Diversity in Publishing: Writer Updates

We are a couple days from closing registration for our Diversity Contest and I want to share some thoughts about this. We launched the contest with one goal in mind, to give voice to those who are not being heard or read. Authors from diverse communities and stories with diverse subject matter and characters have struggled over the years, decades actually, in finding a place in the limelight of publishing. We hope to change that, not for the sake of change or some social agenda, but because we love diversity of thought. It makes us richer, smarter and more likely to understand each other.

The reason we chose children’s books as our platform for diverse books is because this is where the change can happen and continue on into our futures. Over the years I have purchased hundreds of books, many of them for my 5 kids. Because children’s books are simplified in message, it is a wonderful platform to begin learning about other cultures and ideas. And I’m not talking just about the kids.

Here is my solution to see more diversification of books and it begins with you. I challenge you to add just one book to your library in the next month whose subject matter, characters, or author is of or by people of diversity; a book that recognizes a diverse experience, such as people of a different color, gender, disabilities, body size, ethnicity, culture, and religion than you. You will be the better for it. The more books we buy, the more diverse books they will publish.

I look forward to reading the winners of our contest come September 6th. You can follow the winners here.

In other news, our Humor Us contest continues through August 31st. We need humor as much as we need diversity.

Data Science, Happy Scientists & Publishing: Writer Updates

You know, as opposed to “mad” scientists. Did you ever ask how Google can be so wickedly accurate with their searches, sometimes populating the answer before you even finish typing the question? How about when you ask your phone a question and it gives you an answer? Well we have data science and the scientists who study it to thank for those and many other everyday applications, like image recognition, voice to text, price comparison websites, improved gaming, airline route planning, package delivery, and on and on. In truth, much of what we do today is impacted by the work of data scientists.

So what does this have to do with AUTHORS? Lots!

Over the past several months we have been hard at work building tools to analyze data, the text in manuscripts in particular. This is the heady work of data scientists. The more we understand the data (text) the better we will be at matching and recommending it to agents and publishers. We are hiring talented data scientists to work on our matching algorithms and much much more. Look at this little formula which can tell you the grade level of a book:

0.39 (total words / total sentences) + 11.8 (total syllables / total word) – 15.59

Really? Really. Data scientists examine massive amounts of data and outcomes to be able to predict what other data will do. Our guys at AUTHORS will be working on several things including making better matches and making recommendations to our partners and writers. This will make you the writer, agent, publisher happy with the outcomes.

When they are done with that, I am going to ask them to work on an algorithm that will help me predict how my fantasy baseball team will do.