Press Release back to list
09.19.2007

TOUCHSTONE IMPRINT OF SIMON & SCHUSTER AND MEDIA PREDICT NAME FIVE FINALISTS IN PROJECT PUBLISH CONTEST

New Method Offers Revolutionary Approach to Finding Content  

 Contestants Drawn Nationwide from User Submissions, Literary Agencies, and
Print-on-Demand Sites


NEW YORK, September 19, 2007 - Five finalists were named today in Media Predict's Project Publish competition, which Media Predict conducted in conjunction with Touchstone Books, an imprint of publishing company Simon & Schuster, Inc. Contestants for the contest included referrals from well-known literary agencies and best-sellers at print-on-demand sites Lulu and iUniverse. Other contestants were drawn from hundreds of proposals directly submitted via the Media Predict site.

 

The contest, which began May 21, asked users at Media Predict (http://www.mediapredict.com/) to evaluate 50 book proposals via prediction markets. Similar markets have been used to forecast election results, sporting events, and motion picture box office sales with a high degree of accuracy.

 

Since it was launched, Project Publish has attracted international media attention including articles in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Economist, and The International Herald Tribune, and features on American Public Radio. Hundreds of references also appeared on blogs and websites.

 

Several Touchstone senior editors independently selected five finalists to compete for future publication with the imprint:

  • Dirty Cookbook, a humorous novel by Jason Clampett, of Philadelphia, PA: In this outrageously funny tale of sexual misadventures, Paul Chambers and his bachelor friends have discovered one of the best-kept secrets of dating: few women can resist the romantic allure of a wonderful meal prepared by a man. Paul and his friends make it their mission to perfect every recipe and record the greatest hits of their cooking and dating lives in their Dirty Cookbook.
  • Hollywood Car Wash, a novel by Lori Culwell, of Los Angeles, CA: In a shockingly accurate look at the entertainment world, a normal college student in Michigan appears in a TV pilot that gets picked up by a network. She then undergoes the Hollywood Car Wash consisting of losing twenty pounds, getting new teeth and blonder hair, and accessorizing with a megastar boyfriend with a big secret.
  • Think Twice, Click Once: The Little Black Book of E-Style, a non-fiction book by Jan O'Neil, of Norfolk, MA: What's the window to your professional image? Today, it's your "E-Style." Think Twice, Click Once: The Little Black Book of E-Style enhances your e-mail management and writing skills, providing up-to-date know-how and informative and humorous anecdotes from America's top executives.
  • The Didymus Contingency, a fantasy thriller by Jeremy Robinson, of Barrington, NH: If you could go back in time and witness any event, where would you go? In The Didymus Contingency, when Dr. Tom Greenbaum faces that question after successfully discovering the secret to time travel, he knows the time, place and event he will witness: the death and failed resurrection of Jesus Christ.
  • Navassa Island Murderers, a historical book by Peter O. Whitmer, of Boston, MA: Could an illiterate deaf-mute Black teen, a defendant in America's largest murder trial, possibly topple the U.S. President? The answer is yes, and the story is told in Navassa Island Murderers. This historical work traces a bizarre and fascinating series of events surrounding Congress's 1856 U.S. Guano Act and a "Haitian Relocation Plan" for slaves - a plan that left hundreds in horrifying labor conditions in the Windward Passage on Navassa Island.

In the next phase of the contest, the five finalists will post expanded excerpts from their books on the Media Predict site. Media Predict users then will evaluate the expanded proposals via prediction markets until Tuesday, October 9 when a grand-prize winner will be announced. As in the initial selection of finalists, Touchstone editors will make an independent judgment of which book to choose for future publication.

 

Project Publish Contest
"In many ways, we're running the most sophisticated slush pile in history," said Brent Stinski, CEO of Media Predict. "Our users have evaluated the potential of some excellent book proposals. But the fact is very few books can go on to succeed. Touchstone faces a tough decision. We'll let our users inside the process and see if they can predict how that decision will go."

 

Mark Gompertz, Executive Vice President and Publisher of Touchstone Fireside added: "Looking through the Media Predict and Project Publish proposals was an interesting challenge. It is the ultimate pre-publication, market-based focus group.  I look forward to following the market closely for the next round and using their lead to invest in the final project for publication by Touchstone." 

 

Media Predict markets are open and players can register and begin trading at http://www.mediapredict.com/.


PROJECT PUBLISH CONTEST TIMELINE
May 21, 2007: 
The Media Predict site launches and Project Publish begins. Media Predict begins accepting new submissions for Project Publish.

 

Sept. 19, 2007
Five proposals for the final stage of Project Publish are announced. Additional supporting content is posted on the Media Predict site. Media Predict users will then trade in the five proposals, trying to predict which proposal Touchstone editors will ultimately choose.

 

Oct. 9, 2007
One proposal is selected for future publication.
No purchase necessary. Visit http://www.mediapredict.com/ for a full set of rules. Void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law. Open to legal residents of the 50 US states and the District of Columbia, aged 18 or at least the age of majority in their state of residence as of May 21, 2007. Contest begins May 21, 2007 and ends October 9, 2007.

 

About Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster, Inc., a part of the CBS Corporation, is a global leader in the field of general interest publishing, dedicated to providing the best in fiction and nonfiction for consumers of all ages, across all printed, electronic, and audio formats. Its divisions include Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Simon & Schuster Digital, Simon & Schuster Digital, and international companies in Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit our website at http://www.simonsays.com/.

 

About Media Predict
Media Predict (http://www.mediapredict.com/) is a new web company dedicated to using prediction markets at all phases of the media discovery process. For more information, visit http://www.mediapredict.com/ or write info@mediapredict.com.