Today In Books

The Bestseller Algorithm: Today in Books

Inkitt’s (Not-So-) Secret Trick For Identifying Bestsellers

Berlin-based publishing company Inkitt recently raised $3.9 million to expand, and the internet is abuzz about the company’s ability to identify bestsellers. Forbes reported that Inkitt has so far published 24 Amazon Bestsellers (out of 37 total published books). The company’s CEO and founder Ali Albazaz said he studied the statistics of successful authors, including J.K. Rowling and Stephen King, who had been rejected multiple times by publishers, and decided to create a publishing house that made decisions based on reader engagement instead of connections or a track record. Basically, Inkitt collects and analyzes reader engagement data from their community-driven platform to identify successful manuscripts, and then puts marketing power behind those books. Next up, the company plans to focus its attention on audiobooks, print books in brick and mortar stores, and selling film rights.

The Literary Community Hosts An Auction For Puerto Rico

#PubforPR created an auction to benefit Puerto Rico’s relief efforts after Hurricane Maria, with authors, editors, illustrators, and literary agents contributing their time and talent to help raise funds. Marie Lu, Roxane Gay, and Rainbow Rowell are a few of the authors contributing to the fundraiser. Participants have the opportunity to bid on signed book bundles, personalized artwork, one-on-one conversations with editors or agents, and more. All of the funds will go to vetted local charity organizations, Unidos por Puerto Rico and ConPRmetidos.

Maybe We Won’t Be Getting That MY IMMORTAL Memoir

Earlier in September, Vox detailed the strange story of Rose Christo, the until-recently-anonymous alleged author of the infamous fanfic My Immortal. We also learned that Christo would publish her memoir Under the Same Stars: The Search for My Brother and the True Story of My Immortal in 2018. Well, according to Christo’s Twitter and Tumblr, that book isn’t happening after all. The Tumblr post states that the memoir will not be published because Christo altered documentation during the publication process to protect the identities of her family members. The details so far are vague. Between the theory that Lani Sarem of the Handbook for Mortals NYT Bestseller scandal wrote My Immortal, the troubling and unusual details of Christo’s past, and this recent update, I’d say this story can’t get any stranger. But that would be naive.

Thanks to Scout Press, publisher of The Visitors by Catherine Burns, for sponsoring today’s newsletter.

Catherine Burns’s debut novel explores the complex truths we are able to keep hidden from ourselves and the twisted realities that can lurk beneath even the most serene of surfaces.

Marion Zetland lives with her domineering older brother John in a crumbling mansion on the edge of a northern seaside resort. A timid spinster in her fifties, Marion does her best to live by John’s rules, even if it means turning a blind eye to the noises she hears coming from behind the cellar door…and turning a blind eye to the women’s laundry in the hamper that isn’t hers….