Book Publishing and AI: The Current State of the Market (2024)

What do book publishers, authors, editors, designers, audio engineers, and marketers need to know about AI right now? Here are some answers.

Written in January of 2024.

In the history of the world, never before have there been five technological revolutions happening simultaneously. (I get this from a TED Talk from Cathie Wood.) In the early 1900s there were three evolving at the same time, Wood relates: telephone, electricity, and the automobile. But right now we’re going through five simultaneously:

  • Public Blockchains
  • Multiomic Sequencing
  • Energy Storage
  • Robotics
  • Artificial Intelligence

AI is just one revolution of five happening today.

What’s happening with AI, let alone with the other four areas, feels like what happened when the internet really started to take off in the 90s. There were early adopters in the marketplace, and there were late adopters.

I know one example of an early marketer, someone I talk about a lot: Gary Vaynerchuk. He started doing email marketing, and at the time he had a 99% open rate. And then everyone got on board.

So with AI, the question is this: Are you an early adopter or a late adopter? Or is there somewhere in between?

At YouPublish, we’re not afraid to use AI, but we are optimistic, hopeful, and actively using it within bounds (see use cases below). But we’re also cautious of the dangers, toils, and snares, that could come from using AI, both collectively as humans and specifically in book publishing.

My aim in this blog is to help you think clearly about the benefits, uses, and potential snares for book publishing, whether you’re self-publishing your own books or publishing through an organization.

Here’s what you can expect in this post:

book publishing and ai

Note: I’m not a lawyer, and YouPublish does not speak with the legal authority of a lawyer. Seek legal help from a company like Flagler Law Group, whom I know personally and have had great experiences with. They can give you the most up to date information, necessary legal agreements, and updates to your current agreements.

Is AI Dangerous or Bad for Book Publishing?

I think AI could be dangerous, depending on how it’s used, so we all need to be ethical, knowledgeable, and well-versed in how it can be used.

Three major players are responsible:

1. The Creators of AI

The creators of AI need to be ethical. Their language models in particular need to be created ethically. Because some creators may and some may not use ethical language models, users must carefully choose which AI models to use. AI models have the biases that their creators have, so it’s good to be aware of which AI company you use and if they have been ethical in their business dealings — to the best you can reasonably know.

2. Content Producers

Content producers also need to be ethical in their use of AI. They need to give credit when they’ve used AI to produce content so that people are not misled. This is a trust issue. Whether creating text, images, or audio with AI, content producers must tell consumers it was created with the help of AI.

That is, content producers need to be fully honest about how much they used AI. A good lawyer can help you work out the details as AI continues to evolve.

3. Publishers

Publishers need to be ethical in their use of AI. This means making sure that they give credit and that their team, from authors to editors to marketers, is all honest and gives appropriate credit, as well.

Publishers also need to protect the rights of the copyright holders. In publishing, there are two rights holders: There’s the text copyright holder, which belongs de facto to the author when they put pen to paper. Then there’s the publishing rights holder, which is also by default the author’s, unless they sign a publishing agreement to a publisher. When a publishing agreement is signed, publishers have an ethical responsibility to be knowledgeable and ethical gatekeepers of their authors’ content.

Is AI dangerous for book publishing? My bottom-line answer, as I’ll unpack below is this:

Nothing will replace humans in book publishing.

The question a lot of people are asking, whether we’re talking about authors or anyone on the publishing team, is Is AI a threat to workers? And my simple answer is that nothing will replace humans in book publishing at the end of the day.

Economist and professor Richard Baldwin says “AI won’t take your job. It’s somebody using AI that will take your job.” We will always need humans to make decisions and to come up with fresh ideas.

Plus, an author’s story can be generated only by them; generative AI can’t live anyone’s life. While it can help an author tell their story, it can never replace the unique storyteller. That’s what makes books truly compelling.

With the advent of AI, the need for personal, authentic, human-generated content is greater than ever. This will never change as long as our audience is other humans.

Also, one bit of general advice is to learn how to generate great and effective prompts. If you don’t know how to do this, start here.

How AI Is Beneficial for Book Publishing

Now let me address seven different players in book publishing and how AI affects their work. I’ll offer some cautions, but mostly I’m going to describe how AI can benefit their position.

