Indent Labs
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Indent Labs

Shelf of Tales: Private Beta

A new service for long-term fiction storage

When I first started Indent Labs, I did so with the express purpose of using the latest technology to build better, more effective tools for authors. Since then, I’ve spent my days, nights, and weekends building new kinds of tools for every stage of the writing process.

Notebook.ai was a hit for the worldbuilding stage. It’s taken off more than I could have dreamed of and is currently used by hundreds of thousands of authors around the world. Every day I receive more and more feedback on how to make worldbuilding even better with Notebook.ai, but also a lot of requests and guidance on how to make ideation, writing, revising, publishing, and other creative stages better, too.

Shelf of Tales takes all of that post-writing feedback and combines it into a powerful long-term storage solution for authors, by authors — with a lot of cool features specifically for fiction.

So… what exactly is Shelf of Tales?

In a nutshell, Shelf of Tales is your private storage for fiction. It’s kind of like Dropbox, or Google Drive, or OneDrive — but the features you’ll find are specifically designed to benefit fiction and the authors who upload it.

I could talk for hours and hours about the features I plan to add (and maybe I will, one of these days!), but I want to first start out with the features that are available right now in today’s launch of our private beta.

Feature: Revision Histories

Example revision history of a modern Dracula retelling

Unlike online editors that autosave and create automatic revisions every few words, we take a different approach to revisions.

Every story you upload has an annotated revision history, where you can tag specific revisions and even write a high-level commentary of what changed in each version, what you like or don’t like, what still needs to be done, and so on. Every single revision is backed up and privately available for just you to download, so you can continue where you left off or jump back to a memorable point any time you want.

Feature: Stages and Labels

A list of tales with stages and labels

As your collection of tales grows over time, it’s only natural that you’re going to need powerful tools to organize and manage it. The first of these tools available in Shelf of Tales are stages and labels, which work similarly but fulfill two different needs:

  1. You can use Stages to track what stage of the writing process your tale is in. The default stages available right now are Idea, Writing, Revising, and Done.
  2. You can use Tags to track categorical information about your stories — for example, the genre, setting, series, or themes.

Feature: Powerful Analytics on Every Revision

A graph of unique words versus repeated words in an analytics report

There’s actually a lot here, so I’ll write a second post soon that covers analytics in depth. But in short: we use the latest natural language processing models and frameworks to analyze your writing with artificial intelligence and present you with a probably-too-detailed report on the qualitative metrics of how you write — and how those metrics compare to classics and best-sellers.

Here are some of the cooler things we analyze and report on:

  • Readability and reading levels necessary for comprehension
  • Estimated reading time for slow, average, and speed readers
  • Vocabulary usage and contextual understanding
  • Most used words across a variety of categories
  • Lexical richness
  • Word choice complexity
  • Most-used -ly adverbs (uh oh!)
  • Sentences that are too long
  • Human-interest scores
  • Punctgraphs and flowgraphs for at-a-glance flow analysis
  • And much more!

Experimental Feature: Copyright Protection

Copyright hashes for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Full disclosure: this feature is something that I’ll be writing about more in the future because it’s extremely experimental and still needs to be fleshed out further. The gist, however, is trying out two new approaches to proving ownership over a piece of fiction:

  1. We use strong, one-way cryptographic hashing functions to compress your fiction into a series of encrypted keys, which can be made public without sharing the content of your fiction in the event of a dispute — and can be used to prove you were the original author of any plagiarized work that produces the same encrypted keys.
  2. Theoretically, we should also be able to use the same analytics engine that measures your writing style to mathematically prove with a high probability that you are the original author of a disputed piece of work. Similarly, we should be able to use the same logic to prove a plagiarizer isn’t the original author, given a sample of their other writing.

Of course, I’m also planning on providing information on how to register each tale through the U.S. Copyright Office, so you can get more traditional protection as well!

A short list of other potential features

Shelf of Tales will grow based on your feedback, so I’m not going to guarantee that any of these potential features will see the light of day down the road. However, they’re all features that other authors have suggested would be helpful and/or features that would benefit my own writing, so I’m including them to get you excited about the potential for a for-writers-by-writers storage service. :)

  • More interesting visualizations to help with revising
  • Publisher search and submission help/tracking
  • Matching of tales with the publishers most likely to publish them
  • Measuring which authors you write most like
  • Offering guidance on how your style differs from your genre’s typical style
  • A desktop app that monitors your stories and automatically backs them up
  • Other features suggested by you!

Interested in using Shelf of Tales?

I’m excited to announce our private beta starts today! With your invite, you’re free to sign up for the site and get started using it right away. I’ll be focusing on site stability and longevity upfront, but I also want your feedback every step of the way. I’ve built Shelf of Tales to manage and keep my own fiction long-term, but I also want to make sure it’s helpful to others, too.

During the beta, all features are unlocked and free. Pricing will be determined at a later date (I’m more focused on building cool features right now!), but anything you store, analyze, or do during the beta will be yours to keep forever. I only ask that you let me know how you like it (or don’t like it)!

It’s been a long and happy journey so far at Indent Labs and I can’t wait to start this next chapter, branching out into more tools that I think will improve the writing process as a whole while continuing to grow and improve existing tools like Notebook.ai also. :)

Happy writing!

Andrew

What is Indent Labs?

Indent Labs is, at its core, a collection of ambitious open-source natural language processing projects aimed squarely at moonshots that significantly improve specific stages of the writing process.

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