How to Write a Book With ChatGPT

How to Write a Book With ChatGPT

With the recent developments in the artificial intelligence area, we’ve all been somewhat caught off-guard. We now have this amazing tool that can generate human-like content in a matter of seconds, but what can we do with it? Can ChatGPT write a book? Can it be used to edit and improve your own materials?

Learning how to write a book with ChatGPT can have a huge impact both for you and the literary world. But can it really do it? Since we are passionate about everything reading-related and we want you to be not only as informed as humanly possible, but also possess all the right tools to be able to be the ultimate reader, we did some research on how ChatGPT can impact the literary world. You can see our findings below.

But if you want to always be one step ahead both as a reader and an aspiring writer, you should check out Basmo, our reading tracking app. It’s not just feature-packed to the brim to accommodate all your efforts to become the ultimate reader but also comes with an AI ChatBook that will completely revolutionize the way you interact with your books.

Can You Use ChatGPT to Write a Book?

Well, that is a question for the ages. ChatGPT is able to generate human-like content and can be surprisingly accurate in terms of the way it mimics the human writing process. By its own admission, however, it is unable to actually be creative.

ChatGPT - Can you write a book?

So, if you’re hoping that using ChatGPT to write a book from start to finish in one sitting, your chances of actually getting something useful in return are quite slim. What it can do however is be your most valuable research resource, as it has an amazing ability to summarize and synthesize information.

While everything ChatGPT writes needs to be taken with a grain of salt, it can still work wonders for people who are looking for quick information, general data about specific topics, and perhaps even ideas. It still provides false information from time to time, especially when asked about very specific details, so if you decide to use it during the writing process, you should always double-check the data it provides.

So, even though using ChatGPT to write a novel all at once is not really an option, there are still ways it can make itself useful in the writing process. For example, you can use it to generate a series of short stories and turn those into a compilation book.

ChatGPT - Write a short story

Granted, you won’t win any prizes if you submit ChatGPT-generated short stories into competitions, but it can be enough to give you a starting point in your career or to entertain yourself and your friends or family. That being said, let’s go into a little more detail regarding the ways you can actually use ChatGPT to write a book. 

How to Write a Book With ChatGPT?

The first thing to remember is that as much as you would like this to be true, ChatGPT won’t be able to actually do everything for you. Even though the technology behind it is impressive, to say the least, the truth is that it still has quite a lot of limitations. But even though using it for actual creative writing is out of the question at least for the moment, there are still ways for you to take advantage of this amazing tool.

Understanding its limitations and the importance of very detailed prompts is the first step. Since your mindset going into this adventure is also quite important, you also need to manage your expectations. While you can generally use ChatGPT to write a more than a decent blog post, you will need to get your hands dirty when it comes to using it in more creative ways.

Learning how to write a novel with ChatGPT can turn out to be a great opportunity. Here’s our step-by-step guide to using ChatGPT to write a book. 

Step 1: Research

Before you can even start writing anything, you need to know as much as possible about the topic you have in mind. Whether that means actually using ChatGPT to help you find the subject of your next book or simply using it for research, you should know that it can prove to be an excellent tool.

ChatGPT - Suggest book topics

While it may not provide you with everything on a silver platter, it can give your creative process some much-needed guidelines. Also, in terms of research material, it can help you tremendously regardless of the topic your book will be about.

For example, you can simply ask ChatGPT what books you should read before you start writing your own to make sure you are properly prepared.


Step 2: Outline

The next thing you will need is the actual structure of your future book. As you probably already know, you can’t simply start writing and hope that it will turn out ok. You need to plan your book, decide how things will progress throughout the book, and you need to draw an outline for the writing tasks that lie ahead.

ChatGPT - Book outline

As you can see from the example above, using even the simplest prompts can result in pretty good answers. Doing some accurate prompt engineering can actually improve your results tremendously. While AI-generated content may not be the most creative and fascinating for a reader, it can definitely be a great tool for writers, whether they work on nonfiction books or other genres.

Using a detailed outline like the one above can be a great starting point for inexperienced writers who are just trying to get a hang of actually writing a book.

Step 3: Time to Write a Book

Now, this is where things can get even more interesting. You’re actually writing your own book. How you choose to do it is up to you, but even if you use ChatGPT to write the book for you or you’re simply using it for helpful tips, it will definitely be of great help.

