Book recommendation algorithms
On the heels of winning the 2015 Book Industry Study Group's Publishing Industry Innovation Award, Trajectory is announcing German-language "discovery tools" at Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Boston-based company's c.e.o. Jim Bryant and content chief Scott Beatty—who are participating as "Players" in the China sessions of Frankfurt Book Fair's The Markets conference today—call their Natural Language Processing (NLP) recommendation engine, "book discovery tools." Until now, much focus has been on the company's distribution work to many major Chinese book-retail corporations. Now, German-language work is being added for development of keywords—already produced in Spanish, Mandarin and English—to allow non-German-speaking readers to discern German titles they might like.
In a statement, the company says: "By comparing the unique characteristics of one book against all of the books in the Trajectory system, Trajectory can make remarkably accurate recommendations. Contextually based recommendations can draw attention to related books that may otherwise remain undiscovered. Authors can use this to identify bestselling books that may align with theirs. Publisher can use this to identify books that can be marketed together. Booksellers can use this to promote similar books based on the actual content and writing style rather than relying solely on social behavior."
The German-language area of Trajectory's work now is centered at this page of the company's website.
Bryant and Beatty are also appearing on Friday, 16th October, in one of the "Hug the Alien" sessions at Frankfurt Book Fair's Business Club in Hall 4. Featured in that session with them will be Booktrack's Paul Cameron from New Zealand.
As reported in several instances at The Bookseller and The FutureBook, Trajectory has signed many deals with very large retail and distribution partners in the Chinese markets, hence Beatty and Bryant's participation as "Players" in today's conference sessions on China. They were also featured in the Novelists Inc. (NINC) conference's "First Word" day programme earlier this month, explaining the NLP analysis and recommendation system they have developed for book content comparisons and recommendations.
Sentiment curve analysis
Among the elements of the Trajectory NLP system that interest authors and others the most is the "sentiment curve" that the analysis of a book's text plots.
Called an "emotion curve" by some of the writers at the NINC conference, this graphic representation of positive and negative mood ratings in a narrative text can be compared, one book's curve against another, to offer comparative recommendations along the lines of, "If you liked the arc of the story in this novel, you may enjoy the similar arc in another book."
Another element of the NLP analysis Trajectory is doing produces the Trajectory index. The company, in a prepared statement on the nature of this analytical component, writes:
Trajectory’s index includes a variety of useful statistics including the total number of words, unique words, and parts of speech. The level of complexity of a book is often reveled in the average word and sentence length. An author’s writing style is reflected in the percentage of words contained within the book that are identified as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs.
In Frankfurt, Bryant and Beatty will also speak on Saturday at the Book Fair's daylong progamme for independent authors.
Trajectory's Jim Bryant has written one of our FutureBook 2015 manifesto, A manifesto for a digital book platform.
This is another entry in our series of "Five-Minute Manifestos" for The Future of the Book Business. In his article Those magnificent manifestos, The Bookseller editor Philip Jones revisited his call for the FutureBook community to reflect on five years of the digital dynamic, "to challenge the customs we have begun to adopt." The response has been robust, and we thank all our manifesto writers. See their articles here.
- We'd love your input on our FutureBook 2015 Digital Census; it takes only eight minutes to complete
- Please plan to join us on 4th December at The Mermaid in London for the fifth-anniversary FutureBook Conference.
- And bookings now are open for our inaugural Author Day (#AuthorDay) in central London, 30th November, the kick-off to a week of #FutureBook15 events.
- A manifesto for all writers | Carla Douglas
- A manifesto on skills | Emma Barnes
- A manifesto on metadata | Thad McIlroy
- A manifesto for flexing the publishing model | Alison Jones
- A manifesto for authors' marketplace success | Gary McLaren
- A manifesto for a digital book platform | Jim Bryant