Stories Can Lead to More Stories

In What's the Buzz by Amanda DeMarco

By Amanda DeMarco

Small Demons CEO Valla Vakili speaks at the StoryDrive Frankfurt conference

There’s book discovery that’s driven by your social network, and book discovery that’s driven by recommendation (“People who bought this also bought that”), but what about story-driven discovery?

Los Angeles-based startup Small Demons searches books for references (not just to other books, but to any people, places, media or products), then presents those references on its website as searchable recommendations.

At the StoryDrive on October 11, 2012, CEO Valla Vakili explained that, because they occur organically in the story, these recommendations are both more heterogeneous and more meaningful than social or retail recommendations. Older discovery systems “are flatlining,” said Vakili. “What if we could free the story from being the thing we act upon, and make it the thing that acts upon us?”

The StoryDrive audience seemed most curious to know how Small Demons monetizes its service. The answer? For now: through commerce generated via the site, although various applications, from providing insight into the representation of brands to improving library searches, are imaginable in the future.

About the Author

Amanda DeMarco

Amanda DeMarco is a freelance writer and translator living in Berlin. Originally from Chicago, her work for Publishing Perspectives focuses on German-language publishing news.