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Publishing News Roundup Series

Laws Crack Down on AI


In Publishing News this week,


Around the world governments are trying to get to grips with laws that will regulate AI. The European Union is trying to draft a law reported by the New York Times as being the most far reaching attempt to regulate AI. The EU is particularly concerned over data that is being used to train AI and the intrusive nature of facial recognition software.

Meanwhile, in Japan they have stated that AI can only be used for educational purposes. No commercial use is allowed. At a recent copyright workshop I attended, New Zealand’s position is if you prompted the AI in some way to produce the work you may copyright it. 


Media Voices has a new report on Practical AI for publishers- They recently published an extract on how to get started with AI. Their advice is to start small and automate one thing at a time. 


Storytel, the Scandinavian audiobook company which has been expanding through Europe  and the rest of the world in the last few years has partnered with an AI voices lab specialising in multinational audio dubbing. Choose an audiobook in English and then ask the AI to read it to you in another language using the original voice. No problem.


In the courts it is déjà vu time. Amazon and the big five publishers are back in court over price fixing. A decade ago this was a hot topic and the publishers lost. Why did they think they could do it all again?


Germany is rolling out it Kulturpass card to eighteen year olds. They get 200 euro to spend and booksellers are lining up to take their money.


School Librarians in the US are sick of the book banning culture they have to navigate. Their national organisations are now forming rapid response strike teams to support beleaguered librarians. Among the most challenged books are graphic novels- it only takes one drawn panel and one overzealous parent to ban the book. Apparently the librarians specialist degree in the field has to give way to uninformed opinion.


Joanna Penn has a great interview with Thomas Umstattd on novel marketing and Christian publishing.

Kris Rusch explores the history of discoverability in publishing and how it’s changing now.


Jane Friedman has a great guest column from an editor showing the reasons why a manuscript which has been edited and workshopped by professionals still can’t get picked up.

Some hard but necessary lessons to learn here.


The Alliance of Independent Authors has a deep dive article on using calls to action in the backs of books on website in emails…. This is a must read article for marketing.


Two great articles from Writer Unboxed caught my eye this week- Kathryn Craft on how cliché’s can help your writing and from Densie Webb to agent or not to agent – that is the question.


In The Craft Section,

2 great posts from September Fawkes- How to write strong characters and 100 questions to help evaluate your story– Bookmark Both


Eight ways not to start a novel– Anne R Allen – Bookmark


Know your 5w’s and 1H- Jami Gold – Bookmark


8 laws for foreshadowing– NowNovel- Bookmark


In The Marketing Section,

Business cards and Job titles– John Gilstrap


The latest changes to book categories– Penny Sansevieri- Bookmark


Promoting a new book– Bookbub- Bookmark


Creative and cost effective marketing for authors– Indiereader


3 Amazon review reader myths- Sandra Beckwith


Selling books– a booksellers perspective- Bookbaby – Bookmark 


To Finish,

If you are a content writer you may be sympathetic with Litreactor’s latest column ChatGPT is a menace. They take issue with the amount of people that think getting ChatGPT to write a children’s story is the holy grail to earning passive income. As a children’s writer it shrivels my soul. Why does everybody think that writing a children’s book is so easy any celebrity can do it or just get an AI to write something – the kids will never know? 

We take pride in our work and we work hard at it. An adult reader will let you have a couple of pages of story introduction, a child maybe one paragraph, two at most, and it had better be using the child’s worldview and entertaining. The shorter the story the more important every word is. The younger the reader the more important the story craft is. 

AI is a tool that you can use but it is not human and can never replace human wisdom and experience. It can only regurgitate the data it has scraped. 

Garbage in. Garbage Out 






Pic: Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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