Five ways book publishers can take advantage of artificial intelligence

Photo of Monica Landers.

Monica Landers is co-founder and CEO of StoryFit, a rapid-growth technology company that provides AI analytics for the publishing and entertainment industry. With two media technology patents, Monica’s deep experience in media extends from producing for ABC News and Good Morning America to executive leadership at multiple content companies, including VP Media Innovation at Demand Media. Monica has deep roots in Austin’s startup communities and is an advisor to accelerators, universities, and organizations such as SXSW and Women@Austin. Monica Landers will be joining us at ebookcraft on a panel called Cybernetic Ebooks: A Panel on Machine Learning and AI in Book Production and at Tech Forum for a session called How Can AI Champion Great Storytelling?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is quickly becoming an essential part of modern business and can assist publishers on many levels from enhancing discoverability through precise keywords to helping optimize marketing and sales plans. AI can also automate complicated processes, such as finding comps, simplifying the task to take just a matter of minutes.

Here are five easy ways book publishers can integrate (and are already integrating) AI into their everyday decision-making.

1. To increase discoverability, smarter metadata

Discoverability, or how easy it is for a consumer to find your specific product or to find the right product, is vital to modern-day book sales. If your audience can’t discover your book, how will they ever get to read and share it? How could it ever possibly become a bestseller or be championed by Oprah?

Precise keywords: Reach a bigger audience on Amazon

AI can analyze the text of a book to find the major themes, characters, and settings, all to create content-centric keywords for Amazon — automating a very laborious process. AI can also compare the book’s text to reader reviews, emotional response statistics, social chatter, consumer behaviour studies, and more, all to produce user-centric keywords. In just minutes you can be freed up to continue being awesome, armed with great keywords, that pull from both your content and readers.

BISAC codes: Categorize your book correctly

Another important application of AI is BISAC categorization. Those pesky codes that you haven’t looked at in years could be costing you thousands of dollars in missed discoverability. Machine learning and natural language processing can assist you in quickly choosing new and more accurate BISAC codes.

2. To find comparable titles, faster

We all strive to read the newest releases as well as the classics… but it’s impossible to know every detail of every book and every market. As a result, most comps are either limited to one’s backlist titles or books that people are generally aware of. One of the amazing features of AI is its ability to quickly ingest and analyze large amounts of data. For example: the entire New York Times bestseller list since 1973. In a matter of minutes, you can have accurate comparisons based on whatever data points you tell it to measure for. With AI-based tools, you are in the driver’s seat; AI is just like GPS.

3. To optimize each book’s marketing and sales plans

One of the most significant impacts AI can have is on the bottom line. With the help of AI, you can save considerable time on decision-making and data entry throughout the life of a book. Additionally, AI services can predict the audience that would be the most attracted to your content and can help you forecast the revenue for a title. AI can also provide recommendations for cross-promotion and ideal publication timing.

4. To evaluate content: For example, to discover successful book adaptations

Evaluating successful book adaptations could also provide a roadmap for positioning a book to be optioned by a movie studio more quickly or for finding the right studio to approach.

5. To increase user engagement (and conversions) by creating marketing collections and recommendations

Netflix estimates that its recommendation algorithms have saved the streaming giant upwards of $1 billion in canceled subscriptions. In the publishing world, German group Ebner Verlag began using AI to recommend products to specific readers and recorded conversion rates of almost 20x above the global average.

Create a technological advantage

In conclusion, there are many ways in which AI can assist book publishers. AI is currently helping publishers with improved book discoverability, reduced costs, enhanced marketing efforts, and a deeper understanding of content. In addition, publishers who have embraced AI are receiving a competitive technological edge — helping them improve revenue while also gaining time for more important activities.

Interested in learning more? Don’t miss my sessions at ebookcraftCybernetic Ebooks: A Panel on Machine Learning and AI in Book Production (March 19, 2019 at 1:45 p.m.), and at Tech ForumHow Can AI Champion Great Storytelling? (March 20, 2019 at 1:45 p.m.).

You can find more details about the conferences here, or sign up for the mailing list to get all of the conference updates.