FAQ - Authors A.I.
plot structure graph
A storyteller’s best friend: The Plot Structure graph in an A.I. Report from Authors A.I.

What Is Authors A.I.?

We’re a new startup, created by authors for authors. Our goal is to help authors improve their craft and gain new readers.

Our A.I. team, led by Chief Data Scientist Matthew L. Jockers, Ph.D., is working with scores of best-selling authors to create original, advanced artificial intelligence and natural language processing tools that will help authors refine their manuscripts by comparing them to bestselling works of fiction.

Are you a nonprofit?

No, we’re a business. All of our founders and nearly all the equity stakeholders (about 120 team members) are authors, mostly from the U.S. as well as from Canada, the U.K., Australia, Europe and Asia.

How does it work?

It’s simple. We have free (Marlowe Basic) and full (Marlowe Pro) reports. The Basic report is a limited version of the Pro report and can be ordered by anyone who is a member of the free Marlowe Basic plan.

The Marlowe Pro report can be purchased on its own ($89) or received as part of a Marlowe Pro membership (2 reports for $29.99/month).

Once the report has been purchased, or the Marlowe Plan has been joined, any author can submit their manuscript on our site and receive a full, comprehensive analysis of their work within minutes. The Pro report, based on insights gleaned from research into bestsellers as well as inputs from bestselling authors, is produced by an artificial intelligence called Marlowe. The average length of a full report is 25 pages.  

Does it work on nonfiction? How about short stories?

Currently Marlowe — the name of our A.I. — is able to perform an analysis on any long-form narrative, including novels, biographies, histories and novellas.  Though she can read and offer feedback on nonfiction, her real expertise and experience is primarily with fiction.

Can I see an example of an A.I. report?

Sure. Check out this example of an A.I. report on The Girl on the Train.

Can Marlowe be used to analyze sections of my manuscript before I have a full draft?

Technically, yes. Marlowe can read and analyze texts of any length and she can provide useful feedback about chapters, sections, and even scenes.  Having said that, she is really at her best when she has a whole draft to review. Her methods and metrics are most effective and reliable when she has a complete draft. We recommend that you submit at least 20,000 words.

Can you give me a list of what my manuscript analysis will show?

The Marlowe Pro report analyzes your manuscript and provides suggestions based on our rapidly expanding database of books. Marlowe will send you a full-color report of 25+ pages in which you’ll get actionable data and recommendations in these areas:

  • Subject analysis
  • Narrative arc and plot structure analysis
  • Narrative beats
  • Pacing analysis
  • Major characters’ personality traits
  • Cliché finder
  • Potentially offensive language flagged
  • Sentence stats and readability score
  • Dialogue vs. narrative usage
  • Punctuation data
  • Repeated usage of adverbs
  • Repeated usage of adjectives
  • Verb choice and the passive voice
  • Possible misspellings

Will I still need an editor or proofreader?

The Marlowe Pro report offers a great way to understand the structure, pacing and potential of your manuscript. And the report will point out many of the elements that a developmental editor or proofreader might identify, such as story beats, overuse of certain words, possible spelling mistakes and much more.

That said, unless you’re a really good editor as well as a good writer, we recommend that you work with real human beings to edit and proofread your work after you incorporate Marlowe’s feedback. Don’t forget beta readers, too.

If I follow Marlowe’s recommendations, won’t my novel become more formulaic?

No. New authors often believe they need to reinvent the storytelling wheel. Seasoned authors know that the best stories are told within the broad contours of an existing narrative framework. It’s the specifics of your story, your characters, and your writing that will set it apart.
Readers have certain expectations when they begin reading a new book. They don’t want to pick up what seems to be a thriller and discover 50 pages in that it’s actually a paranormal romance. Yes, you can break the rules and stretch genre boundaries — go for it! — but it’s good to know what those rules are so you can break them intentionally, not by accident.

Can you explain the pricing?

We offer three different packages.

Our one-off single Marlowe Pro report is $89. That is the most expensive way to get a report, but appeals to some authors who don’t want a month-to-month membership.

Our Marlowe Basic plan is completely free and offers unlimited Marlowe Basic reports, which are a limited version of the Marlowe Pro report.

Our Marlowe Pro plan is $29.95 a month and includes two Marlowe Pro reports (a $178 value!). This is a month-to-month subscription. You can save $150/year if you purchase the annual plan. A bonus for Pro members: Promote your work and connect with our community of book lovers on our new book discovery site BingeBooks.com

You can find all the details on our pricing page.

