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Can you write a business book in a weekend using ChatGPT and free internet tools?

How good is ChatGPT really? Can it turn non-writers into wordsmiths? Could it create your business book in a weekend?
The answer is yes – albeit a qualified yes.
With free time over the Spring Bank Holiday I decided to put ChatGBT and various free internet  tools to the test to write book as a challenge, as an experiment  to see what’s actually possible.

The Challenge

I started on Friday evening and by Monday teatime I pressed send on a 20,000 word book with images to Kindle – a bit short for a business book – but I wanted to test the concept.
Plus – I also wanted to see if ChatGPT would put writers and trained journalists like me out of business.
Writing a book is often seen as a game changer for business owners – a sign that you have made it and are now willing to pass your skills on to the next generation of up and coming entrepreneurs.
The thing is many business owners who really want to write a book don’t have  the skills, the confidence or the time.
They know having your own business book is something that is often catalyst to supercharge a business and gain real exposure.
Like a calling card on steroids.

Should you make use of ChatGPT’s book writing ability?

The question of whether you should be offloading the writing to a chat bot is another matter and I did feel a bit in two minds about it.
My background as a journalist and editor screams no – I have seen more than enough PR copy in my lifetime.
But the technology is here and people are going to use it to get ahead – of course they are.
It’s human nature to make the use of all the tools we have – so I wanted to see how quickly you could get a book done with AI.
The answer is you can write it with ChatGPT in two days and publish it in three.
There were so many learnings along the way.

How to prompt properly

I spent the first part of Friday evening binge watching a short course on how to prompt ChatGPT.
Understanding what questions to ask and how to re-prompt to get the right answers was really useful.
What I learned is that you have to be prepared to keep digging around until you get a result that works.

How to structure your non-fiction AI book

The idea behind this project was to see what ChatGPT was capable of so I asked it to suggest titles around a general theme.
Then I asked it to suggest 100 chapter headings – it actually produced 142 – so I was spoiled for choice.
Getting this structure in place was key to creating content quickly.

How to stick to your plan and not change it along the way.

For this experiment the book was based around an area of professional interest rather than my areas of speciality to prevent distraction form the task in hand.
Even so I did meddle with the structure which meant going back and amending earlier chapters which slowed the process down.

Formatting – is massive

If you want the publishing side to go smoothly this is a key part of what you need to do to save time.
Make sure you use the right headings and don’t leave massive gaps between chapters.

Understanding the shortcomings of Kindle Create

Most people choose to publish on Amazon so they can sell their book on Kindle and make use of the print on demand option.
However Kindle Create – and its formatting is limited and clunky so be prepared.

The end result

Publishing a book in a weekend is possible – ChatGPT created 20,000 words for me in maybe four hours a day so it’s certainly possible do make a full length book.
Because of the time limit I set myself I didn’t have time to proofread the whole document or really rewrite anything but obviously if you were doing this for real you would leave sufficient time.

Finally how good is the content – is it generic?

The way I structured it was to use a guide framework and break each chapter into three pieces including an introduction, tips to take action and a project allowing for the book to be useful rather than an extended piece of prose.
As this was an experiment and I wasn’t going to do any rewriting I did not put my name to it and if I was going to do it again in this format I would almost certainly do it differently concentrating more on structure and formatting.

Want to know more

Next month I will be guiding members of my Master the Digital Maze community step by step through the process – if you want to join me here’s the link. 

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