How to Use AI to Research Your Business Book

How to Use AI

As a small business owner, wearing multiple hats isn't just a necessity—it's the norm. As a CEO, marketing guru, customer service rep, and often the heart and soul of your business, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and time-poor. The pressure to consistently produce top-quality work, especially in areas like book publishing, can be immense.

AI has emerged, and many predict it will be a game-changer for entrepreneurs. Still, when I chat with fellow small business owners and authors, they are cautious about using it and the long-term implications. Their experience hasn't been great, and they have been led to believe that putting in a quick prompt will yield great results. But the saying ‘crap in, crap out’ counts for how you use AI.

As an entrepreneur, you want to stand out in your market; your customers want to like, know and trust you. This personal connection is even more important in the time of AI driven content and writing and sharing your story is one great way of doing this. However, navigating the path of self-publishing and content creation as a small business owner often feels like you are up the creek without a paddle.

I get it.  As a small business owner I wear many hats, often finishing the day with more things on the to do list than I started with. Amidst the pile of responsibilities, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when venturing into something new like book research and writing.

But what if I told you there's a help at hand to guide you through? A new team member to do the research and some of the heavy lifting; meet AI, and it's not just any team member – it's your co-pilot in the journey of bringing your book idea to life.

The Power of AI in Demystifying Book Research

I’m in the process of revising my book The Entrepreneurs' Guide to Self-Publishing. The first edition was published in 2017, and a lot has changed in the world of self-publishing since this time.

One chapter that particularly stands out is where I delve into the world of AI. My interaction with ChatGPT – aka Chatty – has been nothing short of revelatory. It's like having a research assistant who's available 24/7, ready to answer my queries, suggest resources, and even help me understand the complexities of AI itself. I've used Chatty to research how authors can use AI to research topic ideas, different tools available and how this relates to non-fiction business authors.

Before writing a single word, understanding the market is crucial.

Tools like BuzzSumo reveal trending topics, while SEMrush offers a peek into what competitors are up to, but they both charge subscription fees.

ChatGPT, with its vast knowledge base, can help you narrow down your niche, ensuring your book fills a gap and resonates with readers.

Validating Your Book Idea with AI

Your book idea might feel revolutionary, but does it have a market?

Using Google Trends alongside ChatGPT can help validate your concept, providing data on search volumes and related queries. This step ensures your book has a ready audience eager for its release.

They can help you with:

  • Identify Trends: Understand what's current, what's fading, and what the next big thing might be in your industry.
  • Analyse Competitors: Get insights into what others have written, identifying gaps you can fill.
  • Gather Data: Compile statistics, facts, and figures that lend credibility to your work.

Using myself as an example, Chatty enabled me to gauge the interest in AI among entrepreneurs, helping me decide to include a dedicated chapter on it in my book revision.

Planning Your Book with AI

With a sea of information at your disposal, the next challenge is organisation.

AI can transform this chaotic influx into a structured outline for your book. Tools like Scrivener, integrated with AI capabilities, can help you outline chapters, organise notes, and keep track of references. It’s like having a meticulous planner who’s always one step ahead, ensuring your book's foundation is solid and coherent.

You can also use Trello or Asana to create a visual board of your chapters, and this organised approach helps ensure a solid foundation for your book and can give you inspiration on what to write next.

Ethical Creativity

The notion of using AI in writing often raises eyebrows. "Am I cheating?" you might wonder.

Let me reassure you that leveraging AI in your writing process is not about replacing your unique voice; it's about amplifying it. The key is to use AI-generated content as a springboard for your creativity. In revising my book, I utilised AI to generate initial drafts on complex topics.

Each draft was a conversation starter, a way to spark new ideas that I could expand upon, ensuring the final output was infused with my personal insights and experiences. When utilising AI for research, it is paramount that you consider Fair Use guidelines and copyright rules. I am not suggesting that you write a book using AI for one minute but that you use the content to take away staring at the blank page.

The Human Touch in AI Collaboration

Despite the efficiency of AI, the irreplaceable element in your book is you – your stories, your voice, your vision.

AI tools, no matter how advanced, cannot replicate the depth of human emotion and connection. Your role is to guide AI, infuse AI-generated content with your style, and ensure the authenticity of your message shines through. Your people will know if you have copied and pasted directly from Chatty; remember, people are searching for human connection.

My Journey with AI

As a small business owner and author revising The Entrepreneurs' Guide to Self-Publishing, I faced the dual challenge of ensuring the content was both insightful and current.

Incorporating AI into my research and writing process was a game-changer. It allowed me to explore the potential of AI in publishing, offering readers practical advice on leveraging this technology. More importantly, it reminded me of the importance of marrying innovation with authenticity. My journey exemplifies how AI can be a powerful ally, not just in research and writing, but in navigating the ever-evolving landscape of self-publishing.

Embracing AI in Authorship

As you embark on or continue your journey in writing and self-publishing, remember that AI is here to serve as your co-pilot, your research partner, and your brainstorming assistant. It’s a testament to the times we live in – where technology empowers creativity, making the once daunting task of book research and writing an adventure of discovery and innovation.

As an entrepreneur and aspiring author, I encourage you to view AI not with apprehension, but with optimism. It can be the tool that helps you carve out space for creativity, deep work, and the authentic expression of your ideas.

As you start to research the complexities of self-publishing, remember that AI can be your next team member ready to assist you at any time of the day and night. Helping to take away the overwhelm that can come with staring at a blank page.

When you are looking for the human touch, please reach out and share your book ideas with me, and if you would like to learn more about the release of my updated book, sign up for the mailing list here.

For more details on the ins and outs of self-publishing, download my free Self-Publishing Guide here.

Until next time, have fun playing with Chatty, and happy writing.