 

Can I submit the same manuscript many times?

Yes. We understand that, once you’ve used Marlowe’s recommendations to redraft your work, you’ll want to see how Marlowe assesses your rewrite.

Can I resubmit my manuscript without paying again?

Each time you submit a manuscript for a Marlowe Pro report, it counts toward your monthly or yearly limit, without regard to whether you’ve submitted it before. 

You can run an unlimited amount of Marlowe Basic reports.

 

Why would I want to spend money on this?

Bestselling authors, including the ones who’ve helped set up Authors A.I., know the value of investing in making their books as good as they can be and marketing them to readers. Our artificial intelligence bot, Marlowe, makes the first step in that process — developmental editing and proofreading — more accessible to many writers.

Is my privacy or intellectual property or copyright at risk?

Not at all. As authors, we take intellectual property seriously. We give you the choice of whether to add your manuscript to our research database.

If you decline, then your work is immediately deleted from our servers after the analysis is run. If you opt into our knowledge base, your work remains anonymous and protected, and it won’t be available for anyone else to access. 

 

Where do you store manuscripts you’ve analyzed?

Each user’s data and files are encrypted and stored on secure servers at Amazon AWS. 

Is there a chance that someone will be able to copy my work?

We’ve trained Marlowe to analyze your manuscript; no humans even look at it. Your manuscript is sent to Marlowe via an encrypted upload process and is then stored as an encrypted data object on a secure server far from prying human eyes.

Why is the manuscript analysis bot called Marlowe?

Marlowe is named for both Christopher Marlowe, the Elizabethan tragedian who inspired Shakespeare, and Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler’s hardboiled private eye who plays chess and reads poetry.

We like to think she has Philip Marlowe’s intellect and investigative skills and Christopher Marlowe’s pioneering spirit and love for the written word.

Why should I trust your resources, information and manuscript analysis?

The authors who run Authors A.I. have collectively spent decades working in the publishing industry to grow large readerships. We’re collaborating on this venture because we want to put those years of experience to use helping the next generation of writers.

What about genre-specific reports? Are those on the horizon?

The biggest and most challenging item on our roadmap is the ability to give authors tailored critiques based on bestselling novels in each genre. It’s a big undertaking, and we hope to have the first genre-based A.I. reports ready during 2021. 

How do I cancel or upgrade my membership?

If you have a Marlowe Pro monthly subscription, you can cancel or upgrade to an annual plan from inside your My Account section. Just log in, visit My Account (in the top navigation), and click on Subscriptions.

Can I find all this stuff elsewhere?

You may find some of the information and advice in other places. But we have the only A.I.-based end-to-end manuscript analysis tool for authors and the only bot that’s been designed by Matthew Jockers, co-author of The Bestseller Code.

Do I need to be good with technology to use Marlowe, the bot?

Not at all! As long as you can convert your manuscript into a Word or plain-text document, you’re good to go. We’ve made the whole process simple for authors. It’s Marlowe and her programmers who perform the technical wizardry.

Can I publish my report online?

Sorry, we’re afraid that’s not allowed under the Terms of Service. However, you’re free to use component parts, such as the graphics, and write about them.

Is my Marlowe Pro plan based on calendar months or credits?

We understand that many authors don’t write on a schedule. While a Marlowe Pro annual plan allots two reports per month, we know that you might need to run multiple drafts or finished manuscripts through our A.I. during a given month. So we award you your full allotment up front, giving you the flexibility to use your credits whenever you’d like. When you purchase the Marlowe Pro annual plan, you receive enough credits for 24 reports up front.

Are you a SaaS company?

Yes, we’re a Software as a Service ecommerce company because we offer authors a manuscript analysis through our A.I. But we’re also a community of authors providing free online resources.

A.I. is a little scary. How do I know your A.I. won’t be used for malign purposes?

You’re right, artificial intelligence can be used by bad actors with less than noble aims. As authors ourselves, we want to get out in front of the coming A.I. wave to make sure the technology is used to help advance the interests of authors and readers, not to undermine us. 

We’ll never program our A.I. to displace the author’s central, pivotal role in the book publishing ecosystem. There’s no replacement for the author’s imagination, talent, grit, hard work or inspiration. We’re committed to using A.I. only for beneficent outcomes —  and we’ll never use A.I. to plagiarize any author’s work.