I believe that using AI in book publishing can be helpful for:

1. Publishers
2. Authors
3. Editors
4. Designers
5. Audiobook Engineers
6. Marketers

But all this comes with important caveats. Read below for specific thoughts on each of these roles. And then at the very end, I make some predictions about the future of AI in book publishing!

Publishers Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

Here’s how publishers — even self-publishing organizations — can benefit from AI.

1. Legal Agreements

Publishers can use AI with drafting legal agreements or editing certain clauses of their existing legal agreements. Of course, this has limitations, and I advise sending any AI-generated or modified clauses of importance to a lawyer as necessary. But this can save a publisher’s time and their lawyer’s time. Remember, though, whenever in doubt, send it to your lawyer.

2. Knowledge for Your Whole Team

It’s important for publishers to know about AI not generically but specifically for the different key roles on their team. I recommend publishers read each of the sections below on the use of AI in key roles so that they can navigate the potential opportunities — but also the landmines — that are coming their way.

3. Limitations and Legal Snares

It’s inevitable that publishers will encounter both the benefits and the landmines of using AI in publishing. It’s not a question of if, and not even of when. It’s happening now. The real question is Are you prepared for it?

There are limitations and potential legal snares in every role of publishing that the publisher needs to know about the most. So keep reading below.

Nothing Will Replace Human Publishers

I’ll reiterate that nothing will replace humans, and that includes publishers. We always need publishers, and like the need for human authors, I believe that we need human publishers now more than ever because there’s going to be a ton of noise published in the future. So there’s a great need for publishers who have a great team.

Authors Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

While authors need to know some important cautions, I believe AI can be very beneficial for authors. Here is a list of a few key ways authors should consider using AI:

1. Brainstorming About Your Book

Consider using AI to brainstorm and do research about titles. You would come up with your own title options and description of the book itself, and then from that, ask AI to general title ideas.

Also consider getting subtitle ideas. This is helpful when you’re thinking about the proposal or marketing your book because you can find out if other people have used the titles, how they’ve used them, and when they’ve used them. You can also find other titles in your industry, your niche, or your genre, and get feedback on your tentative title in light of the other “comp” books.

2. Outlining Your Book

Publishing AI is also useful when you’re outlining your book. Creating a solid outline draft is a great idea for authors.

But at the end of the day, you’re going to need to rework it. You’ll make the decisions. You’ll rearrange it. But AI can be helpful; it’s almost like having a full-time, highly intelligent, vastly knowledgeable assistant right there at your beck and call — who is very woodenly literal, so whatever you tell it, it will output.

3. Research

Authors, consider using AI for researching your book. It can save time in chasing down sources, especially ancient sources or public domain sources.

I will say this, though, as a major caution: Once the research is done, you need to go check to make sure that it’s right. AI makes errors.

So while it can save you time in simply finding potential good source material, definitely go get that book or article like you normally would. Read that source per usual and fact check whatever it’s telling you because AI does make mistakes. AI can help you research, not do your research for you.

4. Ideas for Content

Like with titles and subtitles, AI can also assist you getting ideas for certain content. So if there’s a story you want to tell, you can ask it questions. For example, ask it, “Who were the most predominant Christians in World War I in Germany, and what did they accomplish in the church at that time?” and it will be able to give you names and dates and all sorts of stuff that you might want to use. Then go check and do more research.

5. Feedback

Once you’ve written content, you can get feedback from AI on it. For example, you can upload a chapter and ask AI: “Is this clear?” “What kind of logical flaws does this have?” “What else could I add, take away, or change?”

What about limitations and potential legal snares for authors? I’ve got three.

i. Publisher Constraints

Authors should know that publishers will likely not want them to input their content to an AI engine if the AI can use that content for learning, output, or both. So make sure, for example, if you’re using ChatGPT, to turn on “dark mode.” Whatever the AI you’re using calls that mode, turn it on so that it won’t use your content for training or output.

This is a safe bet for authors to prevent their content from being used in a way that they can’t control. And it’s great to tell publishers how you are using AI for your book.

Can authors generate content in their book? What publishers are telling authors right now is not to use AI to create more than 5% of the content of their book. So make sure you know your publisher’s view of AI before you start writing.

