content creation

How to Use AI to Write a Book: The ultimate guide for 2024

By Nico
March 12, 2024
16 min read

So, you want to learn how to use AI to write a book but you're not sure where to start?

If you were asking yourself "Can I use AI to help me write a book?", the answer is yes, you can! And it's not as complicated as you might think.

I asked Talknotes users who use it to help them write books their best tips for using AI to write. This article compiles their best tips and my experience of using artificial intelligence to write, for over a year, as well as the limitations of AI.

So let's see how you can use it to work more efficiently.

Why use AI to help you write a book

Before diving into the "how", let's see the "why" you should use artificial intelligence to write a book.

If you're already convinced, feel free to skip to the next section!

Else, here are 4 good reasons:

1. AI is really good at organizing ideas:

If you've got lots of thoughts & concepts floating around in your head, AI can help you organize them. It can take unstructured ideas and thoughts, and arrange them into a logical, coherent structure that actually flows.

2. It can help you redact faster:

Staring at a blank page can be scary. But with AI, you can take your raw notes and ideas and have them transformed into polished, readable text in a fraction of the time it would take to do it manually.

3. It can help you avoid writer's block:

We've all been there - stuck on a particular section or chapter, not able to find the right words. AI can help jumpstart your writing by suggesting alternative phrases, plotlines, or even entire paragraphs. It's like having a writing buddy who's always ready to bounce ideas around with you.

4. It can help you generate illustrations and other visual content:

Writing a book isn't just about the words. Depending on your genre and target audience, you might need illustrations, diagrams, or other visual aids. And guess what? There are AI tools that can generate those for you too!

I hope this already help you see why using AI to write a book can be a good idea. Now, let's dive into what you're here for: how to actually use AI to write a book, step by step.

The Step-by-Step Process

Keep in mind that this is a high-level overview of the process and you're free to adapt the process to your own needs. Yes, it's pretty similar to writing a book... without AI. As you will see, AI just helps you to do it faster and more efficiently.

Oh and, this is just what worked for me and the people I interviewed. Feel free to experiment and find what works best for you šŸ˜‰

1. Brainstorming Ideas & concepts

The first step is to make a list of anything you want to mention at some point in your book. Open your best text editor or a brainstorming app like Milanote and start writing down everything that comes to your mind.

Don't worry about the structure or the order of the ideas, we're not at this step yet. The goal is to have everything written down so you don't forget anything.

For example:

  • If you're writing a non-fiction book about productivity, and you want to mention the importance of sleep somewhere in the book, write it down here.
  • If you're writing fiction and you want a specific situation to happen to a character at some point in the story, write it down here.

If you find it easier to talk than to write, you can use an app like Talknotes to record yourself rambling and then transcribe them into a list.

Oh, and it's also a good time to define the tone and the audience of your book. You will need it later to give proper instructions to the AI.


Show prompt
Brainstorming for a book

In short:

  • Write down all your ideas
  • Define the tone and the audience of your book
  • Record yourself thinking loud if it's easier for you to talk than to write

2. Creating a Structure

Once you've got all your ideas down, it's time to let the AI organize them and create a rough outline or plan for your book

This is an essential part of the process, because AI have limited memory (what we call "context size"), and will only be able to write a limited amount of words at the same time.

So, to make things easier, we will ask it to break down your chapters into 5 to 10 smaller section per chapter.

For example:

  • If you're writing non-fiction, break each chapter down into 5-10 main points you want to cover.
  • If you're writing fiction, break your story down into 5-10 key scenes or plot points.

This is where AI tools like ChatGPT or Google Gemini can really shine. Feed them your brainstormed ideas and let them help you organize everything into a coherent structure.

They'll take your messy thoughts and transform them into a logical flow.

This way, the AI can focus on writing one chunk at a time in the next step, rather than getting overwhelmed by the entire project.

You might want to try this step a few times for each part of your plan until you find something you like. I will come back to that below, but remember that working with AI is an iterrative process.


Show prompt
Structuring the brainstorming into paragraphs
Show prompt
Brainstorming for more ideas

In short:

  • Write down all your ideas
  • Use AI to help you organize them into a coherent structure
  • Divide the book into chapters, and each chapter into 5 to 10 sections

3. Redacting and Refining

Alright, so you've now got your structure and your brain dump. It's time to let the AI do the hard work and start redacting your content.

Take the section and feed it to your AI tool, with the raw information you want to include. Ask the AI to turn your notes into a compelling story, a fascinating case study, or whatever fits your book's style.

Then you will need to repeat this for each section of your book.

Once the AI write its redacted version, take some time to tweak and adjust the content to match your style. Fix any typos or errors, and make sure everything flows smoothly.

But remember, AI is just a tool ā€“ it's not going to perfectly capture your unique writing voice right off the bat. If you can provide some examples of your writing style, it will be way easier to write with your style.

āž”ļø More on that below in the "Giving Proper Instructions" section.

The goal here is to use the AI's output as a starting point, not a finished product. It's up to you to mold it into something that truly represents your vision for the book.