There are two things you should consider. First, ChatGPT can write things for you, as long as you do quite a lot of prompt engineering and you are ok with doing the work in relatively small increments. Along with its self-admitted lack of creativity, another important limitation ChatGPT comes with is the fact that it will not generate content in unlimited amounts. Even in the premium version, its answers are limited to a little less than 1,000 words.

Considering that you will get 1,000 words every couple of seconds, the process is still going to be a lot quicker than if you were writing the content yourself. It is up to you to decide whether this increase in writing speed is worth it considering that it will definitely take its toll on the actual quality of the material.

The second thing to consider is that ChatGPT can be a trusted companion when it comes to paraphrasing or improving the content you write yourself. Creating your own stories can be challenging when you are first getting started, but with the help of this AI tool, you can actually write them as well as you can and then improve them by asking ChatGPT to rewrite or correct them. Here’s an example.

ChatGPT - Improve the text

Step 4: Edit and Make Corrections

Once you are finished writing your book, it’s time to start editing, correcting, and improving on it. Luckily, again, ChatGPT can save you quite a lot of time and trouble.

Again, you should also be aware of its limitations and you should manage your expectations. It will definitely not be able to edit and correct your entire book in one sitting. You will need to feed your content slowly, in small increments, into the AI chatbot and it will do its best to correct any mistakes, rewrite the content where needed, and improve its fluency and structure.

Step 5: Get Your Work Published

Obviously, once you are happy with your book, it would be a shame not to make some effort to get it published or at least known to the public. Whether that means posting it online, sending it to different publishers, or simply submitting it through Kindle direct publishing, it’s entirely up to you and how you want to promote yourself or position yourself in the writers’ community.

The interesting and surprising thing is that ChatGPT can help you throughout this process as well. No, it will not publish your work for you, but it can guide you with a certain degree of accuracy through the process.

ChatGPT - Publishing a book

Some diligent prompt engineering can actually personalize the recommendations even further, which can help you achieve your goals a little quicker. Of course, there are no guarantees for artists, but using ChatGPT can give you a couple of great advantages.

What Prompts to Use to Help You Write a Book?

While we are definitely not experts in ChatGPT prompt engineering, we discovered through a surprisingly entertaining trial-and-error process what prompts can be used to get the chatbot to help out with writing a book.

In the early stages of the process, you can use prompts like “What are the most lucrative niches I should focus on if I decide to write a book?”. This will give you a vague idea of topics people are generally interested in, which will increase your chances of having a successful book to your name.

Obviously, with creative prompt engineering, you can get ChatGPT to go into even more depth with your niche research and that will lead to even better results.

Another good example of useful prompts could be: ” Please help me create a structure for a book I am planning to write. The action should be set in <insert country/city/period>. The book is about <insert topic>”.

While this is definitely not going to be the final stage of your preparation for writing a book, it can be a good start.

For research purposes, the prompts are pretty straightforward. Simply ask whatever it is you want to know and ChatGPT will deliver. You can ask for book recommendations for different topics you want to cover in your book, or simply ask questions you don’t know the answer to. You will receive a response based on the data available online, but you should always double-check this information to make sure it is accurate.

In the writing stage, your prompt engineering efforts will need to be a little more intense. In order to get the best results, you will need to ensure that your queries are as specific and detailed as possible. What they should sound like will actually depend on what you are trying to achieve.

What Are the ChatGPT Limitations When Writing a Book?

Without a shred of a doubt, ChatGPT is a phenomenal tool. You can use ChatGPT to write pretty much anything you can think of if you manage to find the right prompts. You can create content on any topic, whether that means a script for a Youtube video or a historical fiction novel.

While it’s easy to understand and accept that creative writing is not necessarily AI’s strong suit at the moment since it cannot actually come up with its own ideas (and perhaps we’re not even ready for that yet), there are other limitations of this technology you should know about before you ask it to write a book.

1. Volume Limitations

In terms of the content volume ChatGPT is able to deliver at once, you should know that you cannot ask it to write a book or an entire chapter at once. While we weren’t able to figure out exactly what the maximum word count or the number of characters ChatGPT can deliver in a single answer, the most we’ve been able to get was close to 1,000 words.

