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How to use AI without feeling like fraud

How to use AI as an author without feeling like fraud

As an author and avid LinkedIn user, I like to follow how the world at large is responding to the global phenomenon of AI.

I did a quick search this morning to see how many posts or polls I could find related to AI, and I stopped counting when I got to sixteen using the ‘Last 24 hours’ filter. The topic certainly has people talking. An AI discussion reared its head in the National Speakers Association Mastermind in April,with many authors expressing concern.

Do you think AI is going to impact your business?

Love it or hate it, it affects our lives. While early adopters are raving, there are some natural concerns.

In two polls, I noted:

Do you think AI is going to impact your business?

78% responded “Yes”

How are you feeling about the future of AI?

60% responded “Concerned”

While I am no futurist, I know that building up a catalogue of books and getting out new releases as rapidly as you can is one of the best ways to build sustainable income as an author. Which is why any tool that can help fast track your publishing career is worth looking at. But with so many people shouting down AI, you could start feeling like a fraud for using anything that could remotely be described as artificial intelligence. Yet, I have to ask this question.

How many authors have been using tools like Grammarly and ProWritingAid to help them do preliminary spell checks of their work?

Well, guess what? ProWritingAid marketing material is listed as: “AI-powered analysis + human expertise​​ ProWritingAid delivers thousands of grammar and style improvements with the touch of a button.”

Does this mean that I don’t use a human editor or beta readers to test my work? Absolutely not. My editor knows my characters, connects with them and we discuss them as if they are real people. And my editor expects me to have passed my work through a spell checker or a self editing tool before passing the document onto her. At Write Learn and Earn, we encourage our authors to get that manuscript as polished as possible before we send it to our editors or proofreaders. It fast tracks the reading and editing process and gets authors to market faster. 


There are countless ways that we, as authors, use AI to assist us and authors and creators. We have just not stopped to think about it.

As a writer, I use AI unashamedly and I don’t feel like a fraud for doing it. Besides my love of writing, I am at my core level a businesswoman. I have to level up with whatever tools are available to me, while still being authentically me.

So here are ways you can use AI to help your writing and self publishing process without feeling like a fraud:

  • Do Preliminary Research


I am writing a novel based in Mexico and my lead character is a speaker and analyst visiting the county.


I asked ChatGPT a question about kidnapping statistics to help me with my novel and it provided the following:

“Kidnapping is a serious issue in Mexico, with reports indicating that the number of abductions has been steadily rising over the past decade. According to data from the Mexican National Security System (SNSP), there were 1,323 reported kidnappings in 2010. By 2020, that number had increased to 1,589. While the actual number of kidnappings in Mexico is believed to be much higher than what is reported to authorities, these statistics paint a grim picture of the state of kidnapping in the country.” Generated by CHATGTP.


How does this help me? It helped me to create a scene where a concerned friend in South Africa watches a fictitious news report about kidnapping statistics and this raises an alarm when he realises my character did not board the sightseeing bus as part of her tour. While non-fiction authors should always verify their facts, as a fiction author, I am happy to use this guide.


  1. Write Your Blurb


Most authors will tell you that writing a blurb is about the hardest thing they ever had to do and I have to agree. A blurb is ultimately a sales pitch and you have to put on your copy writer’s hat to do it. Before all the copywriters reading this start shouting at me, there are thousands of authors who simply can’t afford a copywriter, and AI provides a cost-effective tool to help them write blurbs.


While I definitely write my own blurbs and those I recommend to my clients, sometimes you need a little prompt to get your creative juices going.

For the purpose of this article, I added the following into the chat box: Write a blurb for a book about Authors who feel like frauds when using AI tools in their books


“In a world where technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, the use of artificial intelligence (AI) tools in writing has become increasingly common. But for many authors, incorporating these tools into their writing process can trigger a sense of imposter syndrome, leaving them feeling like frauds.

“In this thought-provoking and insightful book, we explore the experiences of authors who have struggled with incorporating AI tools in their writing. From the initial hesitation and doubts to the moments of triumph and self-discovery, we hear from a diverse range of writers who have grappled with these complex emotions.


Through personal anecdotes, interviews, and expert insights, this book provides a fascinating glimpse into the intersection of writing and technology. It offers practical advice for those looking to navigate this new terrain, as well as a deeper understanding of the psychological and creative implications of using AI tools in writing.


