I haven’t wanted to discuss this. AI is such a controversial subject, and I would rather not have any more drama than I already have, but the fact is… AI is here, and it’s infecting all digital bookstores (and print stores…) near you.
What is an AI book? An AI book is a story, informational piece, or any form of media that is created by a computer following a prompt from a human. So, someone can write a “book” by telling a piece of software to “tell a story about a dragon named Bob romancing a human named Clara.”
(My apologies in advance for any authors who might have a story about a dragon named Bob who happens to romance a human named Clara.)
The software, after stealing “learning” from legitimate authors, regurgitates text that might, if you tilt your head and squint, be thought of as a book.
For the record, I do not use AI in any fashion on my books.
1: I do not use ProWriting Aid or Grammarly, both of which use AI tools under the hood.
A: If I’m going to introduce mistakes, they will be introduced because I made them. I don’t even use Microsoft’s grammar tools beyond checking if it DOES flag something. (Half the time, Microsoft is incorrect. Same with ProWriting Aid and Grammarly.)
B: I want humans working on my books, and my editorial staff has been instructed to never use these types of tools on my novels.
I want humans working on my books.
I want every single typo and error to be attributed to a human.
The only thing I do use is basic spellcheck, as that is not AI. (All it is doing is comparing a word to a dictionary. If the word is not found in the dictionary, it applies a squiggle.)
2: I do not use AI to write the books.
If I have trouble with a description? I sit there and fucking figure it out. People are paying to read books I wrote… not that some machine wrote.
There are now plenty of books out there should people want books written by machines with no substantial input from humans.
3: I do not buy outlines or plots for my novels.
Everything I write is from me.
Feel characters are similar after sixty-six books? There’s a reason for that. I wrote all sixty-six of those books, and I am a sole entity, me. I think a certain way.
That means while I try to give variances to my characters, my characters are still a product of my imagination.
It would be stranger if there weren’t similarities.
And while I try to improve my writing with every book, a huge part of my time is spent making sure anyone who reads my books knows I wrote it.
That’s what it means when an author “has a style.”
I like my style and do not wish to change it. Those who like my style… I love you, let’s play together for a long time, okay?
Those who don’t… may I recommend Ilona Andrews, Faith Hunter, Lynsay Sands, Shelly Laurenston, or perhaps Grace Draven? I enjoy all of their books very much, and they are not like me in terms of style, although we have overlap in some fashions or another.
I, personally, will not read authors who are “writing” their books with AI in any fashion right now. (Once I know they’re doing it, I simply walk away from them and add to my little black list of books. I’ll support ACTUAL authors writing their books.)
I’m not counting ProWriting Aid or Grammarly; if they want to lose rights to their books feeding the software so the software can be trained, so be it; that’s their problem. If they want to introduce the plague of problems I’ve seen testing both pieces of software, that is also their problem.
But the terms for Grammarly are abusive at best, and ProWriting Aid does not disclose what rights their third-party software (AKA their AI tools) claim.
Neither of these programs will be used on my books.
I write my books. That’s the beginning and the end of this story.
And I will continue to be the one to write my books, until the day comes where AI completely floods out the market and the real authors have to go find something else to do, as we simply cannot compete against something that takes a computer no more than twenty minutes to churn out.
We are already seeing the crunch. Advertising is already costing more as AI “authors” push their “books” on Amazon and other vendors.
I suspect that it will become a system in which books are only promoted by word of mouth, because the actual authors will be drowned by the relentless crush of mediocracy.
For now, I will go into my corner and cry while eating biscuits slathered in butter, as there’s little else I can do.
Also, if you see a book that uses my name and you don’t think it’s me, because you haven’t seen it on my blog or elsewhere… this is a thing that AI “authors” are doing. I haven’t been hit yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.
Scammers gonna scam. That is one of the few truths of the world.
Wish all us actual authors a whole lot of luck. We’re going to need it.