Publishing in the Time of AI

In today’s Journal

* Quote of the Day
* Publishing in the Time of AI
* How One Writer Defined Publishing a Novel
* The Numbers

Quote of the Day

“Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash.” from a phote in Sam Turner’s Maytag Moments publication

Publishing in the Time of AI

It’s been awhile since I uploaded anything to either Draft2Digital or Amazon. Both platforms have changed their interface so they differ in some ways from the last time I published work to them, maybe a month or so ago.

So it took considerably longer than I expected. Plus I was in for an unpleasant surprise.

Yesterday, I took at least the early morning hours off from writing fiction so I could create covers and promo docs and publish four books in the Blackwell Ops series:

If you’d like to see the covers, these are the links to the book pages at StoneThread Publishing:

The buy links for Amazon and Books2Read universal links for everywhere else are available at the bottom of each page. You can see the entire series thus far at StoneThread

When I started the process to upload the fourth title to Amazon, a notice flashed that “The number of books that can be submitted for publishing has been exceeded by this account.”

I got the message the first time when I tried to add the book to the series. I got it a second time when I reached the bottom of the page and clicked Save Draft.

I can only hope they mean “for now” or “for today” and not for the foreseeable future or forever.

This is a new quirk (to me) in the Amazon upload process. Maybe a year or so ago, I had a backlog of six unpublished novels. I uploaded all six to Amazon on the same day with no problem.

I can only assume this is the result of AI scammers who automatically “generate” (not actually write) fiction, then upload it by the truckloads.

I appreciate Amazon beginning to crack down on them, but I am not pleased that I (and I assume others) have somehow become collateral damage.


During a live chat with an Amazon employee, I wrote,

“I am a prolific fiction writer. I do NOT use AI. I had a backlog of four unpublished novels and successfully uploaded three of them this morning. But when I tried to upload the fourth, I received the message, “The number of books that can be submitted for publishing has been exceeded by this account.” Does that just mean today or forever?”

The response:

“This is temporary only. I checked the account and I see few books in REVIEW status and in Publishing status. Please wait for the books to go LIVE, once it goes LIVE you can create and publish new books without any issues.

“The current title creation limit is 3 titles a day and we may adjust it if needed. You will be notified if you reach the limit and will have the option to seek an exception.”

Whew! Heart stoppage avoided. And now you are forewarned. I hope by the time you get this Journal, the Amazon link will be at the bottom of the page for Blackwell Ops 13 too.

All of that said, this was my own stupid fault for letting books pile up behind me. From now on, as soon as I apply feedback from my first reader I’ll publish the current novel to D2D and Amazon.

There y’go. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. (grin)

And now for my personal face-palm of the day.

How One Writer Defined Writing a Novel

in an article. An article that maybe hundreds or thousands of wannabe or early writers out there will see.

Why? Why do they spread the fertilizer this thick? Don’t they know it will kill their lawn?

“What it is: thousands of hours tapping away on a keyboard between swiping student IDs at the Sarah Lawrence gym, months of crippling doubt, dozens of rewrites, maddening rounds of edits, the culmination of years of dreaming and plotting condensed into a 300-page manuscript with which I’ve imbued the emotional vulnerability of a pubescent diary.” Corrinne Sullivan in “The Burden and Necessity of Genre” (stressed words are mine)

So did you get that? If you want to write a novel, you can look forward to

  • thousands of hours tapping away,
  • months of crippling doubt,
  • dozens of rewrites,
  • maddening rounds of edits, and
  • years of dreaming and plotting.

THIS. This is what I’m trying to save other writers from.

Because NONE OF IT is necessary.

I started laughing at “thousands of hours.” (grin) Ten bucks says the imprint of the author’s forearm is firmly implanted across her forehead.

Of course, I could have titled this short segment “What Buying Into the Myths Will Get You.”

As I read more, I visualized Dr. Smith in the original Lost in Space televisionseries: “Oh, the pain!”

But hey, per usual, you do whatever “works” for you. (grin)

Oh, you can read the rest of the article at The Millions if you want.

Talk with you again soon.

The Numbers

The Journal……………………………… 890

Ugh. I hate that I didn’t manage to write any fiction yesterday. One more day down the drain.

Writing of

Day 1…… XXXX words. To date…… XXXXX

Fiction for November…………………… 17508
Fiction for 2023………………………… 336152
Fiction since August 1………………… 221592
Nonfiction for November……………… 6530
Nonfiction for the year……………… 234420
Annual consumable words………… 567065

2023 Novels to Date……………………… 7
2023 Novellas to Date…………………… 0
2023 Short Stories to Date……………… 7
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………… 78
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)…………… 9
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)…… 235
Short story collections…………………… 31

Help keep the Journal going with either a one-time or a recurring monthly donation via debit or credit card or PayPal.You can also press the Share button at the end of this post (on Substack). Thank you!

Disclaimer: I am a prolific professional fiction writer. On this blog I teach Writing Into the Dark and adherence to Heinlein’s Rules. Unreasoning fear and the myths of writing will slow your progress as a writer or stop you cold. I will never teach the myths on this blog.

2 thoughts on “Publishing in the Time of AI”

  1. Hello!

    I heard that Amazon limits the number of books per day you can upload, but I didn’t know the maximum number. It is sad that because of AI the prolific authors can be hurt, too.

    For yesterday’s topic: I read one of Dean’s posts recently which was that you should question yourself about what would happen if things go on like this? Would I be happy with what I’ve done? And it is never too early, never too late, it reminded me of that question. I’m a slow writer yet, but yesterday I did the math. If I write only 10 minutes per day, six days a week, for a year, it would mean a whole novel written. So I just should write a little more and…

    Today’s post is the same. Thousands of hours for the same little novel? Just doesn’t sound like it’s worth it. Thousands of hours of suffering would make everyone crazy. I enjoy my time writing and that’s what counts: if thousands of hours, then I write happily. Just as happily if it lasts only 50-80 hours.

    Then I would repeat.

    Why does everyone want to suffer writing their novels?

    • “Why does everyone want to suffer writing their novels?”

      Because it makes them feel important. They feel like “writer” is an elevated calling of some kind instead of just what we do.

Comments are closed.