Guest Post: Inkitt, The First Readers-Driven Book Publisher

Discover Inkitt: The First Readers-Driven Book Publisher

By Eleanna Sbokou, Team Lead at Inkitt Publishing

Since the invention of the movable printing press back in the 13th century, the publishing industry has never stopped evolving. Especially when eBooks were introduced in the mid-90’s, things changed substantially: it was a major move aiming to satisfy readers’ changing habits and preferences when it comes to selecting and buying books.

However, if we think about the decision-making process regarding which books deserve to be published and which are left in the dark, things have remained the same for centuries. The task of predicting the next bestsellers is assigned to editors and literary agents who select books based on their experience of past market behavior, their gut feeling and personal view on whether there is an audience out there for that specific book. As a result, Harry Potter and Twilight initially got rejected 12 and 14 times respectively before seeing the light, and Carrie by Stephen King got 30 rejections. This is just the tip of the iceberg though and luckily those authors did not lose their courage; they kept trying till they made it. But think about all those new writers that send out their manuscripts and after a series of rejections feel that they’ve just hit the wall: there’s so many talented and potentially bestselling authors out there whose work never reaches the surface because they get frustrated and discouraged to keep trying to break the barriers of the traditional publishing process.

This is exactly what we’re aiming to change at Inkitt: We’re a Berlin-based startup and the world’s first data-driven book publisher, on a mission to democratize publishing by putting the decision in readers’ hands.

Predicting future bestsellers with the Inkitt algorithm

We’re living in the age of data: there’s so much information available out there that we no longer need to make unfounded assumptions and rely on hunches. If we want to find out whether readers are going to love a book or not, all we need to do is observe them while reading it: Inkitt has developed an algorithm which captures data and analyses over 1,200 reading behavior dimensions to understand how strong a potential a novel has to become the next bestseller. This is a far more objective and accurate way to predict future trends.

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Data-driven decisions can and will transform traditional processes that have so far been accepted as the standard for the publishing industry. Artificial Intelligence and algorithms like the one we have developed at Inkitt help us better understand readers’ preferences and also make the publishing process more democratic and fair, especially for up and coming authors trying to make their first steps.

Helping emerging talent get found

In just 18 months since launch, Inkitt has attracted 700,000 members: fiction lovers looking to discover great new novels and new writers who want to share their work and kickstart their career. Apart from a readers-driven publisher, Inkitt is a great platform for authors looking to find an audience for their work and get honest and constructive feedback for free. We also hold writing contests regularly where the winning authors get a publishing deal.

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In addition to the above, Inkitt offers a variety of resources to support and guide emerging writers: from AMAs with published authors, to writing groups and articles where writers can find tips and guidance on the writing craft and the road to publishing your work.

If readers love it, it gets published: The revolution has started

Inkitt’s founder and CEO, Ali Albazaz, has one vision: to make sure great books will never again miss the opportunity they deserve. And the best toolset available for that is to analyse behavioral data and understand what readers want: that’s the only way to ensure publishers will never again reject a great novel.

The first book selected by Inkitt’s algorithm, Erin Swan’s Bright Star will be published by Inkitt and Tor in 2017. Back in September, Inkitt published Charlotte Reagan’s YA novel Just Juliet and a month after that, Emily Ruben’s I Was A Bitch followed: both of them immediately became bestsellers in their respective category: a clear sign the Inkitt algorithm ‘has an eye’ for best selling novels.

And this is just the beginning; there’s many more books in Inkitt’s publishing pipeline for the next few months.

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We’ve made the first steps in our journey to revolutionize publishing. And the response we’ve seen so far from both our authors and readers gives us even more strength to carry on: It’s so rewarding to have a community of hundreds of thousands who share your vision!

Inkitt is here to help new talent rise and bring great novels to book lovers looking to discover new authors.

If you have questions or want to find out more about Inkitt, please send your email to marketing@inkitt.com. Thanks for reading!

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