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Bookaxe makes book discovery easy with machine learning

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by Startacus Admin

In the US and UK alone, an estimated 500,000 books were published last year. Yet for readers, finding one you truly bookaxelove is incredibly hard.

Step forward Bookaxe, a book discovery platform that solves serious pain points for both readers and traditional publishers. How? Machine learning techniques of course. Read on (sorry) for all the details...

In the bookselling industry, publishers and booksellers typically channel readers to 'the chosen few' books every month, regardless of a reader's taste - and the book category 'terms' like 'literary fiction' or 'contemporary fiction', often leave readers baffled about what they're going to get.

bookaxeWhat's more, readers don't know whether to trust reviews. For example, one bestselling book of recent years has 1.7million star ratings on Amazon-owned Goodreads, but a pretty even spread between how many stars each reviewer gives. How are readers to possibly decipher which camp they'd fall into? 

Step forward Bookaxe, a book discovery platform that aims to solve these serious pain points for both readers and traditional publishers.

Bookaxe uses machine learning techniques to better align books to readers based on the content of the novel itself, rather than confusing marketing hype, whilst also matching readers to readers, meaning that Bookaxe users see the opinions of people with similar tastes first. This allows them to find books they'll love, quicker and easier.
And it's not just the bookreaders that benefit. From a publisher's perspective, getting books to the right readers can be equally tricky. It is estimated that the industry spend $3b per annum on marketing books, but in truth, they know very little about who buys them and even less about who actually enjoys them once they've been read!

Amazon hold some information on this but they don't share it. Publishers are largely left in the dark. Bookaxe makes this information available to them for the first time. bookaxeAdditionally - and crucially - the metadata we collect about what our readers actually like and dislike about the books themselves is completely unique.

Bookaxe don't just say who likes or dislikes a book, they give the reasons why. From the pace of the plot, to it's levels of explicitness, to the style of it's language, Bookaxe aims to help publishers understand what it is about their books that get readers excited or turn them away.

Bookaxe's website went live in September 17 - the app went live last month - and they have been growing steadily at a rate of 15%+ week-on-week since the start. They now have more than 8,000 users with fully created profiles, and tens of thousands more without. Word!.
Before Bookaxe, Co-Founder Lucy Cruickshanks was a fiction author, who previously peaked at number 6 in Amazon UK's bestsellers charts. Her co-founder, Scott Cruickshanks, a technical product manager for J P Morgan, who holds a PhD in behavioural economics. 

We reckon Bookaxe is a startup that's one to watch / read more about/ keep your eye on...

If you like this book / publishing related startup, you might also want to read up on:

Perlego - The EdTech startup which is on a mission to make textbooks more affordable.

Mrs Wordsmith - The EdTech startup for kids that's making learning new words a doddle.

Illumicrate is a subscription service for book lovers. 

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Published on: 27th April 2018

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