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How Writers Can Use Small Demons

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Valla Vakili, CEO of Small Demons. His company is building an online literary database that collects and catalogs thousands of references to music, movies, people and objects mentioned inside of books.

Press play below to listen to the interview on SoundCloud. Vakili explained how writers and readers can build book collections using the new Storyboard feature, bringing together books on digital shelves. He offered this advice for writers:

One of the things that I always want to know as a reader (and I think other readers feel the same way) is we love to know the inspiration behind things. Collections is one way of doing that, of saying “here are all the places that influenced this book.” There are authors who frequently say when they are coming up with characters, they associate them with some kind of music. Basically, being able to give a peek into the creative process and how it relates back to the influences behind a character, storyline, or series. We think collections can be a really great way to do that, as well as show off the things that interest them within the world of books.

Vakili added: “I think there are as many cool collections as there are cool ways to interact with books. The best thing we can do as a company is make it easier for readers to create collections. It’s super simple: title, description, and then you can add anything from the site: any author or location.”

He concluded: “We’ve had people go through and create collections that remind them of certain decades, like the 1980s as seen through books.  There are people making collections based on either high culture or low culture, their favorite authors, favorite books, or their favorite music in books. It ultimately comes down to how the books matter to you and how you want to craft shape those collections. Our job is to make it really simple and elegant framework for you to do that.”

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