Showing posts with label stephen fry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stephen fry. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Being Human


In Publishing News Today

Artificial Intelligence and the misuse of it take centre stage. Another week another lawsuit. This time it’s the big guns taking on AI. Authors Guild has a class suit with John Grisham and G.R.R. Martin among the plaintiffs. They allege that their work was used to train AI. They know this because suddenly there appears to be extra books in their popular series which they didn’t write. I wonder how AI would finish the Game of Thrones series? Apparently you can now find out as it’s on the internet somewhere. Of course going and looking just plays into the scammy nature of the person who decided to use AI to write these books and make a quick buck.

Stephen Fry is crying foul over AI Narration. He was alerted to an historical documentary that he supposedly narrated. Except he didn’t. He suspects AI was trained on his audio narration of the Harry Potter books and then unleashed. AI can de-age actors and now they can mimic voices that even the original owner has problems believing it’s not him in an alternate universe. We are teetering on the edge of Deep Fake becoming ubiquitous unless we get some rules up pronto. Which is why we have all the lawsuits.


Over at The New Publishing Standard, Mark Williams is looking at upcoming book fairs and reminding the western publishing powerhouses that they may think they have the biggest book fairs but things are about change. Sharjah is positioning itself to be all things book in the foreseeable future. This is an interesting take. Can publishing equal the revenue that oil and gas bring in to Sharjah?


Publishing Perspectives has a run down on the latest news from Frankfurt as they gear up for the big Frankfurt Buchmesse starting on October 14. A record number of booths has been booked.


Publishers Weekly has data on the book challenges so far this year and yes they are increasing and they are all aimed at books by and about people of colour and LBTGQ identifying. Where will it end… historians could tell you. 


The Guardian has a great article written by Kathleen Rundell on Diana Wynne Jones. Diana was like a beautiful fountain in the desert of books when I was growing up. She had big ideas and her books were and are amazing.  Every author will relate to the story of the Charmed Life manuscript.


Kris Rusch has an interesting post on platform this week. With the meltdown of the writers original water cooler many wordsmiths are fleeing to pastures new. Then you risk losing all that work of building up your readership /business on a new platform which will be disrupted in time. So is there a win /win situation for writers?


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a comprehensive post on slow release strategies for authors… You don’t have to release a book a month for a writing career. The SPA girls podcast recently had a great episode on reverse engineering a bestseller. Can you do it? 


Rachel Toalson has a great post on Writer Unboxed about writing sprints. She used ten minute sprints to write a book. Even if your life is chaotic you can find ten minutes. Read Rachel’s post for how chaotic life can get. She has great tips for finding moments of time to write.

Mythcreants has a good post on the value of critique and why it is important for writers. If you don’t critique you don’t learn.


James Scott Bell has a great post on the Killzone blog about bleeding on the page. There are so many adages out there for writers. Some of them are untrue. However emotion from the writer is never wasted in a story.



In The Craft Section,

Writing and Time management- Story Empire

Acting vs reacting in your writing career- Colleen Story

Is your protagonist too comfortable- Australian Writers Center

What are antagonist proxies- K M Weiland – Bookmark

Why a manuscript critique is a critical step- C S Lakin- Bookmark



In The Marketing Section,

5 unique book marketing ideas- Rachel Thompson

Book signings that wow- Rochelle Melander

Strategies to secure reviews on Amazon- Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark

Author Success tips – Judith Briles- Bookmark


To Finish,

Jim Denney writing on Anne R Allen’s blog sums up the ideas in this weeks blog post. Yes AI is here, it’s out of the box it’s only going to get more powerful. Yes the AI tools are useful for shortcuts and editing and marketing and prompts but in the end AI is not human. Only a human can write emotion and connect with reader on a deeper plane. The future for writers in an AI world is to be more human and mine the human condition. 

After all, an AI can’t bleed. 





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Pic: Photo by Volha Milovich on Unsplash

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Looking For The Silver Lining

This week the publishing industry was trying to catch up with all the cancellations as the Covid 19 virus is now a global pandemic. Publishing Perspectives announced a roundup today of what’s been canceled. 

Meanwhile over on Amazon, there have been scams taking advantage of people’s fear. Let’s rip off some scientific articles dress it up with a salad of opinion and badly formatted or just scanned pages of tips and sell it to frightened people. 

If you are thinking it’s all a big conspiracy theory and the virus isn’t that bad you need to read this detailed article on the statistics of the pandemic thus far. 

I was hoping to find some silver linings I could share with you this week. This became especially important for my mental health as I investigated the contents of our emergency bag and discovered expired food. Hmm. What would a writer need to get through some forced isolation time? A separate workroom from children and spouses for a start. (The laundry- I’m always in there.) Lay in a stock of pain killers, cough medicine, your favourite chicken soup, wine, chocolate, pens, and paper and get in a stack of books from your local bookshop.
When you are all settled in, channel Mary Shelley. She wrote Frankenstein during a pandemic. You too could write a novel that changes the literature landscape. 
(N.B. You might have to handwrite it just like Mary if the internet goes down because everyone is working from home.)

This could be a great time to do some computer spring cleaning says Litreactor- Have you ever spent twenty minutes going through the files of your manuscripts trying to find the latest version where you didn’t make that stupid change that resulted in the hero heading to Antarctica? Clean up your hard drive.

The Portalist caught up with some pandemic apocalypse writers and asked them why people were searching out their books. First of all, Chuck Wendig apologized for writing a book about a pandemic in an election year….

If you were planning on attending a book fair or conference that has just disappeared there is light on the horizon. The Alliance of Independent Authors online conference is still on. Attend virtually and soak up all the great information for free this weekend.

A ray of sunshine amid the gloom for UK writers. Their government is dropping the VAT on books.

Kris Rusch examines the double-dealings of Hachette this week when their staff walked out to support Ronan Farrow’s protest over publishing Woody Allen’s memoir. It’s ok to enforce these clauses of non-compete to authors but not when the shoe is on the other foot.

In the Craft Section,

39 writing tips to take seriously- Zoe McCarthy- Bookmark

Test your story concept- Scott Myers- Bookmark

Killer plot twists- Tom Corson Knowles

Children’s writer's biggest challenge- Sherryl Clark- Great Read!

In The Marketing Section,

Book sales techniques- Sarah Bolme- Bookmark

Making an editorial calendar- Willow Woodford- Bookmark

To Finish,

One of my young friends suffered a concussion at work and she was at a loss as to what to do for the compulsory week off. She couldn’t look at screens or bright lights. Audiobooks I said. It’s a form of reading with your ears. It takes you right back to reading with Mum. The light switched on, and we went on to talk about Stephen Fry’s superlative reading of the Harry Potter series. There are reading snobs out there who say that reading anything outside of the printed page is wrong… however, science now backs up that audiobook listening is reading. 
Yay for Science! 


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If you like the blog and want to shout me a coffee, hit the coffee button up top. I appreciate the virtual coffee love. Thanks.

Pic: Flickr- Creative Commons - Sean Freese 

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