We investigate the value of feature engineering and neural network models for predicting successful writing. Similar to previous work, we treat this as a binary classification task and explore new strategies to automatically learn representations from book contents. We evaluate our feature set on two different corpora created from Project Gutenberg books. The first presents a novel approach for generating the gold standard labels for the task and the other is based on prior research. Using a combination of hand-crafted and recurrent neural network learned representations in a dual learning setting, we obtain the best performance of 73.50% weighted F1-score.