The Publishing Entrepreneur Who Has The Technology To Find The Next JK Rowling – Forbes

Author J.K. Rowling/Photo credit Joel Ryan/Invision/AP

What turns a great story into a bestselling book? Is it good connections in the publishing world, dogged perseverance, or luck? The question has frustrated authors for decades, including the likes of J.K. Rowling whilst seeking a publisher for her ‘Harry Potter’ book, and a conclusive answer has remained as elusive as ever, up until now.

Berlin-based book publisher Inkitt has devised a sophisticated algorithm that when combined with the power of the crowd can measure reader engagement. As a result, it can identify potential best sellers with a higher degree of accuracy than traditional book publishers.

Inkitt was launched last year, and out of the 37 books it has published, 24 have become Amazon Bestsellers, with 20 making the Amazon top 100; a 65% hit rate that most publishers can only dream of.

And the vision of its CEO and founder Ali Albazaz is to give every author, whether a young teenager or a retired policeman, an equal opportunity to succeed.

Albazaz made an early start to his entrepreneurial career; he started coding at the age of 10 before going on to study computer science. Within a couple of months of becoming a Microsoft Student Partner he was teaching PhD students how to code.

“I found the idea of a freshman, me, teaching PhD students quite absurd and I started questioning my reasons to continue studying,” he says.

He gave it up to launch his first startup, similar to freelance services platform Fiverr.com, for the German market. Unfortunately the market in Germany wasn’t very receptive and in 2012 he wound it up. From there he started working as a JavaScript developer at Moviepilot, where he first encountered online content publishing.

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