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Episode 4 – Exploring the Evolution of AI with Melle Amade Melkumian


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Melle Amade Melkumian: A Pioneer at the Intersection of AI and Writing

Melle Amade Author:
AI Publishing Formula Podcast:

Melle Amade, an accomplished author and technologist, shares her unique journey into the realms of AI and publishing. Her rich background in technology and marketing, combined with her success as a fantasy romance author, positions her ideally to discuss the nuances of AI’s impact on the industry. Delving into her experience, Melle chronicles her awe-inspiring introduction to generative AI and its capabilities, proving that the fusion of technology and creativity is not just possible, but highly advantageous for authors.

AI4CES: Transforming Publishing Landscapes

One of the episode’s highlights includes an in-depth look at AI4CES, the initiative co-founded by Amade and Jamie Culican. This venture is dedicated to leveraging AI for the indie author community, paving the way for revolutionary changes in how authors approach writing, marketing, and selling their works. The discussions also touch on AI’s potential to streamline operations, enhance marketing strategies, and precisely identify target audiences, thereby enabling authors to craft more impactful and resonant stories.

Personal Processes and AI Integration

The podcast takes a personal turn as each speaker reveals their individual processes for integrating AI into their writing and business operations. From utilizing AI for dictation and editing to leveraging it for world-building and marketing plans, the conversation illuminates the versatile applications of AI in enhancing workflow and creativity. The personal anecdotes serve as testament to the flexibility of AI as a tool, adaptable to each author’s unique needs and preferences.

Looking Ahead: The Future of AI in Publishing

As the episode concludes, the implications of AI in publishing are explored with an eye toward the future. Whether it’s the potential competition from AI-generated texts or the broader application of AI in operational areas of the business, the conversation reflects on how authors can adapt to and benefit from these emerging trends. Emphasizing brand building and reader engagement, the discussion underscores the importance of creating a strong, unique voice in an increasingly AI-integrated world.

Final Thoughts

This episode not only highlights the exciting intersection of AI and authorship but also serves as a clarion call for creative and business professionals in the publishing industry to embrace and adapt to technological innovations. Through insightful dialogue and shared experiences, the episode showcases the potential of AI to revolutionize the publishing landscape, making it a must-listen for anyone involved in the craft and business of writing.

Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to Brave New Bookshelf, a podcast that explores the fascinating intersection of AI and authorship. Join hosts, Steph Pajonas and Danica Favorite, as they dive into thought provoking discussions, debunk myths, and highlight the transformative role of AI in the publishing industry.

Steph Pajonas: Hi everybody. This is the Brave New Bookshelf and we’re here to talk about more AI in publishing. Once again, I’m Steph Pajonas. I am the COO, CTO of Future Fiction Academy and I am also an author of Science Fiction Romance and Space Opera Romance. I have my lovely co host here with me today and we also have a guest but I’m going to introduce Danica.


Danica Favorite: I’m Danica favorite and I’m the community manager at Publish Drive. And I am like Steph also an author. And so we are very excited today to be here with our fourth episode and [00:01:00] finally starting some guest insights and hopefully something that you can all take away something really valuable.

Steph Pajonas: Yeah, we’re so excited to finally be having some guests on here instead of just me and Danica talking all the time. But I wanted to mention a few housekeeping issues. I wanted to mention first of all that we are on YouTube. You can find us at youtube. com slash at. Brave New Bookshelf.

It’s just like the title of the podcast. So you can find us there if you want to watch us on video instead. We’re also on all the major podcast apps by this time. Took a couple of weeks for them to all propagate and get us on there, but we should be on there by this episode at the very least, and we have the website.

It’s all up and running. That’s also at brave new bookshelf. com. And each one of the episodes that we publish, we have on the website with some major points pulled out of the episode and then a full transcript too. So if we say something in this episode where you’re like, Oh, [00:02:00] that sounded really interesting.

I can’t remember, what it was, but Steph was talking about such and such. You can go to the website and you can go to the transcript and search it and find whatever it was we were talking about. So we have a guest here today. Her name is Melle Amade and she is here to talk to us. I’m going to let her introduce herself and tell us how she came into AI and publishing and all that good stuff, because we’ve been in this business for a little bit together and I’m excited for you guys to hear from her.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Thanks, Steph. first of all, Steph and Danica, thank you so much for inviting me to talk on Brave New Bookshelf. I’m really excited. I think that there have been a lot of transitions in our industry, and as indie publishers and indie authors, we’re seeing the old guard of the last, let’s say, five to eight years are starting to transition away supporting authors and away helping them to really move into the AI era, which is [00:03:00] absolutely what we’re on. So seeing your organizations come together to create Brave New Bookshelf is fantastic. So I’m really excited to watch the growth of your podcast. My name is Melle Amade. I publish under the name Melle Amade. I have been publishing since 2016. I write fantasy romance and within fantasy romance, I skip around a little bit, which is not a good marketing tactic.

