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How Is AI Used In Publishing?

Updated: Dec 15, 2023


KWE Publishing Newsletter - 06/08/23


You've probably seen the headlines, heard it on the news, or talked about it with friends—artificial intelligence, known as AI, is popping up in different parts of our lives every day. But how much is it used in the publishing industry, and what is it used to do?


While it's important to mention that every publisher has its own stance on using AI (when it's acceptable, when it's not, how it should be used, whether there should be disclaimers if it's used in certain contexts, etc.), we're going to share what we know based on our own experiences here.


One more caveat here—your personal use of AI is totally up to you! We know some writers are pretty against AI, whereas others are major advocates. Personally, we think it's best to follow the path that makes writing as enjoyable and as easy as possible for you!


So without further ado, here are a few ways AI is used in the publishing industry!


Editing


Before you narrow your eyes or slam your laptop shut at the idea of editors using AI, hang on a second!


Pretty much every type of editor in every genre uses AI to an extent. Why? Well, because AI that points out basic spelling or grammar errors is built into Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and the majority of other writing programs or apps out there. Other tools like Grammarly are also often utilized. Of course, a good editor will never implement the changes AI suggests without reviewing those suggestions first because AI in these programs can be—and very often are—wrong. Still, spellcheck can help an editor out when they're rereading a manuscript for the third or fourth time and may be prone to missing something.


So don't worry, AI isn't going to replace your editor anytime soon...but it is a helpful tool that editors are (mostly) grateful for.


Marketing


If you're a marketing guru, the idea of using AI for marketing purposes might sound silly. But AI can actually be a great way to automate your marketing process. You can use AI to identify marketing trends, send out targeted ads, share email sequences with people who sign up for your newsletter, determine where your readers are coming from, and the list goes on. Different programs will do different things, of course, but whatever your needs are, AI can help.


Of course, we still recommend reaching out to a marketing expert in most cases. AI is great, but sometimes, you just need someone who's willing to keep dialing the same phone number until someone finally answers the call.


A lot of writers are finding that using AI as a tool for research can help save them time and allow them to focus on actually writing. For books that rely on a lot of research, such as a biography or medical book, having AI offer a list of potential resources can be helpful. If you choose to use AI this way, though, we always recommend you double-check your sources! AI isn't correct 100% of the time, so before you use something as a source, make sure it's legitimate.


Finding the Ideal Audience


It's essential to find the right audience for your book, but if you have no idea where to start, it can get pretty overwhelming. How do you know who's looking for books in your genre? Where are people who like the types of books you're creating shop?


This is where AI comes in again. You can ask specific questions to learn more about your audience. For example, you could ask about the most popular subgenre in mystery books, and AI will give you an answer. From there, you could ask AI to create a list of bookstores that sell the most books in that subgenre. Essentially, you'll be using AI like you would any other search engine, and it'll make it easier to find the people who want to read your books.


People often see the best results when they use a variety of outreach methods to find the right audience for their books, so don't be afraid to poll your audience (if you have an existing audience; if not, now's a great time to start building your audience!), do some of your own research, and narrow down your niche.


Overall, AI can be used in most parts of the publishing industry, but its use is pretty optional in most cases. For writers, editors, publishers, and other professionals, using AI can have its pros and cons, so how, when, and if you use it is up to you!


Do you often use AI during your writing process? Why or why not? Share your thoughts with us; we love hearing from you!

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