Some publishers are going to be totally against using AI in any form; some will have a much more liberal view towards it; but at the end of the day, most are landing on allowing around 5% of actual content generation.

ii. Plagiarism

Be aware that there could be legal ramifications if you don’t check your sources. This could lead to plagiarizing and all sorts of legal liabilities.

But also, and most importantly, you don’t want to mislead readers to think that you wrote something that AI wrote. So always track what you used AI to write (make a comment in your manuscript, for example, to tell your editor or publishing team, and so you don’t lose track).

The most helpful way you can use AI is in brainstorming, outlining, and research, with some editing feedback. You can use it with writing, but it’s not the optimal use case.

Doesn’t this threaten editor’s jobs? No. And you shouldn’t exclusively use AI for editing. I always advise Christians to use a human editor because AI is not going to be trained by the Holy Spirit like a Christian editor is.

iii. Copyright Laws

Is AI-generated content copyrightable? Currently, the answer is no. So authors need to be really cautious and thoughtful about what they do with their content. The main thing authors need to know is that if AI generates their content, it’s not copyrightable. That means someone else can legally reproduce it without attributing it to you.

We don’t know exactly at what level this changes — that is, at what point does the text being edited by AI make it not copyrightable with regard to what is “generated” by AI and what is not. So while there’s a lot of leeway for making changes with proofreading and even copy editing (what you would pay an editor to do for you), any kind of content generated by AI — as in, having AI create new content for you — is not copyrightable.

Nothing Will Replace Human Authors

Again, nothing will ultimately replace human authors, as I mentioned above. A lot of people right now say things like, “Oh, I can just get AI to write my book.” Well do you know how to give an AI the right prompts? You need a human, which means you need an author coach (which is a service we offer).

Then once the book is written, do you know how to organize it? Well, AI could help you, but you’ve got to make the decisions at the end of the day about what content you want in your book.

There will always be human authors. In fact, I think, just like I talked about with publishers, people will crave human-generated content more and more.

Additionally, there will always be a need for human editors. Let’s talk more about that.

Book Editors Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

Editors, like the other roles in book publishing, need to understand some cautions but also the benefits of using AI in their work.

Here are three key areas of the job where AI can be helpful:

1. Copyediting

For editing copy, you could definitely get some recommendations by putting the content in there. Always review the changes and make the call (because copyediting is not purely objective). Again, turn on dark mode so that the AI doesn’t use it for output.

2. Proofreading

You could also use AI for proofreading, especially if you just want to check your mistakes. You can ask AI to give your content back with the proofreading updates, or you can ask it for bullet pointed errors so you can make the changes manually. But for both of these, you still need a human editor (see my comments above about the need for editors).

If you are an editor, you can use it to make your work faster. But don’t shortchange your judgment, don’t shortchange your process, and don’t shortchange your authors. It’s like having a pre-screened edit, but you’re still the editor.

3. Developmental Editing

AI will be able to do developmental editing as well. It’s not quite there because of length limitations on the AI models I know of, but you will be able to get qualitative feedback by uploading your manuscript. However, I’ll say it again, turn your AI into dark mode so that it doesn’t use your content for output.

Challenges of Using Publishing AI for Editing

A word to the wise: Make sure to not only screen AI edits, but also add your own. One of the misconceptions of editing is that editing is objective. AI is going to give you the most generic sounding content that you can create if it’s copyediting for you. Now sometimes that’s helpful because it connects with a broader audience, but it often takes away the author’s voice, which is what makes books great. So take AI editing with a pinch of salt.

Here are some challenges for editors using AI:

  1. AI doesn’t do subjective editing, as I mentioned, which is helpful in certain genres and for sure certain style guides.
  2. AI is going to genericize author’s voices.
  3. AI is not going to make all the substantive edits that you might want based on your knowledge of your audience or just your personality.

Limitations and Potential Legal Snares

What’s ethical for editors who use AI in book publishing? A major issue would be not telling their author or publisher they’re using AI. So make sure that everyone is on board ahead of time.

To what extent should you disclose your use of AI? That’s not currently clear for editors. It mostly depends, I’d say, on what level of editing you’re doing. If it’s just proofreading, and you’ve checked over it all, then that’s just like having an assistant.