Just want to be clear about that. I also have been a technology marketing director. For about 25 years working at like Hewlett Packard, Northrop Grumman and NASA. It’s been an amazing career. I love it. When generative AI came out, I was always already working with companies that used machine learning and you, you use that when you’re flying things to Mars and the when generative AI became public and I was, I remember on, I was on a business trip to Miami, which was awesome. And one of my colleagues leaned over and pulls out [00:04:00] his is look at this. And he shows me, and I don’t think my jaw picked up off the floor. So anyhow, that sort of kicked me off into AI and I started exploring what it is for publishing.

Danica Favorite: That’s awesome. So one of the things that I did want to pull out of there just because I know that this is something you do with your partner Jamie, tell us about your AI business, because you also do have an AI business that I think has a lot of really cool things that you guys are doing.

And I’d love for you to be able to share that with our audience as well.

Melle Amade Melkumian: So Jamie Culican is a seven figure author who made her name publishing middle grade fiction. So show me an author that can make seven figures in middle grade fantasy fiction. It’s pretty impressive. She and I started publishing within two months of each other. I was publishing YA fantasy.

She did dragons. I did bird shifters [00:05:00] You know, so it’s because Steph, I’m a lot like you, I’m like, bird shifter sound cool, and it did well, I’m proud of that series. And it taught me a lot about publishing, it wasn’t, getting seven figures and scholastic contracts and things So Jamie and I became really close and, I have to tell you, I have a… we started talking because of my market experience, and I also have a design from London. I’ve also got a filmmaking degree. So there’s a lot of capabilities that I have that. work to support a lot of what publishing has become.

So besides just books, I also had these other skills. So Jamie and I were talking and we were like, how can we help support the indie author community? And we were thinking and thinking, and then Generative AI came out and I called her up and I said, Jamie, We might not be very popular, but I think this is really important to teach.

And that was [00:06:00] the instigation for AI4CES, which is the parent company that today services corporations, education, and our beloved authors, which is really, it’s not just like what we love to do. It’s the community we love to hang out with.

And so we started publishing a podcast called AI Publishing Formula, and it’s really conversations between Jamie and I. About how do you make seven figures in publishing and how is AI going to revolutionize and change everything we do in business. And I’ll end on this. We have a huge mission, which is to help authors understand that their publishing is a business and that every business in the world.

And I work with lot of not every business in the world, but I work in a lot of corporate environments and they are bringing AI in to [00:07:00] transform, not just their marketing, not just their sales, but their operations, their HR departments, they’re bringing AI, where can we bring this into our workflows to create more efficient organizations, more streamlined, more aware of our competition, More aware of our competencies and how do we fill the gap in the marketplace so that we can really have a flourishing business.

I ran my own marketing firm for a decade and I was always working with small business owners, trying to help them get better at marketing and sales and AI is like going to up level. Our capabilities as a solopreneur in ways that we haven’t seen since the internet came out.

So now I’ll get off my little hyper soapbox.

Danica Favorite: I love that. The thing that struck me when you first started talking about the idea of generative AI and that you’ve been doing the AI thing for years and that. That’s what’s plotting trips to the moon and Mars. I like, I don’t think people [00:08:00] realize how pervasive it is in our society.

And so I am so glad that we have you and we have you sharing not just this author perspective, but it really is a global perspective. And so I’m thankful for you. And I’ll be honest I’ll be listening to your podcast as well. And I hope our listeners do because as an author who has not hit seven figures yet, I’m like, I’m here for that.

I am here to win all the prizes!

Steph Pajonas: The name of the podcast is AI Publishing Formula, right? So tell us a little bit about what you’ll be talking about on that podcast.

Melle Amade Melkumian: So marketing is comprised of four steps, four fundamental steps, and it’s know your audience, craft your message. Deliver your message, review and adjust based on your results.

