Impact Engines | BookNet


The BookNet Impact Engine is developing a novel dataset of narratives to innovate current practices in US publishing and help more out-of-the-mainstream stories succeed.


Evidence suggests that current practices in US publishing (“Comp Titles”) systematically disadvantage underrepresented groups and out-of-the-mainstream stories, limiting the types of stories and storytellers that consumers encounter in bookstores, movie theaters, and online. These traditional industry practices also discard the vast majority of information that readers intuitively understand about the books they read and how these narratives affect them.


The Comp Titles process is based on qualitative assessments that do not accurately provide demand projections and creates a barrier for underrepresented authors by only promoting books that compare favorably to earlier white, often male-authored bestsellers.


We propose BookNet, a new dataset of narratives, to help publishers evaluate stories better than ever before, and with less bias against those that don’t resemble yesterday’s bestsellers. We envision a new practice of narrative evaluation that leverages far more of what readers already know about each story and works better for everyone, from publishers to authors to readers around the world.


BookNet will enable better industry practices throughout US culture industries. Our new data-based approach will empower previously overlooked creators and help their stories to reach audiences worldwide.


Yakov Bart

Associate Professor of Marketing and Thomas E. Moore Faculty Fellow, D’Amore-McKim School of Business | Co-Founder and Faculty Director of the DATA Initiative at Northeastern | Core faculty member of the Institute for Experiential AI and of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern


Silvio Amir

Assistant Professor, Khoury College of Computer Sciences | Core faculty member of the Institute for Experiential AI and of the NULab for Texts, Maps, and Networks at Northeastern


Samsun Knight

Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Toronto, novelist, and former Postdoctoral Research Associate at the DATA Initiative at Northeastern


Imke Reimers

Associate Professor of Economics, College of Social Sciences and Humanities (on leave) | Associate Professor of Strategy and Business Economics, Cornell University



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