How can literature publishers find the next big hit?

How can literature publishers find the next big hit?


In addition to excellent editing, new technologies, especially regarding data-driven decision-making, and the promotion of talented authors can contribute to increasing the chances of success.


Editing: Open to New Ideas and Keeping Up with the Times

Successful editorial teams are often characterized by their openness to new ideas. However, this is a demanding task as editors also need to have extensive experience. They must engage with content from different geographical regions, undiscovered authors, or previously unpopular topics. At the same time, they must strike the right balance to identify commercially viable content.

To better understand the market and readers, it is helpful to specialize in smaller market segments. This allows editors to identify trends early on and gain insight into readers' preferences. Manual reading of reviews on platforms such as Goodreads or reading book reviews can also provide valuable insights.

Successful editors often combine hard and soft skills such as research and intuition. They must be able to process a wealth of information, navigate effectively, and prioritize tasks. They develop their own research processes, identify trustworthy sources that are not entirely mainstream, and cultivate their intuition. Finding a bestseller is not an exact science, and editors must learn to trust their instincts.

New Technologies: The Indispensable Support for Editing

It is crucial that editors are open to new technologies and tools as the market has rapidly evolved since the introduction of ChatGPT in late 2022. New technologies offer numerous advantages for the publishing industry:

  • They can process large volumes of data, providing coverage of the entire market rather than limited samples as in manual work.
  • They enable entirely new and relevant analyses specifically designed for trend scouting.
  • They are user-friendly, allowing access for everyone through visualization and intuitive interfaces.
  • They provide quick access, saving time that can be allocated to other value-added tasks.

In particular, AI and data-driven offerings can facilitate the work of editors. They can analyze their own and competitors' sales figures to gain retrospective insights into past successes. New tools like "Lit-X Success Analytics" can help observe the market transparently and identify future trends. Utilizing tools such as ChatGPT allows for quick analysis of large data sets and the discovery of connections. Well-integrated publishing ERP systems like Pondus or BookWire enhance efficiency in publishing operations.

Author Development: Individual and Content-Driven

Author development plays a crucial role in publishing successful books. It focuses on individual support tailored to authors' needs, knowledge, and developmental stage. The emphasis is on understanding what interests readers and what sells well. Long-term potential for multiple successes is targeted rather than short-term one-hit wonders.

Authors should be trained in effectively utilizing new technologies without losing the "Made by Human" character. ChatGPT, for example, can be used as a supportive tool for idea generation or as a writing partner. The goal is to foster authors' strengths and provide them with the tools to fully realize their potential.


In an industry constantly searching for the next big success, publishers must keep up with the latest technologies while nurturing author talent. Employing data-driven decision support and providing individual author support can help maximize the chances of success. Ultimately, finding the right balance of innovation and creative potential is key to delivering books that captivate readers.


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Reference: SvetaZi/
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