But if you are using AI in a way that misrepresents the work you’re doing, not only is that potentially harmful to your reputation, but it could potentially lead to legal action from either a publisher or an author.

book editor

Nothing Will Replace Human Editors

At the end of the day, nothing is going to replace human editors, as I’ve detailed above. It’s worth repeating. I recommend that editors and authors learn how to use AI, but understand it’s limitations.

Book Designers Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

Designers definitely need to understand key areas of caution when using AI, but there are great benefits for them in book design too. For designers, using AI comes in two areas: cover design and interior design.

Designers: AI and Book Cover Design

I see three key ways for designers to use AI in cover design.

1. Brainstorm Cover Ideas

For cover design, consider getting ideas and brainstorming fresh covers using AI, and then you can use what is created and modify it, update it, or use it creatively to workshop ideas. I don’t advise creating the entire front cover using AI and using that for the final. There are many factors that make this a bad idea, which I share below.

2. Get Cover Feedback

Another way to use AI is to get feedback on cover options you’ve already created. You can upload a sketch and ask it, “What are some other directions I could take with this? I’ve hit a wall, and I don’t have any other ideas.”

Or you can also submit your fully designed cover (with “dark mode” turned on, I suggest, to keep it private) and ask it can give you feedback for final design, proportions, coloring, and layout.

3. Create Cover Elements

If you don’t want to get major cover design help, consider getting help only with certain elements of the full cover design to help with areas you struggle with. Let’s say, for example, you’re great at creating vector images, but you’re not great at making illustrations. You can have AI create certain illustrations for the cover, then you can use these as is, modify them, or just get some ideas for creating something yourself.

If you’re an art director, you might use these AI images to workshop ideas and commission illustrations to an illustrator you’re working with for the project.

Any potential snares? Yes, let’s talk.

Cover Design: Limitations and Potential Legal Snares

As you explore AI for cover design, you’ll need to make sure to know the limitations and potential legal scenarios of AI-generated designs in book publishing. Here’s the main item you need to know about cover design and AI:

Anything that AI generates cannot be copyrightable.

That is, “generative AI” content is currently not copyrightable. For example, if you’re using AI to create images you end up using in the published book, that is generative AI. You, your publisher, and their author or client cannot claim copyright on those images because there weren’t created by a human.

Now, if you use something that AI created, it can still be okay; you just can’t claim copyright on it. If you do that, make sure and give credit to the AI tool that you used and briefly describe how it was used. Always disclose this to the publisher or author (whomever you’re working with), and ideally get prior permission so as not to waste your time.

Another scenario: If you’re just using AI for one element of the cover, that element in particular is not copyrightable, but the rest of the cover is copyrightable because it was created by you. So in this scenario, you can still use it, but someone can legally take whatever designs you make with AI and not infringe on copyright by using that.

In summary, if you use AI for cover design, here are some caveats to pay attention to:

1. If you have AI create an entire cover and you make no modifications, then you forego the copyright on that cover.

2. If you use AI for a cover but modify the design with regard to specific elements only — coloring, style, or shading, for example —then your changes are copyrightable but not the original design. This applies to the whole cover and to certain elements AI might generate for you.

What does this mean practically? No one could use your precise iteration of that cover, but if they somehow got ahold of the original cover art that AI created, they could use that and not infringe.

3. Consider the Mickey Mouse case study. And this is relevant because as of 2024, Mickey Mouse drawings are now available in the public domain.

So anyone can use Mickey Mouse as they want, but only a specific version of it: the Steamboat Willie version.

steamboat willie

So if it looks like the Disney version or could be construed as though you’re operating on behalf of Disney, then you could be sued. But if it looks just like the Steamboat Willie version, you’re fine, legally speaking.

That’s like what I’m talking about with regard to iterations: There are certain versions of design that are copyrightable. So explore with caution.

There’s low risk in using AI for some of the artwork, which you then modify, but someone hypothetically could use the AI element without violating copyright law.

Conclusion on Cover Design and AI

I think the best use of AI for cover designers is in the ideation and feedback stage. In desperate times, you might use it for creating cover elements, but then you need to disclose those edits to the publisher who would need to consider how to put that on the copyrights page (which can be a hassle).

What about using AI for book interior design? This should be fun.

