Abigail’s Favorite 2016 Technology

Abigail’s scoured the web for tech updates in the world of reading and writing fiction. Here are her top seven news stories from 2016!


As the intern for Sell More Books Show podcast, I spend a lot of time with my nose to the ground sniffing out the latest news and author tips in the publishing industry.

Because there’s never a dull day in the wide world of books, we always have fascinating and informative stories that don’t make the final cut for the podcast’s line-up.

In the spirit of giving these discarded stories a second chance, I’ll be sharing them here.

I’ll start with a recap of technological advancements made in 2016. Over the past year, authors and readers enjoyed new ways to create, interact with, and analyze books.

Here are my top seven picks for technology that could revolutionize the publishing industry.

My first four picks are proof that creating and consuming stories became more interactive in 2016:

1) CNET published a “massively multi-writer” sci-fi novel with over fifty authors working at a time on a shared document.

2) Amazon introduced choose-your-own adventure audio stories on Alexa.

3) To Play For, an interactive entertainment company, has plans to publish a YA trilogy as a VR experience.

4) Another company, Metabook, created its first book-app, which includes the written text, full-cast audio reading, original soundtrack, short films, and photos.

My next two choices show how publishing experts turned to reader analytics and data science in the age-old quest for a bestseller formula. (Spoiler: There’s no such thing as a magic story potion.)

5) Major publishers partnered with companies like JellyBooks and   Inkitt that use reader communities to predict successful titles.

6) Researchers in Japan have trained a neural network to identify a  book’s genre.

And lastly, in 2016 they gave the Nobel Prize in Literature to a songwriter (kudos, Bob), in 2026 perhaps they’ll give it to a robot.

7) Check out this delightfully bizarre short sci-fi film written  entirely by an AI algorithm.

While a good story never goes out of style, industry leaders and innovators are always imagining new possibilities for how we create and enjoy them. Long live books!

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Which advancements are you most excited about? Was there any that I missed?



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