Meet: Lauren Burns – Creative Content Director at Inkitt and Co-Founder of Galatea
Lauren is our Creative Content Director and Co-Founder of the “Galatea” application. Learn more about significant strategic decisions she was part of as well as her unique role at Inkitt!
When Lauren Burns joined the Inkitt team over four and a half years ago, she didn’t know where the journey would take her, only that it checked off several boxes on her ‘ideal job after university’ checklist. Specifically, she’d be able to work with books and travel to Europe. Her first role at Inkitt was in marketing, an area about which she knew little but was very happy to learn. Later, Lauren joined the publishing team, where she was able to work on actual story content.
From the user’s perspective, Inkitt’s writing platform allows writers to upload their work and readers to engage with it. In the background, data is collected on that engagement, enabling the publishing team to determine which stories warrant a publishing contract. Early on, when Lauren joined the company, all of Inkitt’s books had to be published on other platforms. Once that happened, Inkitt no longer had access to useful data on their books. “For a data-first company, we wanted the data after publishing. Otherwise, we’d have no idea who was reading the book, if our marketing was working, or even if we were getting the right books to the right readers.”
It became increasingly clear to Lauren, and to Inkitt’s founder, Ali Albazaz, that they had an opportunity to create something new – something revolutionary in the publishing world.
Lauren, Emma, and Ali put their heads together to brainstorm. What if Inkitt developed its own commercial platform and could continue to track reader habits and engagement? Further, what if that commercial platform offered an updated reading experience for the 21st century? Out of this collaborative effort, the Galatea application was born in addition to the Inkitt platform.
Not only is Galatea Inkitt’s own publishing platform, allowing the company to retain all data on reader behavior, engagement, and marketing strategy successes, but it also offers a unique, immersive reader experience. As the app evolved, user feedback and response was integral to its development. “We wanted to know what features the readers liked, didn’t like, and why.”
The Galatea app revolutionized Inkitt’s entire publishing process. Because the publishing team can now evaluate reader behavior after publication, using a concept they call story intelligence, Inkitt novels are not static after they are published. “We’re able to collect data on what readers love about the stories and why. Or, we can determine what isn’t working for them and make adjustments. We’ll run A/B tests, and the strongest performing version of a story becomes the newest version.”
With Galatea up and running, Lauren’s current day to day work varies. She’s the person responsible for story content, processes, and the team behind Galatea. Sometimes she spends the day working with the data science folks, and sometimes she’s negotiating contracts with writers. Mostly, though, she’s managing the story content itself. This means participating in storyboarding sessions, attending editorial meetings, listening to pitch reviews, and working on story revisions. It’s creative, interesting, and exciting work.
The company is growing quickly, with a vision for the future that is ambitious and exciting. Much of Inkitt’s current story content is in the romance genre, a popular one among readers and writers alike. But, they’re expanding. Sequels to blockbuster books are also being written rapidly, like popular television series. “We’re going to need series managers, and we’re going to need people who are experts in particular genres.”
As someone who has been with Inkitt for several years, and has been an integral part of the company’s evolution, Lauren’s favorite part of the job is working with authors.
“Some of these amazingly diverse writers may never have had their work published if not for Inkitt, and I have the privilege of working on their content.”
Thank you for being part of our journey, Lauren!
At Inkitt, we believe that every author in the world should have an equal chance to succeed. That’s why our mission is to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Join us on our mission and start the next chapter of your career with us!