Last month, Mike Shatzkin wrote a blog post titled “Full text examination by computer is very unlikely to predict bestsellers,” in which he described how the claims of the creation of an algorithm that predicts bestsellers, as outlined in a new book The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel, are impossible.
While I agree in theory with Shatzkin that an algorithm alone cannot predict whether a book will be a bestseller or not, that isn’t precisely what The Bestseller Code claims, nor what our experience working with machine learning at Intellogo defines.
What we aim to do is identify similar tones, moods, topics and writing styles to those books that are topping bestseller lists—as we can only do through algorithms—and, in this way, better understand the reading audiences’ desires. Machine learning allows us to do just that.
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Indigo Launches Book Recommendation App ‘RECO’ (DBW)
Indigo announced the launch of RECO, a book recommendation app that claims to be the first to provide users with access to “a global community of friends and influencers to discover, share, capture, and discuss books.” What separates RECO from similar apps, according to a press release, is that its recommendations are curated solely by friends and experts, not algorithms.
Amazon Launches Kindle Singles Classics (DBW)
Amazon announced the launch of Kindle Singles Classics, a new series of essays and stories from iconic authors. Many of the essays are available digitally for the first time. Singles Classics are exclusive to Kindle and free for Kindle Unlimited members.
DIY Tools and Services to Help You Edit Your Book (IngramSpark)
No manuscript should reach published form without first being edited by someone other than you. Many self-publishing authors are working with limited budgets, and many will choose to overlook the editing process, but they do so at their peril. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that your writing is so ‘spot on’ that you don’t need editing; everyone needs to be edited, and the author who believes he or she is the exception to this rule is usually the most in need.
Self-Publishing Companies, Through a Legal Lens (BookWorks)
How is a writer to know whether they are giving up too much control? Unfortunately, you have to read the Terms of Service, the contract. Daunted? Don’t be. The secret is—don’t start at the beginning of the contract. Go straight to the paragraph that’s titled something like License or Grant of Rights. If that section gives the SPC exclusive rights, particularly if those rights include audio, translations, and formats now known or hereafter devised, you don’t need to read the rest of the contract. I would not work with that SPC.
The Top Guides to Online Advertising for Marketing Books (BookBub)
Online advertising can be an effective way to reach new readers. But online ad platforms can seem complex and overwhelming, especially if you’re just getting started. To make the best use of your advertising budget, it’s important to educate yourself on the best practices for each platform.
5 Ways to Develop Your Writer’s Voice (Jane Friedman)
To develop your voice you must investigate and own your singular way of noticing your world, and then practice and hone your singular way of capturing that noticing. You must step away from other people’s opinions and stories, from what you may think you should sound like, and get curious about your opinions, your stories, your experiences.
What Booksellers Might Learn from Airlines (Futurebook)
The Internet has brought some heart-pumping buying experiences like eBay and online share management, but few things raise our emotions more than trying to find the best deals on airline tickets. The price of a seat rises and falls like a live share market controlled by mysterious forces that aim to squeeze the very last fraction of a penny from you, the humble traveller.
The Very Same Software (Seth Godin)
Something rare is happening, and it might not last long. Today, right now, anyone with a $300 laptop can use the very same tools as the people at the top of just about any industry. If you want to write, you have the same writing tools available to you as the most successful writers in the world.
‘A Unique Market in Europe’: Poland’s Marcin Skrabka (Pub Perspectives)
A study in contrasts, Poland’s market is quick to respond to technology even while losing readership. Consultant Marcin Skrabka sees opportunity amid the challenges.
Translated Literature: Is the Buzz to Be Believed? (BookMachine)
Translated literature is having a moment, the press has being claiming of late. It’s being said by the sort of journalists who have previously claimed that short stories or novellas or enormous doorstop novels are having a moment. The press, of course, is always keen to portray itself as a keen trendspotter and constantly makes assertions based on having received three vaguely similar books in the post lately or perhaps just one particularly cut-n’-pastable press release.
Two Companies Eye Hastings (PW)
Two companies met the July 18 deadline to express interest in buying Hastings Entertainment, the multimedia retailer that filed for bankruptcy in June. Both the Gordon Brothers Group and Bloomberg L.P. attended a hearing Monday afternoon designed for “interested parties.”