERSARY
BERLIN, FEBRUARY 18, 2016: Half a million stories have been read on Inkitt, the data-driven writing community, since the company launched in 2015. The Berlin-based publishing startup this week marks its first year in business.
Inkitt (www.inkitt.com) is an online writing community where budding authors can share their stories and inquisitive readers can unearth fresh content. But Inkitt is more than just a publishing platform: the website has a built-in artificially intelligent algorithm that analyses reading patterns to uncover blockbuster books. Once these future bestsellers are found, Inkitt will work with leading publishers to get its top-read books to print.
Founders Ali Albazaz and Linda Gavin created Inkitt to bridge the gap between offline and online publishing. “The list of bestselling books that publishers have rejected is huge: Harry Potter was knocked back 12 times, Twilight was rejected 14 times and Stephen King’s Carrie was refused by 30 publishers. Our algorithm is objective and based on statistics. If you come to Inkitt with a bestseller in the making, it will become a bestseller,” Albazaz says.
The pair were particularly inspired by the story of Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James, who initially published her bestselling series on fan fiction websites and rewrote each chapter based on feedback from the online community. The books were then picked up by a small Australian publisher and published electronically before they eventually caught the eye of Random House.
Inkitt now counts 15 employees at its Berlin office and is growing fast. Its users range in age from 14 up to 87, with most based in the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Fantasy, science fiction and horror have so far proved to be the most popular genres.
Highlights from the past year include a series of competitions to uncover new writing talent as well as AMAs with leading authors and celebrities. A fan fiction competition with American actor Alan Tudyk of Firefly and Con Man fame is currently underway.
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