Considering that you can use this type of generative AI for everything from getting inspiration to name your characters to actually illustrating your book with AI-generated images, 1,000 words every couple of minutes isn’t all that bad. Creative writing remains something best suited for human authors, but AI isn’t that far off.

2. Prompt Engineering

Not everything is going to be as straightforward as you might want it to be. AI-generated content is great, but you will need to go through a rather intense trial-and-error process before you learn how to extract the maximum value from what ChatGPT is able to deliver.

To clarify, prompt engineering is the process of figuring out exactly how to phrase your questions, how to write your instructions for the AI, and how to create the perfect content with AI.

That being said, while ChatGPT clearly has the capabilities required to create entertaining stories for your readers or just to help you for free to achieve your goals as a writer, you need to know how to ask for things.

Unfortunately, as much as I would like to be able to provide you with a clear set of instructions for the ultimate prompt engineering, the truth is that you will need to experiment yourself and get a feel of what your goals require you to ask from ChatGPT.

What I can tell you is to always include specific details in your prompts, whether you’re asking for a coming-of-age story or simple information about a particular historical event you need to include in your book.

3. Creativity

As mentioned above, even though ChatGPT can easily write content about any topic, it won’t do it in the most creative way. Regardless of your prompt engineering skills, the quality of AI writing will always fade when compared to human-generated content.

Yes, AI can help you develop a nice story arc for your novel, and it can help out in a tremendous number of ways, but it’s unlikely that it will ever be able to make readers feel that they are reading a masterpiece. It lacks the ability to create art, it is unable to include metaphors and other advanced techniques.

It is capable to provide you with tons of details about pretty much anything you ask, but it’s quite unlikely for it to ever be able to write a book resembling one written by Stephen King. Readers will always expect a lot from a book, and without the human touch, you are quite unlikely to be able to sell too many copies.

Can I Use ChatGPT to Edit My Book?

Yes, on top of its writing capabilities, ChatGPT is also able to correct mistakes or rewrite sentences or paragraphs for better fluency.

All you need to do is paste your text in the chat, write an additional prompt asking the bot to find ways to improve your content, and it will deliver its own version in a matter of seconds.

If you provide ChatGPT with enough details, you can also ask for suggestions in terms of structuring your content or any other writing tips you may feel you need.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that you will need to add your content in small increments for the best results.

How Can Basmo’s BookChat Help?

Chatting with the book in Basmo app

If writing a book with ChatGPT sounds interesting, you should know that artificial intelligence is already a part of Basmo as well. We recently launched an amazing feature within every single book in our app, namely an AI chat. AI ChatBook can answer any book-related questions and can provide you with valuable information in a matter of seconds.

What Are Some Examples of Books Written by ChatGPT?

Writing a book using ChatGPT is actually something that occurred to some writers immediately after the launch of this amazing AI tool. A children’s book that was completely generated by AI (including illustrations) has already been launched in January this year.

Brett Schickler, a salesman from Rochester New York with zero writing experience used ChatGPT to write a book for children. The 30 pages were entirely AI-generated and tell the story of a squirrel named Sammy who learns from other friendly animal characters about saving money.

Brett published the first book written by ChatGPT on Amazon and “The Wise Little Squirrel: A Tale of Saving and Investing” is currently available for sale in the Kindle Store for 2.99$ or 9.99$ for the printed version.

At the time of writing this article, more than 200 e-books are listed for sale having ChatGPT as author or co-author. So, it’s quite safe to assume that books written by ChatGPT are now a thing.

Can You Write a Book with Auto-GPT?

If writing a book with ChatGPT sounds like something you would like to do, the good news keeps piling on. Embracing the amazing levels reached by technology these days can be a daunting activity to a certain extent, but it’s important to know that your results can be rather surprising if you make the effort to understand it and use it to your advantage. 

So, if ChatGPT sounds like an amazing tool, you will be thrilled to know that it has already been taken to a whole different level through AutoGPT. Here’s what you should know about AutoGPT and how it can help you to write a book. 

What is Auto-GPT?

As the name suggests, Auto-GPT is a tool that uses ChatGPT as a base for automating certain AI tasks. It is an open-source app created by Toran Bruce Richards, a game developer, and it uses AI agents to take on challenges and complete tasks without needing a separate prompt for each step required throughout the process. 

