Question: How can I use artificial intelligence (AI) to assist with writing, editing, and marketing my book/s?



You may not realize it, but you are likely already utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) in many facets of your life through various applications, software, and online services. Technologies such as voice assistants (Alexa), ride share apps (Uber), streaming apps (Netflix), and social media platforms (Facebook) all employ AI to make their interfaces more efficient and user-friendly.

There are many ways in which creative and professional writers can use AI tools to assist with tasks in the writing, editing, publishing, and marketing journey. The key to using AI effectively is to know the best tools and how to proceed responsibly, so you can benefit from the support without plagiarizing or infringing on copyrights.

Artificial intelligence can be used to help writers with narration, editing, marketing, and more.What is artificial intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence is the ability of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. It includes a range of technologies that power many of the services and goods we use every day such as applications on our smartphones and customer service chatbots online.

The two types of AI that many people encounter on a daily basis include:

Machine Learning: uses algorithms trained on data sets to create models that enable machines to perform tasks that would otherwise only be possible for humans.

Natural Language Processing (NLP): enables machines to read, decipher, understand, and make sense of human languages. Includes text prediction, sentiment analysis, and speech recognition.

Simple forms of machine learning can use past and present data to identify trends, predict outcomes, and recommend process optimization. More complex types of machine learning such as generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), can use algorithms and insights to create new content in response to prompts or questions. This output can include text, images, videos, audio, code, simulations, and more.

How writers can use AI tools to improve their productivity and craft

The most effective way to approach using AI in your writing process is to think of it as a collaborative partner that can enhance what you are already doing, not act as a substitute. AI can be used to generate writing prompts, brainstorm unique story or topic ideas, improve plot points, refine story structure, enhance character development, inspire world building, and suggest fictitious names and places. It can also be used to make your outlining or research process more efficient, allowing more time for creative writing.

When it comes to self-editing your work, AI can be a powerful assistant to proofread your work, make style and tone checks, weed out plagiarism, increase your vocabulary, and make grammar corrections. It’s not a replacement for hiring a professional (human) editor, but can save you time and money by making your manuscript more polished before submitting to a professional.

The idea is to use AI to help you expand your creativity and communicate your narrative or messages with more clarity and impact, not do the writing for you. Is it possible for some AI tools to generate an entire book? Yes, but a very poorly written one. Stories need human imagination, input, thoughts, and feelings woven in for readers to fully engage and resonate with the content.

Here are some ways AI tools can assist you during the writing and editing stages:

•  Combatting writer’s block
•  Brainstorming ideas, plot points, names, and more
•  Outlining
•  Creating character profiles
•  Bringing sensory details to your setting and world
•  Summarizing large blocks of text
•  Refining sentence structure
•  Suggesting alternate wording
•  Proofreading
•  Copy and line editing

How writers can use AI in their publishing and marketing efforts

Online publishing platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and Lulu use AI tools to assist authors with formatting, design, and uploading for publication and distribution. Aggregators such as Draft2Digital use AI tools to assist authors with formatting and uploading their eBooks for digital distribution to multiple retail channels like Apple iBooks, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, OverDrive, and more, making it more efficient for authors to reach numerous distribution channels with just a few clicks.

AI voiceovers and AI narration are becoming more available to authors and publishers wanting a cost-effective way to narrate a video like a book trailer, or even an entire audiobook. Using synthetic, human-like voices that are powered by text-to-speech technology, these AI tools can produce high-quality, natural-sounding narration.

Even the large, traditional publishing houses have started embracing various AI tools to assist with manuscript analysis, translations, audiobook creation, and marketing communications, allowing them to work more effectively and efficiently for their author clients. Book printers are also using AI to optimize print runs and streamline workflows.

Once published, authors must work on building a readership both online and offline. These efforts might include an author website, email marketing, publicity campaign, social media, in-person events, and public speaking. There are even book marketing decisions an author must make prior to publication including identifying a target audience, choosing a book title and subtitle, writing the book description and author biography, and more. Marketing a book can be very overwhelming and time-consuming for authors, requiring ongoing efforts and investment to maintain and drive sales for a book long-term. The good news is, there are AI tools that can assist with many of these initiatives, saving you time and money.

Authors can use AI tools to assist with marketing copy, social media copy, marketing materials, advertising, and moreHere are several ways AI can be used to support your publishing, book marketing, and book publicity efforts:

•  Brainstorming book titles and subtitles
•  Refining book descriptions
•  Polishing author biographies
•  Book manuscript formatting
•  eBook formatting
•  Audiobook narration
•  Designing a book cover
•  Developing a book launch plan
•  Creating social media graphics and copy
•  Suggesting relevant metadata and keywords
•  Designing a website
•  Writing ad copy
•  Designing a sell sheet, bookmarks, and other marketing materials
•  Refining email marketing copy
•  Writing press release copy
•  Polishing speeches or presentations

Popular AI tools for writers

The internet offers a large variety of AI tools to help all types of writers in every stage of the process, some of which are free or have a free tier or trial, allowing you to explore them at no cost. You can upgrade to a more robust, paid version on many of these platforms.

