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September 8, 2023
Using AI wisely can benefit your platform.

If you’re anything like me, you are not a person who immediately jumps on the latest trend. I like to vet things, gain a clear understanding, and then evaluate whether and how the trend would be a benefit to me. When it comes to AI, so much has changed in a short period of time, and it remains complicated.

In late 2022, Ammaar Reshi, a product design manager from the San Francisco Bay Area, conducted an AI experiment. He gathered illustrations from Midjourney and took story elements from a conversation he had with ChatGPT to create a picture book in one weekend and self-publish it. He called the book Alice and Sparkle; it’s about a little girl who learns about technology from a robot friend.

Reshi’s experiment showed that AI might be able to accomplish tasks faster and more efficiently than an author or illustrator. But the project was controversial, and the backlash from writers and artists was significant. Business Insider reported that Reshi’s book was briefly removed from Amazon; he said Amazon paused its sales for roughly a week in January this year, citing “suspicious review activity,” which he attributed to the volume of both five-and one-star reviews.

The debate over AI continues. Some are raising concerns about ethics and accuracy, and some are noting AI’s benefits. I personally believe that by leveraging AI, authors can streamline their workflow, save time, and reduce errors in the process. Here are some thoughts on how you can use AI as part of a successful author platform or business.

Writer’s block eraser: This was my first eye-opening experience with the power of AI. As a copywriter and a ghostwriter, I’m impressed by the simplest forms of AI and the quality of writing it produces for blog posts, email marketing, and advertising promotions. There are times when we all get stuck trying to put something into words. AI gives me that boost or start, and then I’m off to the races.

Formatter and research summarizer: AI-powered tools can provide writers with real-time feedback on grammar and spelling while they write. Other tools generate summaries of research materials so that authors don’t have to read them. Advanced algorithms allow for faster formatting of text, even for complex styles such as APA or MLA, potentially saving authors precious time when formatting their manuscripts for publication.

Audiobook narrator: AI audiobook narration can make audiobook creation more efficient, more accessible, and affordable.

Concept visual art designer: While I would not suggest using AI in its current state to fully illustrate your books, AI can be utilized for things like logos and to help brainstorm advertising concepts.

User-generated data analyst: AI is used to obtain deeper insights into customer behavior and preferences, allowing authors to target specific segments with personalized ads and campaigns. Algorithms can identify certain patterns to predict how consumers will respond to different ad strategies or promotional offers, allowing authors to save time by focusing resources on strategies with proven success in reaching a desired audience. This is a major advantage when planning marketing campaigns and automated processes.

The key to making AI work for you is to first identify what tasks would benefit from the use of the technology. As AI usage becomes more and more widespread, it’s important to remember that if the user does not know how to think critically and ask the right questions, AI’s advantages are limited. Simply using AI to publish a book will not yield automatic success.

After self-publishing Alice and Sparkle, Ammaar Reshi tweeted that artists should be involved in the creation of AI image generators and that their “talent, skill, hard work to get there needs to be respected.” And that is what technology, including AI, cannot erase the need for. But judicious use of this technology can save you time and money that you can invest in other areas of your author platform.     

Alesha Brown is an entrepreneur, a book and magazine publisher, a consultant, and the CEO of Fruition Publishing Concierge Services.