Okay, so those four steps are the constant that people that a lot of authors aren’t doing, they will craft their message and [00:09:00] deliver it. And then they’re like, there’s crickets, but it’s often because they haven’t identified their reader yet. We take these various processes, and we tell you exactly where AI is going to plug in.

And a question coming up, so I’m going to hijack it. But one of the things that we’re really avid on is Chat GPT. Now in the podcast, we’re going to look at a lot of these things. Different tools that come out Because I lived and worked in technology in Silicon Valley when Dot Com era happened and when it died. And the good thing was, is I worked for a software development firm that was developing CAD engineering. And so we didn’t have the burn of the Dot Com, but what happened at that time was venture capitalists were coming into the market and everybody in their dog that had million in the bank, we’re going like, Hey, I’m going to 5 million here and 10 million there, and we’re going to invest because Dot Com is it, and they lost their [00:10:00] pants, right?

Not everybody did, but a lot of people did. So fast forward to today and we’ve got AI and the same gold rush is happening in AI. So a lot of my friends, they’re starting up AI companies and I mean like in Silicon Valley where they’re getting VC rounds of 10 million, 20 million dollars to start their software applications.

And it’s amazing. And they’re building these boards of directors that are made up of some of us, I wouldn’t even say luminaries in the known business world, but definitely niche luminaries in certain fields, I work a lot in aerospace. So I tend to know that field really well, but I’ve got a pretty broad spectrum.

The point I’m getting at is that as we see these new AI tools come out. Yes, I’m interested in them. Yes, I’m curious, but I’m [00:11:00] actually more curious about who’s funding it, how they’re funding it, how long I think the tail is going to be on that niche in the marketplace, how many competitors have entered that field.

And which companies seem the most stable and are getting market share. So it feels like it’s a long way from publishing an AI, but it’s not because I guarantee you the products that are coming out now to probably at least the next two years, More than half of those will crash and burn and they’ll crash and burn based on these metrics that I’ve just given you.

And so when you’re looking at a new tool, it’s not, is this solving my problem right now? It’s how well hooked up is this company for longevity. And, is it going to make a difference in the marketplace? So is it worth my effort and energy to [00:12:00] invest my time? Cause I don’t know about you ladies, but I’ve got two kids, three cats, I work with a business. I work in writing There’s so much going on given any given day. That I don’t have time to investigate the 200 new products coming up.

So weaving it back to our podcast, we will be looking at the industries around certain things. Like we’ll look at the AI editing software as a whole and say, okay, what’s this industry doing?

What are the key players? Which one? And yeah, I’m going to give you my opinion. I’m going to tell you what I use. there’s good, but at the same time, to, we’re going to analyze the marketplace also.

Danica Favorite: Yeah, I really love that I was just thinking as Steph and I also, while Steph is the group owner, and I’m one of her moderators Of the AI for Authors group and we get questions every day. What about this tool? What about this tool? What about this tool? And I love the perspective you’re coming from because I think that’s exactly where Steph and I come from [00:13:00] as well.

I probably shouldn’t answer for Steph, but she and I’ve had enough conversations that we talk about this a lot. I’m glad you’re talking about that.

Steph Pajonas: Yeah, I was going to say that like your viewpoint on this, about looking at the entire industry is so correct. I just recently did an interview with somebody who wanted to talk to people who are early adopters of technology, like all kinds of technology. Like I got the iPhone when it first came out, like I’ve always been an early adopter of technology and it’s no different here when it comes to AI. But I decided to really go for it with AI, like really come into it because I saw how pervasive it was in almost every other industry besides publishing, right? It’s now in all these tech tools. It’s, like even insurance companies are adopting it on the back end. Everybody is using these tools now. And I can see that it will be beneficial to publishing. And so [00:14:00] once I saw that it was putting its fingers into every single industry, that it was going to be important for me too. And since I’m already an early adopter, it was very natural for me to just go in there and pick it up and start running with it.

Melle Amade Melkumian: What you made me of is, so I have a 13 year old and a 14 year old. And so with the 14 year old, we’re like, okay, what are you going to your life? And I’m like, Yeah. AI programmer, and then do a business MBA and he’s yeah, I just like playing basketball.

And I’ve been listening to him and they do a sports medicine track at his high school that he’s going to be going And and I’m doing physical therapy right now and so I started looking at that and I mentioned it to my husband.

