Predicting the International Appeal of Novels

Marijn Koolen, University of Amsterdam (UvA)


January 15, 2015.  15.00-17.00 at the eHumanities Group

Predicting the International Appeal of Novels

The Beyond the Book project investigates the relation between the international appeal of novels and its textual features. We look at names of characters and cultural references. Certain names and references may be a hindrance for selling a novel in different markets, while others improve its appeal. The preliminary findings are that person and location names play little role, but including many cultural references increases a novel’s chances of getting translated. We present our approach and explore this relationship between international appeal and cultural references.



Marijn Koolen is assistant professor of Digital Humanities at the Institute of Logic, Language and Computation at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests lie mainly in the fields of Digital Humanities, Information retrieval and Information Science. Current projects involve developing a platform for collaborative tool building in the Humanities, measuring international appeal of novels, network analysis of references in legal documents, and developing search and recommendation systems for complex search tasks. He is also one of the initiators and chairs of the Digital Humanities in the BeNeLux conferences.