DIY self-publishing platform Lulu
will use this week’s Book Expo America trade show to formally announce details of a new book data analysis engine (Helix) that will allow its authors extract statistical data on genres and themes from the content of their books.
originally developed their book data analysis engine several years ago with the intention that it would be used by authors, agents and publishers to access suitable markets and audiences. Partnering with Lulu, the data engine has now been tweaked to provide self-published authors more information about how they should market and tag their books. BookLamp explain the basic principle of their data engine on their website:
“The Book Genome Project is an objective, computer-based analysis of the written word, applied evenly across tens of thousands of published books. The Book Genome Project is so fundamentally different from what most readers are used to, it’s easy to be confused about how BookLamp and the Book Genome Project works I’m hoping to clarify that a little bit here. To start, BookLamp does not categorize or label books, as you would expect in genre or BISAC codes, nor do so through human or community tagging. Instead we do the exact opposite: We ignore genre and super-classifications and instead only pay attention to the page-by-page components that the author combined to make up the book. We don’t look at what category the book is in, but instead the DNA elements that are in the book, and how that makes one book similar to another regardless of what shelf it sits on in the library or bookstore.
“In a perfect world, a skilled and trained human would be able to do this. That becomes an issue, though, because we’re not only interested in rating just a single book, but every word in every scene in every chapter in every book we can get our hands on. This quickly becomes a problem for a human; even the best of us will have a hard time perfectly recalling what happened on page 37, paragraph 4 of the book we read 3,749 books ago.”
BookLamp’s founder and CEO, Aaron Stanton, spoke to Digital Book World this week about the new service with Lulu to be launched at BEA:
“We don’t do subjective analysis – we don’t say whether this is a good manuscript or bad manuscript. 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.”
BookLamp has been testing the new service in beta since March, and while it will initially launch with Lulu, there are plans to add other self-publishing platforms once the Lulu service is established. The service will be available to Lulu customers for $49 and it certainly does look like a helpful marketing aid if used correctly and authors understand how best to use the data in a marketing plan.