Skip to main content

Survival of the Fittest (Book Proposal)

In the case of Media Predict, traders are not voting on the book they like best, but rather are placing bets on which they think will do well. According to Mark Gompertz, publisher of Touchstone Books, Media Predict could do for book publishing what focus groups do for soap and soda and what screening audiences do for movies.

Hi Writers,
You knew it had to happen. The “American Idol” concept has filtered down to the book world. Internet company is partnering with the Simon & Schuster imprint Touchstone to launch a contest wherein the public gets to vote (with $5,000 in virtual cash) on book proposals most likely to succeed.

Read about the contest in full, here:
“Touchstone Imprint of Simon & Schuster Teams with New Website Media Predict for Its Project Publish Literary Contest

And here:
“Welcome to Project Publish.”

And you may want to read The New York Times article on the contest.

Here’s a brief excerpt from the NYT piece:
“Being able to predict the performance of something is key,” said Brent Stinski, founder of Media Predict. A prediction market, he said, “is a very powerful tool.”

“Since Gutenberg first printed the Bible, critics have always said publishers don’t know what they’re doing. Just throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks is a crazy way to do business,” Mr. Gompertz said.

Well, the rights issues seem a little tricky here (authors allow MediaPredict to act as temporary literary agent if not already represented). But there’s no entry fee. And, of course, you can’t really argue against free.

This seems to me, though, the latest manifestation of what I wrote about in my last blog entry, which our WDforumites weren’t wild about, to say the least. Testing consumers to try and predict which books might actually sell doesn’t seem to be something writers want to believe is important or even useful.

Anyway, I’d love to know your thoughts on this contest, so drop me a line. Remember, I have $5,000 in virtual cash and I'm not afraid to use it.

Until next time…

Keep Writing,

Jeff Adams | Writer's Digest Indie Author Spotlight

Jeff Adams: Publishing Advice for Indie Authors

In this Indie Author Profile, romance novelist Jeff Adams shares his path to independent publishing and his advice for others considering that path.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Writer's Digest July/Aug 2022

The WD Interview: Silvia Moreno-Garcia

The bestselling author of Mexican Gothic shares her approach to world-building, character development, and what she’s learned about the business of writing in this interview from the July/August 2022 issue of Writer's Digest.

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

9 Pros and Cons of Writing a Newsletter

Thinking of starting your own newsletter? Let freelance writer Sian Meades-Williams lay out 9 pros and cons of writing a newsletter.

How to Write a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

How to Create a Compelling Premise for a Thriller

Learn how to create a compelling premise for a thriller or mystery novel by asking a simple question and tying it to a specific circumstance to set the stage for a thrilling read.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Make a Plan

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have your characters make a plan.

3 Tips for Writing Dystopian Young Adult Fiction

3 Tips for Writing Dystopian Young Adult Fiction

If you've ever heard it said that there's no new way to write a story, let author Julian R. Vaca tell you otherwise. Here, he shares 3 tips for writing dystopian young adult fiction to help silence our inner critics.

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Rimma Onoseta: On Trusting the Process of Revision

Author Rimma Onoseta discusses how seeing other Black female authors on bookshelves encouraged her to finish writing her contemporary YA novel, How You Grow Wings.

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover

Writer's Digest September/October 2022 Cover Reveal

Writer's Digest is excited to announce our Sept/Oct 2022 issue featuring our Annual Literary Agent Roundup, an interview with NYT-bestselling YA horror novelist Tiffany D. Jackson, and articles about writing sinister stories.

Your Story #120

Your Story #120

Write the opening line to a story based on the photo prompt below. (One sentence only.) You can be poignant, funny, witty, etc.; it is, after all, your story.