I used AI to write an eBook – The article below is one of a series of experiments we have been running using Chat GPT. We wanted to see if the current AI was up to the task of writing an e-book on an unknown subject. We chose our software, My5 KPIs, as the subject. The resulting e-book is now available on Amazon. We also included a ‘human’ written appendix to analyse the tools and processes we used and our thoughts about the output.

Our ‘human’ written appendix was then used as the basis for the following article. We thought getting the AI to mark its homework would be fun. Also, we asked Chat GPT to write informally, as if to a friend and in the first person. The results, we think, are… interesting!

Using AI to Write an eBook

I want to share the story of how I ventured into the world of AI to write an e-book. It’s like asking a smart friend for help, except this friend is a whiz-kid AI named ChatGPT. The mission was simple: create a guide that unwraps the My5 KPIs app—a handy tool that cuts through the clutter of business data and zeroes in on what’s key.

I had my doubts—could an AI really grasp the essence of ‘less is more’ and translate it into an insightful and easy-to-read book? It was a gamble, but I was all in. With a dash of curiosity and a sprinkle of tech-savvy enthusiasm, I dove in headfirst. Let me walk you through this journey that was as enlightening as it was unexpected.

Getting ChatGPT on Board

Alright, so before starting this e-book, I had to make sure my AI buddy, ChatGPT, knew what I was talking about. My5 KPIs isn’t your everyday topic; it’s about fine-tuning business metrics to the essentials. Thankfully, ChatGPT wasn’t clueless—it turns out it had already checked out the My5 KPIs website, which is chock-full of guides and info.

Picture this: you’re about to cook a fancy dish, and your friend has already prepped the ingredients. That’s kind of what it felt like. With a solid grasp of the app and the methodology, we were set for the next step: sketching a blueprint for the e-book. For example, when planning a road trip with stops along the way, we needed an outline that made sense. And that’s where things got interesting. Creating that roadmap took a few tries, tweaking our requests to ChatGPT until it hit the nail on the head with a solid outline.

AI as a Co-Author 

Getting down to the actual writing felt like teaming up with a new band member. Do you know the kind of person with talent who needs some direction? That’s ChatGPT for you. We had our outline mapped out, and it was time to fill in the blanks—chapter by chapter.

For each section, I’d send ChatGPT a detailed prompt, kind of like handing over a recipe to a chef and saying, “This is what I’m craving. Can you whip it up?” And sure enough, it got cooking. The catch, though? ChatGPT has this habit of keeping things short and sweet, around 450 words or so, and I needed it to stretch its legs up to 750 words without losing the plot.

It was a balancing act, asking for depth without tumbling into a sea of words just for the sake of it. We aimed for that Goldilocks zone—writing that was just right, hitting that sweet spot of being comprehensive yet concise enough to keep you hooked. The first chapter had a good rhythm, and we ended it on a cliffhanger, making sure you’d want to jump right into the next.

Beyond AI’s First Draft 

Having ChatGPT draft the chapters was like sketching the first outline of a painting — essential, but far from the finished piece. The real art came in the editing. After each AI-crafted chapter, I’d pull out the editor’s hat and get down to business with Grammarly, a tool that’s a bit like a proofreading wizard.

Imagine Grammarly as that friend who points out the spinach stuck in your teeth before a photo. It’s a lifesaver when you want your work to look spotless. I set the parameters to make sure we were speaking the correct language for our audience — business folks who appreciate a clear message without all the jargon. Grammarly kept us on track, making sure we were clear, correct, and coming across just right.

But, even with Grammarly’s keen eye, nothing beats a human once-over. The chapters needed a personal touch, a read-through to catch those quirky AI phrases that might sound off-key. I tweaked and tuned, cutting out the fluff until our e-book read like a smooth conversation, not an encyclopedia entry.

The process was like refining a recipe until it’s ready for the cookbook — a pinch of this, a dash of that, all to make the content as palatable as possible.

Repetition and Hyperbole

Now, working with AI isn’t all smooth sailing. It’s like having a super-smart parrot on your shoulder; sometimes, it echoes back bits you’ve already heard. Repetition? ChatGPT had a knack for that, and not the catchy chorus kind you enjoy on repeat. It would come back to the same points a bit too often. So, I had to be the diligent captain, steering the ship back on course, ensuring each chapter brought something new to the table.

And oh, the hyperbole — ChatGPT could get a tad overenthusiastic, like a salesperson going overboard with superlatives. It took some reining in to keep the language grounded and relatable. I had to sand down those overly polished phrases until they felt real and accessible, ensuring the e-book would resonate well with you, the reader, without the fluff or filler.

Keeping it real and fresh—that was the goal. After all, who wants to read the same thing over and over?

Efficiency vs. Authenticity 

Reflecting on the journey of co-writing with an AI, it’s a bit like using a GPS in a foreign city. It can guide you through unfamiliar streets with surprising efficiency, but it doesn’t entirely replace the nuanced understanding and spontaneous discoveries from knowing the place or asking locals. ChatGPT propelled us forward with admirable speed, transforming ideas into text faster than I imagined possible. Yet, this efficiency sometimes came at the cost of authenticity. This kind bubbles up in spontaneous conversations or through the meticulous choice of words only a human touch can achieve.

This experience peeled back the curtain on the current state of AI in creative tasks. It’s impressively capable, yes, but it operates within boundaries. Can it mimic the structure and form of insightful writing while capturing the soul? That’s a frontier it’s still learning to navigate. The balance between leveraging AI’s swift drafting ability and infusing the final output with genuine human insight became a dance of sorts—a dance between the possible and the authentic.

The insight here? AI is a powerful tool that can amplify our creative capabilities, but it’s our human experiences, reflections, and insights that breathe life into the words, making them resonate with readers on a personal level.

I used AI to write an eBook

As we pull back the curtain on this AI-assisted writing adventure, it’s clear that the journey to create Focus on What Truly Matters was as enlightening as it was challenging. Available now on Amazon, this e-book isn’t just a testament to the power of AI in streamlining the creative process; it’s a beacon for anyone looking to make sense of business data and focus on what genuinely drives success.

Writing this book with ChatGPT, akin to charting unknown waters with a new ally, reaffirmed one thing: the blend of AI efficiency with human authenticity is where true magic happens. It’s not about replacing the human touch but enhancing it, allowing us to reach new heights of creativity and insight.

So, as this chapter closes, another opens. May our e-book inspire you to explore the vast possibilities that lie at the intersection of technology and human ingenuity. Here’s to the many more stories we’ll tell, together with AI by our side.