I’m about to piss off some people. And if you happen to get mad about this post, chances are you are part of the problem.
I keep seeing so many authors going off about AI tools – AI art creation tools, AI writing tools, etc. First off, I’m not here to debate the whole “it stole IP” angle. That’s a completely separate topic.
My problem comes with the moral outrage over the use of these tools in a professional setting. The consensus is everyone is all up in arms about the ethics of using AI tools by “creators” who are looking for a quick, cheap way around producing cover art, and potentially “writing” short stories and full novels by using the AI tools available.
“It’s going to ruin real creators’ careers!” – “It’s going to replace creatives!” – “It’s going to unleash an avalanche of AI generated books with AI generated covers!” – “It’s going to drive down prices so creators can’t make any money!”
Where was this moral outrage 5 plus years ago when the industry got hit by a tsunami of unedited shit masquerading as books, pushed by “experts” who taught the Minimum Viable Product model where the MO was to publish as many books as fast as you could with as little editing as possible, thus turning this entire industry into a get-rich-quick scheme? Why did no one call out any of these bad players when they were busy decimating the publishing industry by flooding the market with subpar material that should have remained in the bowels of sites like WattPad and Inkitt? Why was no one riding their moral high-horse when authors were giving away thousands of books every single day and creating this whole “free entertainment” mindset among readers who now believe books are disposable recreational material? Where was all the concern when authors and “experts” were actively instructing authors to use bad business practices to increase their sales?
Everyone is so worried that AI is going to take the place of “real” cover designers. They’re concerned AI will allow a wave of AI-produced books to hit the market and thus “drive out real authors.” Yet no one gave a rat’s ass when the wave of ghost written crap hit KDP to the tune of over 100K+ new titles every month. Publish fast and hard, publish to KU even though it was designed to rip off indie authors. Learn to use AMS ads and drive up the bid price until the only ones who can afford it are the ones with a huge marketing budget to burn. Churn out content every week, give it away, put it into KU, and offer incentives for readers to download those free books. Do whatever it takes to make sure your books get seen, get downloaded, and run over anyone who gets in the way.
So long as you’re making money, who cares, right? So long as you’re able to turn a profit, who cares how bad you are fucking up the industry for everyone else. That’s been the mindset of this industry for the better part of six years. Now it’s affecting other industries and other authors on a much larger scale, so people are finally starting to take notice of something I’ve been warning everyone about for literally YEARS.
And guess what? At this point, this industry is so far gone, it has no choice but to crash and burn before it gets sorted out. Don’t shoot the messenger. If everyone would have pulled their heads out of their collective asses and said something back in 2015 when I first started telling everyone where all this was headed due to bad and/or unethical business practices, we all might still have a chance at making a decent paycheck off of our books without sacrificing our morals or floating a second mortgage in an attempt to be seen over the sewer stream that this industry has become. I hate to say ‘I told you so,’ – except I told you so.
But hey, you keep making that money as long as you can, and to hell with everyone else. Hope you have a backup plan for paying your bills once the market completely flat lines.