How Publishers & Readers Can Use BookLamp

By Jason Boog Comment

Ever wish you could find new books the same way Pandora helps you find new music? Using a series of algorithms, BookLamp analyzes your favorite books for five style elements and then delivers you customized recommendations with similar themes and style.

The site currently tracks more than 618 million data points, trying to decode the DNA of literature. Here’s a simple explanation: “Motion, Density, Description, Dialog and Pacing are stylistic metrics or terms developed to help make the complicated under-workings of our analysis more understandable. They are not the complete picture of what makes up a book’s writing style, nor a complete picture of what BookLamp tracks in a book, but they do measure elements that a person can easily understand.”

The company builds its database with content obtained directly from publishers, so they cannot grow without the support of publishers. Publishers interested in working with BookLamp can email this address. The company urged readers to get involved as well: “If you know a publisher that should be working with us, please make the introduction, or e-mail them and suggest they work with us.”

The online tool was created by Novel Projects, a company formed to help work on the Book Genome Project in 2003. Below, you can explore definitions of BookLamp’s key metrics.

Booklamp’s Five Metrics Defined

1. Motion: “Motion refers to the level of physical motion in a scene or book”.
2. Description: “Description refers to the level of descriptive language that the author uses in his or her writing.”
3. Pacing: “Pacing refers to the layout of the text on the page. A scene with high Pacing will have characteristics that quickly move the reader’s eye down the page.”
4. Density: “Density refers to the complexity of the text. Text with high Density will take longer to read than a text of equal length with low density.”
5. Dialog: “Dialog refers to the amount of spoken text between two or more characters in a scene.”