Publishing on Amazon AI-generated Books

In the past few months, as Artificial intelligence (AI) programs have become easily accessible, there has been a lot of conversation about what it means to writers. The author community is questioning how to maintain the integrity of published books, and online distributors are struggling with how to monitor AI-generated content. On Amazon, a recent book about the Maui fires, AI-generated within days of the events it purports to be assessing, briefly became a best seller before the company took it down. And author Jane Friedman was shocked to find books, likely AI-generated and published under her name, available for sale on the site. They were also removed, but we suspect these stories are just high-profile examples of a wide-spread problem.  

KDP response

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) recently added a query about the use of AI in books that are being uploaded for publication(our publishing team spotted this on Sept. 6th, 2023). They ask if you have used any AI to either assist or generate text, images, or translations and you must disclose this before you can upload and publish books. We have not seen similar language from Ingram Spark, but I suspect we will soon.

At this time, it seems like the KDP query is just for information gathering. However, at some point they are likely to start flagging things they feel are not disclosed properly, as they sometimes do with possible copyrighted materials. Here are the new content guidelines on AI. 

Artificial intelligence (AI) content (text, images, or translations) 

We require you to inform us of AI-generated content (text, images, or translations) when you publish a new book or make edits to and republish an existing book through KDP. You are not required to disclose AI-assisted content. We distinguish between AI-generated and AI-assisted content as follows:  

  • AI-generated: We define AI-generated content as text, images, or translations created by an AI-based tool. If you used an AI-based tool to create the actual content (whether text, images, or translations), it is considered “AI-generated,” even if you applied substantial edits afterwards.  
  • AI-assisted: If you created the content yourself, and used AI-based tools to edit, refine, error-check, or otherwise improve that content (whether text or images), then it is considered “AI-assisted” and not “AI-generated.” Similarly, if you used an AI-based tool to brainstorm and generate ideas, but ultimately created the text or images yourself, this is also considered “AI-assisted” and not “AI-generated.” It is not necessary to inform us of the use of such tools or processes. 

You are responsible for verifying that all AI-generated and/or AI-assisted content adheres to all content guidelines. For example, to confirm an AI-based tool did not create content based on copyrighted works, you’re required to review and edit any AI tool outputs. 

Source: Amazon Content Guidelines

Our position

My interpretation of the language is that if you use AI to improve the quality (file size, focus, etc.) of an existing image or a grammar AI tool to help you proofread your original text that is considered AI Assisted and does not need to be disclosed. However, using AI to gather images and collage them together or add another element to an existing photo, or using it to write text you then edit would be considered AI Generated and needs to be disclosed. They have varying degrees of AI use that they want you to choose from when you disclose the use.

As it says in the rules, using AI is not necessarily prohibited, but it is up to you to know exactly where the tool is getting the materials and if they are copyrighted, etc.  

At Luminare Press, we are not currently using AI (except for some experimentation with sharpening images) but are working on guidelines regarding when and if to use AI. Since we are uploading files generated from content provided by our authors, we will be adding language to our intake forms to ensure that authors are transparent when submitting AI-generated or enhanced work, and we will be following through to ensure that we are in compliance with any of the guidelines set by online companies who print and distribute books.

Your position

Do you have experience with publishing AI-generated books? Did you encounter problems, or was your book flagged? Let us know.

NOTE: This is a developing post. We’ll update it as new information becomes available.