Small Demons and Book Discoverability: mapping textual connections

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Photo of Small Demons: StoryverseImagine if someone took all of the meaningful data from all your favorite books and put it in one place? Well, a new site called Small Demons has made that a reality. Small Demons collects and catalogs the music, movies, people and objects mentioned in books and makes those details searchable, creating a universe of book details, or as they call it, a storyverse.

Users may be inspired to listen to Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” while reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore or Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity. Or find themselves in the Covent Garden district of London just like in Stieg Lasrsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia. Small Demons CEO Valla Vakili was so intrigued by the description of Marseilles in Jean-Claude Izzo’s Total Chaos that he replaced the Paris leg of his trip with Marseilles, an experience so inspiring that the concept of Small Demons was born.

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So how is this relevant to authors & writers? In a recent interview with GalleyCat, Small Demons VP of content and community Richard Nash explained: “If you are an author, we are going to create verified author pages. You’re going to be able to add biographical information, information about your own books and other features. You will also get access to the editing tools that we are using to fix the computer’s mistakes. We know algorithms can’t get everything right and even when they get something right, they can’t necessarily provide the nuance that a human being can.”

Nash continued: “A computer can tell us how many times a song appears in a book. But it can’t tell us that it is the song that the couple dances to at the wedding reception or the song the jilted lover plays after being dumped. It can’t tell you the emotional resonance of it. So we are going to be relying on librarians and authors and gifted amateurs to come in and help us fix and add and weight and evaluate all the data we are generating. Individual authors will have that ability over an extended period of time.”

Although Small Demons is currently in beta, you can apply for an invite here.

Do you think Small Demons is a service you’ll use? Let us know in the comments section below.

-Molly King

 

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