Designers: AI and Book Interior Design

I see two key ways for designers to use AI in interior design.

1. Interior Design Elements

Using AI for book interior design is very similar to using it for cover design.

Let’s say there are certain design elements you want to create (like a page flare or an icon for chapter title pages). You can get the assistance of AI to help you generate those or come up with ideas, but as I mentioned with cover design, you need to give credit to the AI for generating them, even if you edit them.

Why? Because it’s generated by AI and thus not copyrightable in its initial iteration. Your edits may be copyrightable, but not the original design by AI.

2. Interior Design Coding

Another way to use AI — which doesn’t have to do with all design but in some areas of book design — is creating and editing code. Designers sometimes have to use code when dealing with CSS or HTML in InDesign (with eBooks for example and macro-level styles), and AI is great for making code modifications.

If you need to come up with some CSS coding for the interior design of the book — or for eBook production, HTML code — AI can help you create code or troubleshoot any problems you’re having with your code.

But you need to understand those codes to start with in order to give it accurate prompts and confirm the coding is correct. This leads me to my constant refrain in this post:

Nothing will replace humans in book publishing, and that includes designers.

I’ll reiterate this again: While designers should consider using AI, nothing can replace them.

Like with authors and editors, designers always have a personal flare, a unique touch, a style that makes them great. Each person is created uniquely, and AI cannot create unique humans. At best it can create unique designs.

Designers will always make decisions, give input, and tweak designs. That’s not to mention do the work of relating to authors and publishers and adding their unique flare that makes their covers and interiors uniquely human.

Now one of my favorite aspects of book publishing that can also be creative: audiobooks.

Audiobook Engineers Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

I have produced, edited, or published half a dozen audiobooks in the last ten years. From that experience, this is what I can say about AI and audiobook production: There is great potential for making audiobooks at scale with quality, but it’s very controversial right now — perhaps the most controversial of all uses so far mentioned in this post.

Let me present three ways audio engineers should consider using AI.

1. Voice Cloning Authors for Audiobooks

You can now clone authors’ voices. This means you take the existing audio files of an author speaking and create a digital clone of their voice, which you can then use to generate audio files in their voice by inputting text into the AI model. You could also use generic voice cloning. A company like Elevenlabs can help you do both.

This enables you as an author or publisher to mass-produce audiobooks using just the text.

The technology is so young right now that most audiobook distributors aren’t allowing you to upload AI-generated audio content for publishing, but I think that that will change soon. (See my predictions below.)

I suggest publishers start thinking about this by coming up with new clauses to boilerplate templates and new legal agreements for licensing voices for voice cloning (author voices and other narrators). Now is a good time to experiment with this.

I cloned my own voice as an experiment, and it sounded pretty good. Take a listen here to our first take, and let me know what you think. Keep in mind that I fed it 90-minutes of professionally produced, mixed, and mastered audio.

I think publishers can publish their own AI-generated audio content on podcasts on their own audio platform. So I think it’s got some great potential.

A hint for my prediction below: I think distributors will end up accepting certain parameters of AI-generated voice cloning, eventually.

2. Offer New Audiobook Services

Audio engineers could offer new services, such as bringing the real author into the studio for a 90-minute sample, for example, to give to the AI audio generator for cloning.

Audiobook creators could charge a fair wage for this and have the specific deliverables in hand, and that way they can actually get more work, rather than AI taking their job from them (see details at the end of this section for more).

3. Getting Feedback on Audiobooks

Audio engineers and producers can upload your audio files to AI (again in “dark mode” so as not to let it use the content for output) and get feedback on how to adjust the levels, the mix, and the noise floor, for example. Perhaps you could even get feedback on the pacing of the voice too.

Another idea — and we’re probably a little way out from this right now, but I think that this is something that could happen in the future — is that you could get AI to help you with audio proof listening. For example, you could upload the text file and the audio file and ask for timestamps for discrepancies.

What legalities should publishers and audio engineers be aware of when using AI for audiobooks?

Limitations and Potential Legal Snares

I have two cautions to audiobook producers (and book publishers by proxy) about using AI for audio.

1. Copyright issues. If AI generates audio content, including voice-cloned audio content, it is not copyrightable. You own your voice, and the author owns their voice, but the actual voice-cloned audio file generated AI is still not copyrightable.

