Hey, everybody! Nicole here (this is a guest post, but the parts in green are me).
A couple of weeks ago, I was approached by Inkitt to ask if they could provide a guest post for my blog. I was honestly just about ready to email Hannah back to tell her that I don’t do those types of guest posts, but at the last moment I decided to take a glance at Inkitt and check it out. Turns out, they have a unique approach to publishing that I find fascinating, and I thought that you all might like to learn a bit about them too!
So, without further ado, here’s Hannah from Inkitt to tell you about their publishing process …
Some of the biggest and best-loved heroes of the literary world had to fight to get noticed.
Before J.K. Rowling got her big break with Bloomsbury, no fewer than twelve short-sighted book publishing houses turned down the iconic Harry Potter. Similarly, way back when he was a young nobody, Stephen King was told “no” an impressive 30 times before his debut novel Carrie was finally given the green light for publication. Of course, these two examples are just the tip of the iceberg when considering the many, many others who didn’t make the cut on their first, second, third (…or even twenty-ninth) attempts to find a publisher.
It may seem absurd to us now that any commercially-minded submissions expert would fail to realise the potential of these literary giants; but had these thick-skinned authors given up when faced with a barrage of rejections, the reading masses wouldn’t know their high school wizards from their high school bloodbaths. The moral is: if talented writers with fresh and interesting ideas give up before they find the one person willing to give their work the recognition it deserves, they will continue to fall through the cracks of the mainstream publishing industry.
We always hear of big-name authors who had to face a million no’s before they ever got to yes, but I never really thought there was any way around that. Publishing’s a tough business and authors just have to stick it out, right?
I thought it was very interesting that Inkitt has found another way…
Viva la Revolucion!
Inkitt.com was founded on the notion that some of the most important and impactful works of fiction could be falling by the wayside without being discovered. The company is a Berlin-based startup credited as the world’s first data-driven book publisher… with a mission to turn the ‘traditional’ publishing process upside down.
Inkitt wants to support all writers with a fair opportunity to showcase their work to the world in a way that the conventional publishing system wouldn’t allow. The company allows any budding author or seasoned professional to upload their fiction (of any genre) to its site, where it can be enjoyed and reviewed by a vast, rapidly growing community of readers.
To date, the two-year old business has already published eight novels. Within an industry as harshly discerning as the world of publishing, this maverick approach to sidestepping the usual tendering process is a game changer.
So, how does it work then? I kind of wondered if it was just an online popularity contest where the author with the most friends to “like” their book gets a publishing deal. But it turns out, it’s much more high-tech than that. And, apparently, it works. Read on to find out why:
How Data-Driven Publishing Works: Understanding the Algorithm
Inkitt developed an algorithm that can capture data and analyse over 1,200 reading behavior dimensions in order to understand how strong a potential each novel has to become the next bestseller. This is a far more objective and accurate way to predict future trends than simply sending a manuscript to have its fate decided by the subjective opinion of one editor.
Data clues from the algorithm along with feedback and reviews from our ever-growing community of readers, allows Inkitt to identify the next bestseller. And it’s working. Of the eight novels it has launched so far, seven of these went on to rank on Amazon (.com)’s Top 100 list and hit the #1 spot in their selected categories… a remarkable feat given the competition from millions of titles available.
Data-driven decisions can and will transform the traditional publishing system that has so far been accepted as standard for the industry. Artificial Intelligence and algorithms like the one Inkitt has developed helps gain a better understanding of readers’ preferences and also make the publishing process more democratic and fair, particularly for up and coming authors seeking to make their literary debut.
Want to read a book or two yourself and help determine what gets published? I’m going to try it out! I plan to read Ignite by Danielle Rogland, set in a dystopian London. Watch for my review in the coming weeks. You can sign up with Inkitt and find a new book to love too.
Feed Your Fiction Addiction… For Free
In total there are more than 100,000 full-length fiction titles submitted by over 24,000 authors on the Inkitt website, covering all fiction genres imaginable from Young Adult to Erotica. Inkitt is also available as an app on iOS and Android for a fiction fix on the go.
As well as its read and review services, Inkitt also hosts writing competitions** throughout the year, which offer a grand prize of publication to the winner. Just click the link above for a chance to fast track your talent into the mainstream.
So, what do you think? Are you as intrigued as I am? Have you tried Inkitt or are you planning to check it out? I want to know!
**This is an affiliate link. Ironically, I originally had a note at the top of this post pointing out that I’m not an affiliate and had nothing to gain by spreading the word about Inkitt, but then just before I actually posted this, they sent me an affiliate link for the writing competitions, and I figured what the heck? So, if you use this link or the ad in the sidebar for a submission, I’ll get a small referral fee.