Show prompt
Turn brainstorming into redacted content:

In short:

  • Use AI to turn your plan into redacted content
  • Tweak and adjust the content to match your style

4. Editing, Trimming and Proofreading

You've redacted each part of your book with the help of AI. Now it's time for some good old-fashioned editing.

Go through each section and trim out any unnecessary details or fluff. If something doesn't directly contribute to your story or main points, give it the axe.

In his book "On writing", Stephen King recommend to cut down your first draft by 10% to remove the "puff".

This is no exception. Go trough each part, and ask the AI to suggets the parts that aren't that important to the story. Keep in mind the word suggest. Since AI doesnt have the full context of your book, only you can decide if something is actually important for the story or not.

And while you're at it, take a look at your sentences. Are they clear and easy to understand? If not, simplify them. Remember, you want your book to be enjoyable and accessible for your target audience.

The key here is to make sure your readers don't get bored and loose the flow of the story. So don't be afraid to ruthlessly cut out anything that doesn't serve that goal.


Show prompt
Identifying and removing non-essential parts
Show prompt
Simplifying complex sentences

In short:

  • Aim to cut down your first draft by 10%
  • Use AI to simplify sentences and remove parts without breaking the context

5. Asking for Feedback

Ask friends, family, and even strangers (if you're feeling brave) to read through your work and give their honest opinions. But don't just ask for general feedback - be specific!

For example, you could say something like, "I'm worried that the pacing in Chapter 3 is a bit slow. What do you think?" or "Does the dialogue in this scene feel authentic to you?"

Once you've gathered all this valuable feedback, it's time to let the AI do its magic again. Add those specific parts of your book, along with the corresponding feedback, back into your AI tool. Then, ask it to generate multiple variations of that section, incorporating the suggestions you received.

This way, you can see a range of possibilities and choose the one that resonates most with your vision for the book.


Show prompt
Suggest variations
Show prompt
Turn brainstorming into redacted content:

In short:

  • Ask friends and people you know for feedback
  • Ask for feedback about specific parts of the book
  • Put those parts in the AI with the feedback, and ask it to generate multiple variations using the feedback

6. Formating

You've got the words down, but a book is more than just text. It's time to think about the visual elements that will bring your story to life.

If your book could benefit from some illustrations or diagrams, consider using AI tools like Midjourney or Dall-E to generate them. These tools can create stunning visuals based on your text descriptions.

Even seemingly small details like font choice can have a big impact on your book's overall feel. If you're unsure what font to use, ask your AI tool for suggestions based on your book's genre and tone.

And don't forget about the cover! Your book's cover is often the first thing potential readers will see, so it's crucial to make a good impression. Use AI to help brainstorm cover concepts and generate visual ideas. Just remember, AI is better at generating images than text at this point (March 2024), so it's best to add any necessary text to the cover manually after the AI has helped with the overall concept and visuals.


Show prompt
Generate illustrations
Show prompt
Book cover concept

In short:

  • If relevant, generate pictures using AI tools
  • Use the AI to help you choose the font
  • Use AI to help you with the cover concept.

7. Publishing

Congratulations, you've written a book! But your work isn't over yet. If you're self-publishing, you'll need to think about how to get your book into the hands of eager readers.

This is where AI can help with the often daunting task of marketing. Ask your AI tool to generate ideas for places and ways you can promote your book. Maybe it will suggest relevant online communities where you can share excerpts, or social media strategies to build buzz.

Remember, AI is a tool to help generate ideas and content, but it's up to you to put in the work of actually reaching out and connecting with potential readers.

And there you have it! You've taken your book from a collection of ideas to a published reality, all with the help of artificial intelligence. Pat yourself on the back - you've just entered the future of writing!


Show prompt
Suggest marketing strategies
Show prompt
Suggest online communities

In short:

  • If you self-publish, you need to do marketing for your book
  • Ask AI to give ideas of strategies and places can talk about your book

Tips to get the best results

Prompting & Instructions

Here's the thing about AI ā€“ If you write bad instructions (called "prompts"), you will get bad results. If you want the AI to generate killer content for your book, you need to master the art of prompting.

Be crystal clear about the tone, audience, and context of your book when giving instructions to the AI. The more specific you are, the better the results will be.

For example:

  • Instead of just saying "write a chapter about productivity," try something like: "Write a chapter about the importance of sleep for productivity, aimed at busy professionals in their 30s. Write like if you were talking to a friend, and include practical tips they can implement right away."
  • For fiction, you might say something like: "Write a scene where the main character confronts their long-lost sibling. The tone should be tense and emotional, with hints of underlying resentment and love. Show the character's internal thoughts and feelings throughout the interaction."

Giving examples

It also helps to provide examples and context to guide the AI in the right direction. If you've got a particular writing style you like, show the AI some samples. The more it understands what you're going for, the closer it'll get to nailing that tone and vibe.

If you already have a few chapters written, you can use them as examples to show the AI what you're looking for. It will help it to understand your style and write more like you.

AI is an iterrative process

I mentioned it already, but working with AI-generated content is an iterrative process. Don't expect perfection right out of the gate. Instead, you usually need to ask the same instructions a couple of times and pick the best from each generation.

