And it was expected. Some authors are using generative AI’s ability to write long texts and compose stories at scale to produce stories and books in record time. Examples began to multiply, outlining the contours of a new phenomenon that could once again disturb the publishing world…
A few days ago, the Washington Post was concerned about the proliferation of AI-produced books on self-publishing sites such as Amazon KDP, PublishRoom or Librinova. In particular, the paper recounts the misadventure of a developer who was about to release a technical book he had been working on for several months only to discover that another book with the same title had been published a little earlier but whose content was clearly produced by ChatGPT.
The truth is that content produced by generative AI systems proliferates on the web: summaries on news sites, posts on social networks, horoscopes on sites like horoscope.com and astrology.com, product brochures on e-commerce sites and now books and articles on self-publishing sites. .
This is how Newsweek recounts Tim Boucher’s experience. Thanks to generative AI, the latter produced 97 short stories of 2,000 to 5,000 words in nine months, illustrated with images produced by the AI. Each short story, marketed as a standalone book, took him between 3 and 8 hours of work to interview ChatGPT from OpenAI and Claude from Anthropics to help him brainstorm, create entire chapters or just paragraphs, and make illustrations using MidJourney.
” Artificial intelligence has proven to be a great catalyst for my creative work. It allowed me to increase my production while maintaining a consistent quality, and immerse myself in building complex worlds with an efficiency I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I was able to bring to life stories and narrative universes I had been thinking about for years. I’ve even used AI to help me program mini-applications that will simplify and speed up the creative process in the future. ” Tim Boucher explains.
However, he realizes that exercise has its limitations. According to him, we must learn to master these technologies and their shortcomings, especially to take advantage of some of the shortcomings in order to find new ways. It also acknowledges that ” Existing AI systems find it very difficult to write long scripts while maintaining a coherent plot or developing complex narrative arcs for characters. This is why I prefer making short collections of novels interspersed with fictional encyclopedic entries of world-building and story. “.
Tim Boucher sells his books for between $1.99 and $3.99 via Gumroad. Each book references each other creating a complex universe and above all inviting readers to get the other volumes. Tim Boucher admits that he made $2,000 in nine months, having sold 574 copies of his books without any promotion.
His case is certainly not isolated. SF publishing site Clarkesworld says that before the ChatGPT phenomenon, it was receiving about 25 book advances a month. Since February and the generative AI media craze, that number has increased 20 times with over 500 posts per month!
A practice that raises many questions about the originality, the diversity of subjects, and the quality of the works produced, but also about respect for copyright, the risks of plagiarism, and the adaptability of self-publishing platforms to this phenomenon.
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