That’s a liability. You could still edit the file, and the edited file is copyrightable, but that starts to defeat the purpose of having AI help you.

So if you do publish a voice cloned article, blog, podcast, or audiobook, you need to know that if you did not generate that audio file — in other words, if you did not physically narrate that text into audio directly — you don’t own the copyright according to current law. You can still do it; it’s just a liability.

2. Coming litigations. Now, the litigations that might be coming down the pipeline will likely have more to do with suing people who use an AI-generated audio file when they don’t own the text copyright. (In audiobooks, you’re dealing with the text copyright along with the audio copyright.)

So they might be in the clear with profiting on the audio file, but not the text itself. That’s a liability for those copyright infringers, and I think they will try to do it for at least high-profile authors and successful books.

We’ll see where the cookie crumbles on this issue in due course.

Nothing Will Replace Human Audio Engineers

At the end of the day — and it’s worth repeating for audio engineers as I have for each role — nothing will replace human audio engineers because nothing will replace human audio narrators.

Here’s what I mean:

You need great voice samples that only great audio engineers can create. When you’re cloning a voice, for example, you have to have at least 90 great minutes of audio for the AI to have enough data to create the voice clone (in my experience). And for most authors, that audio can only be created with a human audio engineer. At least, that’s the case right now, and I think it will be for a long time.

So audio engineers might need to change their job description some (or at least their expectations), but they could actually get more work if they’re smart and humble about helping with the cloning process.

But also audio engineers can add value by giving substantive feedback in the most human way, helping authors narrate their own books to pronounce things correctly, and creating guidelines for audio narration. That is, they may turn into more project managers, consultants, and AI prompt-creators than strictly audio engineers.

So in the end, those audiobook engineers who learn how to use AI will be more likely to succeed and also work faster.

Now last but not least in book publishing: marketers.

Book Marketers Using AI: Benefits and Cautions

Finally, the marketing.

By the way, I use “marketing” in the broadest sense, as in taking a product to market in the various ways, including sales. This section is relevant for digital marketers, content producers, ad agencies, and PR agencies — anyone who works in marketing books.

How can marketers use AI for books? I offer five ways.

1. Analyzing Data

The greatest current use of AI for book marketers is collecting, assimilating, and analyzing data. You can take tons of user-generated information or marketing data that you have, for example, and make predictions about when to launch a book, how to target certain audiences, and what marketing copy works well.

Take data from Google Ads, Facebook Ads, YouTube, and so on, and upload that data into AI, asking it for specific feedback on what’s working and how to improve your campaigns.

2. Writing and Editing Copy

Marketers can also use AI to write and edit ad copy.

This one gets trickier because it may not always incumbent to disclose who wrote the ad copy like it is for authoring a book. So I would say there’s actually a lot of room to play here.

My best advice right now to marketers is to use AI to modify and create variations of your human-generated ad copy, not write it. Here’s why:

Neil Patel came out with a video in January of 2024 describing how, when they compared AI-generated ad copy to human-generated ad copy, the human copy out-performed their A/B tests 68% of the time. They found, however, that when they took those winning human-generated ads and asked AI to modify them, the AI-modified ads out-performed the human-modified ads by 76%.

3. Creating Ad Images

Using AI to create ad images is also a great way to leverage this technology for book marketing. Marketers could get a picture of a book cover, for example, and get AI to create marketing images so that you can market the book effectively. We’re still a little way out from this being easy (at least with ChatGPT), but it’s something to explore.

4. Strategizing About Sales

As I mentioned, I include sales under the banner of “marketing.”

Consider how AI can help you not only think about data for paid ads but also sales data. It can help you analyze, aggregate, and leverage sales data like it can with advertising ROI.

Marketers can use AI for planning sales, following-up on sales leads, and also handling the spreadsheets of sales personnel.

You can also explore by asking broad questions about what areas of the market are untapped.

5. Brainstorming for PR

The outer limits of marketing seems to be PR, but a great publicist and PR agency can be crucial for a major author or book. If that’s you, let’s talk.

AI can help you brainstorm and research podcasts or YouTube channels for your authors to appear on, as well as which media outlets and other avenues to pursue for getting your author out there.