For example, using ChatGPT to do research on a certain topic might require you to continuously ask new questions in order to get the full picture. Asking about the Rennaisance period for example is only going to yield proper results if you use several prompts to go into as much detail as you need. 

Auto-GPT on the other hand will only require a single prompt and will use AI to generate additional tasks that would help you understand what you need to know. It will deploy additional AI agents that will automatically start performing tasks without any need for other prompts from you. Auto-GPT will create a list of tasks that need to be completed in order for you to obtain the information you need and the agents it creates will gather the data, synthesize it, and compile it for you. 

Needless to say, this tool has the potential of changing the way we do things. While it may seem too good to be true, there are many advantages of using it for certain tasks, but it also comes with some important drawbacks. Using AutoGPT to write a book can be a great experience if you manage your expectations.

Can You Use AutoGPT to Write a Book?

In theory, yes. On paper, all the information we managed to gather about AutoGPT seems to point toward the fact that it can basically perform any task using rather simple prompts. Since we are extremely dedicated to ensuring that you have access to correct information, we wanted to put Auto-GPT to the test and see what it can actually do. Here’s what we actually managed to do with it and how things look in reality.

First of all, you should know that the original version of Auto-GPT is an open-source code that can be found on GitHub. The problem with that is that in order for you to actually use it, you will need to have some coding knowledge. Unless you can code in Python and already have the latest versions of Python and Pip installed on your computer, things are not going to be easy.

For people without coding experience, a bunch of platforms have been created where you can use demo versions of Auto-GPT automatically, without the need to understand Python and run the code on your own device. While there are plenty to choose from, we decided to use the platform to run Auto-GPT.

After signing up, you will need to name your AI agent and insert your final goal, as you can see from the screenshot below. We decided to name the agent John and ask him for help writing a love story novel about a soldier and a nurse during World War 2.

To start the process, you will need to click on Deploy Agent and the AI bot will start creating tasks and deploying new agents if needed to perform them all in order. Here’s how things went for us.

At first, Auto-GPT started creating additional tasks that will help us reach our final goal, like researching the historical context of WW2 and analyzing how soldiers and nurses interacted during that time, and proceeding with interviews of WW2 survivors.

Once the list of additional tasks has been created, it started completing them one by one.

It then created a new agent that would be responsible for conducting the interviews. While the process is not visible in this iteration of our efforts to write a book with Auto-GPT, in previous attempts the AI agent was unable to actually perform this task, but was quite helpful with providing us with details on how we can go about doing that ourselves. 

Then, it created a short outline of the book it was going to start writing, as you can see below.

The outline is interesting enough and seems like the starting point of a quite interesting story. 

It then proceeded to add more tasks.

Unfortunately, since this is a demo version of Auto-GPT, we were unable to actually see any tangible results. Auto-GPT works by connecting an API key from OpenAI to the platform because ChatGPT can be integrated into different applications for a certain cost depending on the complexity of the tasks. 

Through this API, each prompt and each answer will cost you a certain amount depending on the GPT model you decide to use with Auto-GPT. The problem with this is that Auto-GPT can keep adding tasks and performing them for quite a long time, which can end up costing you a fortune.

By continuously learning and trying to improve the process of helping you reach your final goal, it can create countless agents who will be instructed to perform certain tasks, and each step of the way will come with a cost.

So, writing a book with AutoGPT is not going to be free, and it might actually end up costing you a small fortune. There is no way of telling how long the process will run, how many tasks and subtasks the AI model is going to create, how many agents it will need, how many prompts, and whether the process will actually ever end, as the AI can create a continuous loop while trying to improve the result. 

While the tool is, without a doubt, quite an amazing achievement, it does come with some risks or drawbacks. The chances of getting it to write a book for cheap are quite slim, and you have no guarantee that the process will end the way you wish. If you use it for smaller tasks though, like coming up with book ideas, creating a marketing plan for publishing your work, or even doing insanely in-depth research on certain topics and presenting you with a compilation of the most important pieces of data, it can definitely be of great help in the process of writing a book.

Final Thoughts

So, can ChatGPT write a book? Well, it can and it can’t, depending on what your expectations are. The one thing you need to know is that it can be an amazing tool for you as a writer. Whether you’re struggling with naming a character or finding the right resolution for your plot, ChatGPT can definitely help. 

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