Brainstorming and Writing

ChatGPT: AI chatbot with natural language processing (NLP) that can answer questions, enhance text, brainstorm, summarize documents, and more.
Gemini: Googles AI assistant that can help with writing, planning, learning, and more.
SMMRY: Summarizes articles, text, websites, essays, and documents. Designed to process large amounts of information, brainstorm ideas, generate text and code, help you understand subjects, and simplify busywork. Offers a simple interface to generate story ideas and expand on them.
Writesonic: Generates various content pieces, including creative stories and marketing copy. AI writing assistant capable of producing creative content, blog posts, and more. Helps overcome writer's block by suggesting improvements and alternatives to your writing. AI writing tool that can produce content for a variety of formats, including stories, emails, and social media posts. Online story planner that offers tools for plotting, character development, and world-building.
Campfirewriting: Writing and world-building software that enables writers to keep track of complex narratives, characters, and lore.
NovelFactory: Offers guidance for novel writing, including character development, plotting, and tracking submissions.

There are numerous AI tools that can benefit writers.Editing

Grammarly: Offers grammar, punctuation, and style suggestions to improve the overall quality of writing.
Scribens: Grammar checker that corrects over 250 types of common grammar and spelling mistakes, and detects stylistic elements.
ProWritingAid: Provides comprehensive feedback on writing style, grammar, readability, and more. Focuses on making your writing bold and clear, highlighting hard-to-read sentences, passive voice, and adverbs.
Twinword: Offers AI-powered vocabulary suggestions to help find the right words and phrases.
Readable: Evaluates the readability of technical content, providing AI-powered suggestions to make complex information accessible to a wider audience.
Copyscape: Plagiarism checker that ensures your content is original, helping to avoid duplicate content issues.
Quetext: Provides deep search technology to check for content originality and prevent plagiarism, ensuring the uniqueness of your content.


Adobe InDesign: Leverages AI to automate layout designs, ensuring that long documents are visually appealing and well-organized.
Vellum: Provides AI-assisted formatting tools for creating polished eBooks and PDFs from technical content.
ElevenLabs – AI voice generator that converts text to speech, creating natural AI voices instantly in any language. Can create audiobooks with a natural voice and tone.


MarketMuse: AI tool that assess your content's quality and relevance, providing suggestions to improve topic coverage and authority. AI tool that automatically turns long-form content into dozens of optimized social media posts. Generates high-converting ad creatives and copy using AI, streamlining the ad creation process.
Canva: Helps create visual aids and graphics to complement technical writing, social media posts, and more.
BookBlaster: AI marketing and advertising tool that offers one-click marketing software to generate email copy, mockups, emails, ads, and more.

Tips for getting better output results

The quality of the content that any AI tool will generate will depend on the tool’s capabilities, and the prompt, information, or questions you provide. The more specific you can be with what you are seeking or needing, the better the output from the AI tool.

It’s important to stay on topic when using an AI tool to make sure the generated content remains relevant and focused. By keeping your initial prompt and any subsequent prompts aligned with the main subject, you can avoid any unrelated or generic output. It can take some time for you to learn the best way to communicate with an AI tool, and for that tool to understand what you are requesting.

An example of a specific prompt might be,

“What are 10 Facebook post ideas I can use to promote my cozy mystery novel, “The Cozy Inn Murders”, about a hotelier who discovers her picturesque, boutique inn is being used by a murderer to lure his or her victims. Is the killer the housekeeper, the chef, the landscaper, or one of her eccentric guests?” 

When typed into the AI tool ChatGPT, this is the output generated in response to this prompt:
When entering a prompt into an AI tool like ChatGPT, it helps to be as specific as possible.

How to use AI responsibly

As with most technological advances, there are some concerns with AI regarding individuals or entities misusing or abusing the tools.  Many AI tools learn and refine their models from existing content and texts available online or that are fed into them, potentially leading to plagiarism and copyright infringement. There are also concerns that the output generated by an AI tool may not be factually accurate.

Publishers like Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) are closely monitoring the rapidly evolving capabilities of AI, distinguishing “AI-generated” from “AI-assisted” content as follows:

“AI-generated: We define AI-generated content as text, images, or translations created by an AI-based tool. If you used an AI-based tool to create the actual content (whether text, images, or translations), it is considered "AI-generated," even if you applied substantial edits afterwards.

AI-assisted: If you created the content yourself, and used AI-based tools to edit, refine, error-check, or otherwise improve that content (whether text or images), then it is considered "AI-assisted" and not “AI-generated.” Similarly, if you used an AI-based tool to brainstorm and generate ideas, but ultimately created the text or images yourself, this is also considered "AI-assisted" and not “AI-generated.””

Amazon KDP is now requiring authors to inform them of AI-generated content when publishing a new book or making edits to and republishing an existing book. Authors are not required to inform Amazon KDP of AI-assisted content. In addition, Amazon KDP states authors “are responsible for verifying that all AI-generated and/or AI-assisted content adheres to all content guidelines, including by complying with all applicable intellectual property rights.”

To avoid using AI irresponsibly in your work, we recommend the following:

•  Use the tools to brainstorm, refine, and enhance your ideas and writing, not replace.
•  Rewrite any text/copy outputs rather than using them word for word.
•  Review and fact-check all AI output to ensure accuracy and to avoid misinformation.
•  Follow all publisher guidelines on disclosing the use of AI in your work.

In addition, you can review the Authors Guild article, “AI Best Practices for Authors” to learn more about how to use AI ethically, and when to disclose your usage of AI in your work.

While new technologies can be intimidating and challenging to learn, utilizing tools such as AI can help writers expand their creativity, streamline processes, and effectively promote their work. It’s not to be seen as a substitute or replacement, but as part of the support system for getting from blank page to a published book that sells. AI will continue to evolve and more guidelines will emerge that are specific to the publishing industry, so if you are using any AI assistance in your work, we encourage you to stay on top of the latest AI news.

 Photo credit: Khanchit Khirisutchalual via Getty Images