You can do research, compile lists, and crunch data with AI as your public relations professional assistant.

You can even integrate AI into your email server and take your spreadsheets for outreach to craft emails for yourself to save time on the monotonous tasks of publicity.

We’ve covered various types of marketers from digital marketers, to salespeople, to publicists. What are some of the limitations and legal snares for all these types of marketers?

Limitations and Potential Legal Snares

I don’t know of any snares that are unique to the marketing position. But see above for all the nuances with using AI for generating and modifying text, images, and audio because those apply to marketers as well.

However, the expectations of a marketer are different than of an author. For integrity, I suggest letting all the direct stakeholders you work with know if you’re planning to use AI, at least in any customer-facing way like generative copywriting for a press release.

Nothing Will Replace Human Marketers

At the end of the day, I’ll say it again, nothing will replace human marketers.

We still need marketers to make the phone call, to send the email, to create the ad, to make decisions on which ad copy sounds better, and to be a relater who knows how to pick up a phone. And even if AI writes the email, you are the one who choses whether or not to send it.

No one can make those decisions except for a human.

That’s it for specific roles in publishing AI.

There are other roles that are in existence or will come into existence in the future in publishing, but these are the main ones that I am familiar with.

The Future of Book Publishing and AI

Before I share my predictions, please remember two vital comments.

1. Humans Will Always Have a Place

This is my number one prediction. Humans will always have a place in book publishing.

This article is an example. It was created with the help of AI. We did outlining, SEO research, and image creation with AI. But we as humans wrote and edited the text of the article.

We will always need human publishers, human authors, human editors, human designers, human audio engineers, and human marketers. Nothing will replace humans in book publishing. That’s my number one prediction. In 2050, even in 100 years, I believe that that will still stand.

2. Those Who Will Thrive Using AI Will Use It Responsibly

Those who will thrive in book publishing will be the ones who learn how to use AI ethically, creatively, and honestly throughout the publishing process. So I encourage book publishing professionals to press in, but also to exert caution with understanding.

My Specific Predictions from Early 2024

Now I’ll describe my specific predictions for the future of book publishing and AI (from January 2024) in three categories.

1. Audio, AI, and Book Publishing

You will hear more and more AI-produced audio content that will get better and better in quality. But I think you will also see tons of legal infractions by publishers, authors, and scam artists.

At the end of the day, though, what you’ll see is audiobook production distributors like Spotify, ACX (who is owned by Audible), and Apple allowing AI-generated audio to be published on their platform because other platforms are already publishing it. To compete, they’ll need to allow it.

That is, I think that by the end of 2025, within certain parameters, you’ll be able to publish AI-generated audiobook content on major platforms.

It will be hard to get the audiobooks approved, I bet, and it will likely only be available to publishers. But I think it will be possible.

2. Images, AI, and Book Publishing

AI is really bad with images right now (in my limited experience). The best one I’ve used is Midjourney, which is decent with images. ChatGPT’s image-creation abilities aren’t great for most book publishing needs in my experience.

Both platforms struggle with text on images big time.

So in the future, I think AI will get much better at both editing images and also adding text to images. That could happen overnight, so you might as well start exploring now.

3. Text, AI, and Book Publishing

With text generation and editing, my prediction is that you’ll have a ton of new books come out that have really terrible content; you’ll also have a ton of new blogs with really generic sounding content; and you’ll even have a ton of ad copy generated by AI.

Some of it will be helpful. But most of it, I think, will be bland, generic, and unappealing. People will reject it.

I think that more and more people will ask, “Hey was this generated by humans or not?”

That’s why human writers, publishers, and everyone else involved in the text-creation and editing process will be essential because I believe only those created in the image of our creative God can tell the best stories. And people will always crave human-generated content.

So while we can use AI, let’s never make ourselves subservient to it.

humans using publishing ai

The Continuing Need for Humans in Publishing

Keep creating human-generated text content, keep creating human-generated ads, keep creating human-generated audio — keep publishing books that humans like to read. Be human creators.

Also be open to creative uses of AI as you do that.

To get help from humans to publish your book, whether you want to use AI or not, schedule a call with us to start the conversation.

Or fast-track the conversation with us by requesting a quote here.

We created the images in this blog using generative AI.

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