If the results aren't quite hitting the mark even after a few tries, you might want to tweak your prompt to steer the AI in the right direction. It might take a few rounds of back-and-forth, but eventually, you'll land on something that works.

Pro tip: Keep the prompts that work well for you in a document, so you can refer back to them later or use them as a starting point for future projects.

The Best AI Tools You Can Use to Write Your Book

There are tons of AI tools out there that can help with various aspects of the writing process. Some specialize in generating ideas, others focus on content organization, redacting, editing, or even creating illustrations.

Here are a few of the best AI tools for writing a book:

  • Talknotes: This is a great tool to help you brainstorm and organize your ideas. You can use it to record your thoughts and then transcribe them into a list, or summaries which can be a great starting point for your book.
  • ChatGPT: This is arguably the most well-known AI writing tool, and for good reason. It's incredibly versatile and can help with everything from brainstorming to redacting to editing. It can even generate images now! Plus, its chat-like interface makes it easy to use, even if you're not super tech-savvy.
  • Google Gemini: While not as well-known as ChatGPT, Google's AI writing tool is still a powerful option. It's particularly good at understanding context and generating content that fits a specific style or tone.
  • Jasper AI: Formerly known as Conversion AI, this tool is great for generating marketing-style content. If you're writing a non-fiction book and want to sprinkle in some persuasive or sales-oriented language, Jasper can help with that.
  • Midjourney: This tool is perfect for generating illustrations and visual content based on your descriptions. If you're writing a book that could benefit from some visual aids, Midjourney is a great option.

Now, here's a tip: 90% of online AI tools are actually powered by ChatGPT under the hood. So if you really want to have full control over the results, it's worth learning how to use ChatGPT directly.

That way, you can fine-tune your prompts and get exactly what you need without any extra fluff or features you don't want.

Limitations of Using AI for Your Book

While AI can be an incredible asset in the book-writing process, it's not a magic solution to all your problems.

Sure, it can help you redact faster and bust through writer's block, but at the end of the day, it's still just a tool. It's not going to spit out a perfect, fully-formed book without any effort on your part. You'll still need to put in the work to brainstorm, structure, and refine your ideas.

Lack of "Human Touch"

AI tends to struggle with creating truly engaging, human-like content, especially when it comes to things like humor and emotion.

It can gives you propoer sentences all day long, but capturing those nuanced elements that make a book really resonate with readers? That's still firmly in the domain of us meat-based writers.

For example:

  • AI is terrible at generating jokes or humor. It can give you a punchline, but it won't be able to capture the timing and delivery that makes a joke really land.
  • It can describe a character's feelings, but it might lack the depth and subtlety of a skilled novelist's prose.
  • It can help you structure your ideas, but it won't be able to capture the unique voice and personality that makes your writing truly yours.
  • It can help you generate illustrations, but it won't be able to capture the unique style and flair of a human artist.

That's just a few examples, but you got the idea: AI can be a great starting point, but it's not a replacement for the human touch.

And people don't buy books to read something that feels like it was written by a robot - they want to connect with the human behind the words (or unique characters and stories, if you do fiction).

AI hallucinations

AI often tell things that are not factual. If you're writing fiction it's no issue, but if you're not, ALWAYS double-check the infos AI gives you.

One more thing to watch out for: potential copyright issues šŸ˜¬

AI models are trained on massive quantities of existing content. It means there's always a chance that some of the generated text might be a little too "inspired" by copyrighted material.

So always give your AI-generated stuff a once-over to make sure you're not accidentally treading on any legal toes.

A good start is to run a plagiarism check to see if the AI-generated content is too similar to existing works. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Here are some free tools you can use to check for plagiarism:


And there you have it - a crash course in using AI to write your book in 2024.

So, as a final recap, the process to write a book using AI goes something like this:

  1. Brainstorm your ideas
  2. Use AI to help structure and organize them
  3. Redact and refine each section with the help of AI
  4. Edit and trim things down to create a compelling, readable final product
  5. Ask for feedback and use AI to generate variations based on that feedback
  6. Use AI to help with formatting and visual elements
  7. And finally, use AI to help with marketing and getting your book out into the world

The key takeaways? AI can be an incredible time-saver and can help make the writing process a whole lot smoother - but it's not a replacement for good old-fashioned human effort and creativity.

Think of it like upgrading from a typewriter to a computer - it's a game-changer, but you still have to put in the work.

To get the most out of AI, remember to provide clear, specific instructions and be prepared for some trial and error along the way. The more you put into it, the more you'll get out of it.

But perhaps most importantly, don't forget to have fun with it!

Writing a book is a huge accomplishment, and with the help of AI, it's more accessible than ever. So go forth and write that masterpiece - and don't be afraid to let your AI buddy lend a hand along the way šŸ˜

Happy writing!

Share on:
Photo of Nico

Article by


Nico is the founder of Talknotes. He is an entrepreneur with 7 years of experience, and love sharing what he learns along the way.

Turn messy thoughts into actionable notes
Who still need a keyboard in the AI era? Just speak, and let the AI transcribe, clean up and structure your voice. Create clean transcripts, blog posts, video scripts & more. And it works in 50+ languages!