Literary Agents, publishing, Satire

The Future Is Here


You receive too many unsolicited manuscripts and cannot review them all? You still do not want to miss the next bestseller? Then LiSA is the right solution for you.

LiSA, if you’re wondering, is German and stands for Literatur Screening & Analytik. For publishers, LiSA is a boon – in 30 seconds flat it will tell them if the manuscript they’ve just received has any chance of success. “Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), our software establishes a connection between the insights gained from existing works and their sales and bestseller ranking. This relationship is applied to new manuscripts and a probability of success is determined.”

And authors can sign up now for a beta version, soon to be released, which will let them know if they’ve written a dud or a blockbuster. Wunderbar!

Details can be found at the Qualifiction website: (It’s in German, but Google will obligingly translate).

It won’t be long, of course, before LiSA is analysing texts not from authors but from another AI programme. In fact the only reason she isn’t already doing that is because the release of the programme in question, OpenAI, has been delayed due its being too good: Fake text generator too dangerous to be released.

But take heart, writers! There are still a few literary agents who are humans just like us, and are even so kind as to reveal some great tips on how to get your manuscript accepted. One such is my good friend Sydney Lushpile, who a few years back gave me some precious insights into how it’s done the old-fashioned way. Before LiSA.


13 thoughts on “The Future Is Here

  1. I am horribly creep-ed out. My mind is spiraling into some sci fi future where humans are only used as a mechanics to keep the computers running and as breeders for future mechanics while computers crank out art, literature, and everything else that used to require a soul. Eeeegads.

    Liked by 5 people

  2. GD Deckard says:

    Not to worry: The next step is obviously to create A.I. Readers and that will allow us to sit around in the Writers’ Retirement Cafe, snack, drink wine, argue about the Oxford comma, and tell each other stories.
    🙂 Not a bad life.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Perry Palin says:

    I’m unclear as to what LiSA calls “success.” Anyway, LiSA might give me more time than the human readers at some houses.

    Gotta love that Sydney Lushpile.

    Liked by 5 people

    • From the website, it looks like success for LiSA is having big sales.

      Might be interesting to train the same learning program on a mix of classics and fizzles, to generate LiSA_2 that tries to predict what will have lasting significance.  Of course, the general style world inhabited by authors changes over time.  Accounting for those changes would be an interesting challenge at the nexus of AI and comp lit.  Getting enough old fizzles to make a good training set could also be a challenge.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. mimispeike says:

    I went to that site and I still don’t understand how it works. Do you answer questions? Does a software somehow read a sample of your text?

    Well, if I wasn’t discouraged by some of the reviews I got on Book Country, if Carl Reed’s admiring and at the same time annoying comments didn’t get me to mend my wicked ways (and they didn’t), if I will probably not pay for a Kirkus review because, while a good one would be a great marketing tool, a bad one isn’t going to change my mind one iota, an AI assessment is likewise going to fail to have any impact on my thinking.

    My book one is almost done. I know I keep saying that. The goalpost keeps moving, I discover more story that needs to be told. The trick is to touch on those ideas, which would certainly be in my head in that situation, to avoid them diminishes the intelligence of my characters, but perhaps to develop them elsewhere.

    But I’m on the actual (fake) Visitation of the Virgin Mary! Not the rehearsal (I told my husband, I’ve already used my best lines, how do I top myself?) but the actual (supposed) appearance itself. I am getting close to a finish. Then I’ll throw it out into the world and go on to a last look at the mostly written book two.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think they just feed the whole text into LiSA and she runs a comparison with what she’s extracted from bestselling books. Then tells you the submission will flop because there aren’t enough vampires in it.


  5. mimispeike says:

    AI is so not anything I’m interested in, I just don’t know what to say.

    I’m reading a wonderful new biography of Chaucer, focusing on his life and times. Full of great obscure details, really neat stuff about, for instance, the rigamarole surrounding baptism. I’ve googled baptism again and again and I never got half the sweet stuff I find here. (Baptism is a key point of humor in my story.) I’ll be plowing some of this into what I’ve already written, enriching my nonsense soup.

    Anybody want to talk about Chaucer?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My first reaction was that the AI review tells you if you hit the mark on what’s popular at the moment. So if you want to be hip, you do more research. But you have to consider, is this necessary for my story?

    Liked by 1 person

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