Ultimately, this book is a testament to the resilience and creativity of authors who continue to push the boundaries of what it means to be a writer in the digital age. It is a must-read for anyone who has ever felt like a fraud, and for those looking to harness the power of AI tools to enhance their writing.” Blurb generated by CHATGTP.


How does this help authors? This generated text gives some fast track prompts to write your own blurb. You can extract the words that resonate with you and include them in your own marketing material. A word of caution,though:, there is a move by some leading online book retailers to remove AI created content from their product offering. So please only use these tools as a guide and not to replace your own creative content.


  1. Creating a Character Profile


For years, successful novelists have created character profiles as a reference when writing scenes. They use these as tools to check that they are writing to character. It is an important tool because we are sometimes tempted to write every character in our own voice instead of giving them a flair of their own. Our goal is to write about our characters authentically so readers connect with them better.


For this article I asked chat GTP to create a character profile for a  60-year-old male going through male menopause for a book.


Name: Jack Wilson


Age: 60


Occupation: Retired accountant


Appearance: Jack is a tall, lanky man with graying hair and deep-set wrinkles on his face. He’s lost some of the muscle mass he had in his younger years, and his belly has grown rounder. He’s always had a bit of a slouch, but it’s become more pronounced with age.


Personality: Jack is a quiet and introspective man, preferring to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. He’s always been a bit of a perfectionist, and his retirement has left him feeling a bit aimless and adrift. He’s prone to bouts of irritability and depression, and he’s struggling to find meaning in his life.


Background: Jack spent most of his career working as an accountant for a large corporation. He was good at his job, but it never gave him much satisfaction. He got married young and had two children, but his marriage fell apart when his kids were teenagers. He’s been on his own ever since, and while he’s had a few relationships, nothing has ever lasted.


Current Situation: Jack is going through male menopause, and he’s struggling to deal with the physical and emotional changes that come with it. He’s experiencing hot flashes, night sweats, and mood swings, and he’s not sure how to cope. He’s started seeing a therapist, but he’s not sure how much it’ll help. He’s also considering starting hormone replacement therapy, but he’s worried about the potential side effects.


Goals: Jack wants to find a new sense of purpose and meaning in his life. He’s considering going back to school to pursue a degree in something he’s always been interested in, like art or history. He also wants to find love again, but he’s not sure if that’s realistic at his age.


Challenges: Jack’s biggest challenge is coming to terms with the fact that he’s getting older and that he may never be able to recapture his youth. He’s also struggling with the physical and emotional changes that come with male menopause, and he’s not sure how to deal with them. Finally, he’s dealing with a sense of loneliness and isolation, as many of his friends and family members have moved away or passed away.” Character profile generated by ChatGTP.


How does this help writers? I am a married woman with three children, who has never been divorced and I see accounting as a necessary evil. I can’t imagine a life dedicated to other business owners’ numbers and so it would take me a while to research this profile to authentically write about this character. While there are some things that I would exclude from this profile, especially the hot flushes bit, I can use this character profile as a reference when I ask myself, “What would Jack do in this situation?” 


Every disruptive technology has a few people worrying about how they are going to fit in. So if you are in this camp, you are not alone. Change certainly has the ability to make us feel unsettled and put in a chink in our armour of confidence. But for those of you who are willing to embrace change, AI can certainly help you to be more productive in your chosen field. It reminds me of something that my retired minister of my former church told me. “You can use a fire to warm yourself or cook a meal and then that same fire can burn your house down. It is how you choose to use it that makes the difference.” Having said that, have a look at some areas in your career that you wrestle with on a daily basis and see how this powerful tool can help you to be a more productive version of your authentic self.

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Hello, I am Kim Vermaak

I spent most of my adult life helping other companies build their dream and their brands.

After I turned 40, I wondered if there was more to life than taking care of children and slaving away to earn a living.

I wanted to create a legacy for my children and the next generation. I found that through my books I could celebrate who I am as well as teach others to earn a living through their writing.

Being an author is not a hobby. It is a business, and it is my passion to teach authors how to thrive in that business. I look forward to seeing your book business grow.

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BookSirens is a legitimate resource for authors and readers alike that can help readers find books they’ll love, while matching authors with prospective reviewers so they can get more honest reviews.

What Kim was able to offer me in terms of insight, price with her experience in understanding the needs of authors was outstanding. Kim is not only creative, but she takes on your views and comments willingly and it’s professional open process.
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