Booklamp – Analyzing Books Is A Concern

“If you thought metadata was complicated, meet, a new book discovery search engine that tracks 32,160 distinct data points per book. “We do this by taking the full text provided by a publisher in a digital format and running it though our computer,” explains CEO Aaron Stanton. “Our program breaks a book up into 100 scenes and measures the ‘DNA’ of each scene, looking for 132 different thematic ingredients, and another 2,000 variables.” A reader can go to the BookLamp site, which was launched in beta last week, and do a keyword search for titles that meet the criteria similar to a title they plug into the site. Pundits have dubbed it the “Pandora for Books,” though Stanton prefers the term “Book Genome Project.”

(Quoted from a blog post by Edward Nawotka, Publishing Perspectives)

My view is that this is very interesting technically, but…

…for some time now we have had computer-based lexical analysis which can describe a particular author’s style. I find this new avenue somewhat worrying.


Well, simply because I think it’s only a short step from here to ‘book spinning’. Tweak the lexical analysis to disguise the author, then tweak the datapoints, and you’ve got a ‘spun book’.

No author wants that.