AI, or artificial intelligence is the biggest, hottest, trendiest thing in every industry today, and publishing is one area where the use of artificial intelligence is already sparking controversy. You may think that you will never use AI, but my guess is that you already have. Whether you have consciously used ChatGPT the “natural language processing tool,” some of the advanced features in Adobe products, or just done a simple online computer search, AI is now in your life.
What does this mean for authors and publishers? Various AI tools can make your life easier. But you must watch how you use them. ChatGPT can help you flesh out a news release about your book, give you starting ideas when you are feeling stuck, or be helpful in many other ways.
Just please don’t use it to compose your next novel, and particularly not your next nonfiction book.
First, the technology just isn’t there yet. I have played around ChatGPT, asking it to write a story based on my prompts. It takes so many edits to get anything useful, it is just not worth it. You can write a better book in less time. And it certainly is not worth the risk of the technology finding something online and accidentally making you a plagiarist. The other part of the problem is, the AI program “hallucinates” as it is called, sometimes coming up with something that is untrue or incorrect. Because it is searching the entire internet for information, you can imagine the opportunities for error.
One thing authors need to be aware of is that when you upload your book to Amazon KDP, it now asks if you have used AI in anyway in the production of the book or cover. There is no penalty that I know of if you say yes. I believe the information will be placed on your Amazon sell site, however. And there will probably be some severe penalties (i.e. removing your listing) if it is found you have lied.
The one thing you should not do is to dismiss or ignore AI. It’s here and it can be helpful.