Showing posts with label ChatGPT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ChatGPT. Show all posts

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Garbage In. Garbage Out.


In Publishing News this week,

Around the world governments are trying to get to grips with laws that will regulate AI. The European Union is trying to draft a law reported by the New York Times as being the most far reaching attempt to regulate AI. The EU is particularly concerned over data that is being used to train AI and the intrusive nature of facial recognition software.

Meanwhile, in Japan they have stated that AI can only be used for educational purposes. No commercial use is allowed. At a recent copyright workshop I attended, New Zealand’s position is if you prompted the AI in some way to produce the work you may copyright it. 


Media Voices has a new report on Practical AI for publishers- They recently published an extract on how to get started with AI. Their advice is to start small and automate one thing at a time. 


Storytel, the Scandinavian audiobook company which has been expanding through Europe  and the rest of the world in the last few years has partnered with an AI voices lab specialising in multinational audio dubbing. Choose an audiobook in English and then ask the AI to read it to you in another language using the original voice. No problem.


In the courts it is déjà vu time. Amazon and the big five publishers are back in court over price fixing. A decade ago this was a hot topic and the publishers lost. Why did they think they could do it all again?


Germany is rolling out it Kulturpass card to eighteen year olds. They get 200 euro to spend and booksellers are lining up to take their money.


School Librarians in the US are sick of the book banning culture they have to navigate. Their national organisations are now forming rapid response strike teams to support beleaguered librarians. Among the most challenged books are graphic novels- it only takes one drawn panel and one overzealous parent to ban the book. Apparently the librarians specialist degree in the field has to give way to uninformed opinion.


Joanna Penn has a great interview with Thomas Umstattd on novel marketing and Christian publishing.

Kris Rusch explores the history of discoverability in publishing and how it's changing now.


Jane Friedman has a great guest column from an editor showing the reasons why a manuscript which has been edited and workshopped by professionals still can’t get picked up.

Some hard but necessary lessons to learn here.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a deep dive article on using calls to action in the backs of books on website in emails…. This is a must read article for marketing.


Two great articles from Writer Unboxed caught my eye this week- Kathryn Craft on how cliché’s can help your writing and from Densie Webb to agent or not to agent – that is the question.


In The Craft Section,

2 great posts from September Fawkes- How to write strong characters and 100 questions to help evaluate your story- Bookmark Both

Eight ways not to start a novel- Anne R Allen – Bookmark

Know your 5w’s and 1H- Jami Gold – Bookmark

8 laws for foreshadowing- NowNovel- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Business cards and Job titles- John Gilstrap

The latest changes to book categories- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Promoting a new book- Bookbub- Bookmark

Creative and cost effective marketing for authors- Indiereader

3 Amazon review reader myths- Sandra Beckwith

Selling books- a booksellers perspective- Bookbaby - Bookmark 


To Finish,

If you are a content writer you may be sympathetic with Litreactor’s latest column ChatGPT is a menace. They take issue with the amount of people that think getting ChatGPT to write a children’s story is the holy grail to earning passive income. As a children’s writer it shrivels my soul. Why does everybody think that writing a children’s book is so easy any celebrity can do it or just get an AI to write something – the kids will never know? 

We take pride in our work and we work hard at it. An adult reader will let you have a couple of pages of story introduction, a child maybe one paragraph, two at most, and it had better be using the child’s worldview and entertaining. The shorter the story the more important every word is. The younger the reader the more important the story craft is. 

AI is a tool that you can use but it is not human and can never replace human wisdom and experience. It can only regurgitate the data it has scraped. 

Garbage in. Garbage Out 





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Thursday, April 6, 2023

Plot Twists


In Publishing News this week,

News broke this week that Amazon was shutting the doors on Book Depository. The warehouses are based in the UK and had free delivery to anywhere in the world. This was a boon if you were looking for a hard to find book and postage was prohibitive. Now there are lots of job cuts. While everyone was wailing about the news, Mark Williams started drawing some comparisons to what else Amazon is doing to its book business. This is a big flag to book consumers!


Also closing their doors is Overdrive’s eBook library app Overdrive. They are putting all their energy and promotion into the Libby App for libraries. 


Publishing Perspectives have an article on the upcoming London Book Fair which will have Sustainability as a major new programming initiative. They have speakers and panels devoted to this and how publishing can clean up their carbon footprint throughout the duration of the fair. Comments on this range from "it’s about time," to "print on demand would take care of the carbon wastage of stripping and returns." Will the publishers be asking the hard questions about their sustainability practices?


Publishing Pirates got taken down in India- They were pirating … print copies. 


In AI News. (It’s too big to ignore the impact it will have on publishing so better to have some knowledge of the issues.)

A writer got Chat GPT to write a novel and detailed how he did it. It’s for sale. 115 pages 0 input from a human.

Chat GPT has been blocked in Italy with Open AI (its parent) being taken to court over Data Protection (GDPR) violations which will be a test case for the EU. This may be the slow down that the Tech founders were looking for. There is nothing like a lengthy court battle to slow things down. 

Meanwhile, an Australian mayor is also taking Open AI to court over the falsehoods claimed by ChatGPT that he was a criminal. Many users have noted that the first paragraph is alright but subsequent paragraphs are so much fantasy that you can’t rely on it at all to state the facts.

John Fox has 26 ways an author can use ChatGPT- (Be very aware of what you are doing.)

Kris Rusch has a MUST READ article on copyright and Chat GPT and MidJourney- Can you afford a court case?


Matt Holmes has a great guest post on Jane Friedman’s blog on the 4 pillars of marketing. This is a print out and read primer on what to do to make it easier on yourself and how to tackle book marketing. 


Anne R Allen has a great article on how much description you should be putting in your novel or memoir. Some genres need it more than others.


In The Craft Section,

Story verbing- Storyempire- Bookmark

How to write exotic settings- Sarah Hamer

A framework for moving past your first draft- Amy Bernstein -Bookmark!

How to listen to your protagonist- Sarah Bradley- Bookmark

Saggy Middle ? Use conflict- Sacha Black

Got 15 minutes- how to fill it with writing 500 words- Colleen Story – Bookmark!


In The Marketing Section,

5 tips to balance bookmarketing with writing- Colleen Story

F.A.R. Marketing – Angela Ackerman

2 interesting articles from Bookbub- How to use Bookbub ads tutorial and Insights About Bookbub 

subscribers- Bookmark Both

What to expect when pitching a book for film rights- Penny Sansevieri

ALLI Podcast Best use of your time with limited money- Bookmark 


To Finish,

A good plot twist keeps you on the edge of your seat. I have stayed up all night to finish books… complained to author friends that their twist at 2 AM meant I didn’t sleep. This is the drug that keeps a reader chained to your book. They have to know what happens next!

Setting up the twist takes careful thought and almost invisible clues. James Scott Bell has a great post on micro scenes and Laurel Osterkamp has an interesting collection of tips for creating plot twists that create suspense.


As I was compiling this week’s blogpost news I kept thinking I was reading plot twists for the book ‘publishing as we know it now.’ I think the ending will be a zinger!





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Pic: Photo by Bansah Photography on Unsplash

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