AI is starting to take over the Kindle Bookstore, with authors taking advantage of Kindle Direct Publishing. In the first weeks of February, over 200 e-books listed ChatGPT as an author or co-author. These books include “How to Write and Create Content Using ChatGPT,” “The Power of Homework” the poetry collection “Echoes of the Universe” and the sci-fi epic about an interstellar brothel, “Galactic Pimp: Vol. 1.”
There could be thousands of new books submitted in February alone due to authors not having to disclose whether they used ChatGPT. Most of these are low-quality books presented to the Kindle store to make a quick buck. Hundreds of tutorials have sprung up on YouTube, TikTok and Reddit, demonstrating how to make a book in just a few hours. Subjects include get-rich-quick schemes, dieting advice, software coding tips and recipes. There are even paid courses authors have made for walking through using AI to write books, from beginning to end.
“This is something we need to be worried about, these books will flood the market, and a lot of authors are going to be out of work,” said Mary Rasenberger, executive director of the writers’ group the Authors Guild. Ghostwriting – by humans – has a long tradition, she said, but the ability to automate through AI could turn book writing from a craft into a commodity. “There needs to be transparency from the authors and the platforms about how these books are created, or you’re going to end up with many low-quality books,” she said.
Books submitted to the Kindle Store need quality and control systems. There are no editors from Amazon that go over a proposed book to make sure it is readable. There is no oversight at Amazon at all when it comes to Kindle Direct Publishing. Due to this fact, it would almost be impossible to understand. What was written by an AI engine and by an author? Readers who buy the book and realize they have been duped will pay the ultimate price.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.