I was like, I don’t. We want to encourage him towards sports medicine, maybe. And my husband was like, that’s a job that won’t be lost to AI. I was like, Oh AI is going to be involved in this industry, blah, blah, blah. And he’s no, there’s going to be a [00:15:00] human touching another human. to help stretch that shoulder back and rotate whatever needs to be rotated.

And maybe one day in 20 years, they’ll have robots that people feel comfortable enough grabbing their arm and pulling it back in the socket. But for now, it’s very much a human touch environment and a human intuition when they’re working with the body.

You know, I’m always like, every business needs to know marketing that you think you’re in massage therapy. You’re in sales and marketing. You think you’re an author. You’re in sales and marketing.

Now I’m doing the other pitch was just like. You’re going to need AI. You’re a solo business owner. You’re going to need AI. It’s going to help you. AI and sales and marketing, it’s talked about a lot. And it’s why I quit my job to work on AI4CES, work specifically in AI because AI, it won’t take over sales and marketing.

It’s still going to need human intelligence and strategy and understanding the [00:16:00] customer. You’re going to run it through a human brain, but it’s taken up so much of the dead end work that we had done.

What is not as highly discussed is how business management, how operations will deliver efficiency, how I can take the engineers that are pulled away from their value product development, and they’re put onto a business development effort to help come up with a new solution for a new client of theirs, and how they’re spending their time looking up old tech papers or looking at the latest research or pulling up proposals that were written by the company before, and instead of developing new technology, they’re basically being a librarian and trying to find old data so that they can craft a business development technical paper so they can pitch a new idea to a customer. AI can do it like that.

So if [00:17:00] we start to look at the way a business is set up time management organization, not just, making social media easier, making marketing press releases easier to write, it’s really. When I wake up in the morning, my AI tool is like, Hey, good morning, Melle. Then I’m like on beat all day and I get to be scheduled and it doesn’t AI is so smart. What you’re going to see in the future is it’s not going to be just scheduled based on what you have to get done. It’s going to schedule you based on who you are, how you operate. What’s your bio rhythm is like I’m a morning person, not a night person, and it will be able to help me analyze that and set a schedule that really works for the unique individual that is me.

And you,

Danica Favorite: I am so looking forward to that day. I’m ready. I have long been bitter that we don’t live in that Star Trek universe where [00:18:00] we get the computer, Hey, computer. Oh, look, I’ve got a little cough. What do I need here? Oh, yeah, right here. Blah, blah, blah. But we’re getting closer to that and that’s exciting.

So you’ve already talked a little bit about this, but I do want to go to our first question of how are you approaching AI? I know we’ve sprinkled that in a little bit. I know we’ve sprinkled that in a little bit. But is there anything maybe that you missed in that AI approach.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Yeah, so everything I do with AI is with my business. So I run AI4CES and then I have a publishing company, Agropoly publishing obviously just not obviously, but it publishes my work.

And we test things out with AI4CES. We have customers and we help them get their show on the road as it were, but it’s constantly also teaching them the fundamentals of, and maybe it’s not even just the fundamentals. It’s probably marketing Three Oh One. But we really drive home some of these standard practices that you see in business, such as the [00:19:00] steps of marketing.

In order to keep it the most malleable, we like to use tools where we prompt. And I know I’m speaking to the choir and it’s interesting because I talked to a lot of organizations that create AI tools. And one of things that, this conversation I was having about a tool, I’m not going to name it’s a little outside of publishing jurisdiction.

But he was saying he’s the technology VP of the company. And he said, I see a future where prompting is not involved. and I was like, yeah, Uhhuh, . Tell that to anybody working with WordPress that they don’t need to know a little bit of CSS, a little bit of JavaScript, a little bit of HTML. When you’re really building a website, you need to know all those little hooks, right?

So I don’t think I’m necessarily a complete early adopter like you are Steph, but I want to know what’s going on under the hood. So for [00:20:00] example, when I started building websites in the nineties, we were writing out HTML code in a TXT file and uploading Via something you’ve never seen and barely exist today into the website and then the Explorer browser, whatever we were using back then. So when it comes to the tools and the way I like to use it, and I think there’s become some very sophisticated tools in the marketplace that you can select from a dropdown menu, what, where you want to go with this thing.

And with a lot of the corporations, they’re like, yeah, we don’t want all of our staff to become prompt engineers, but we do want them to get to the solution.

What I do find is that editing is always required. Whether I use Chat GPT to write a press release or ProWritingAid to edit something or whether I use a writing tool to craft a [00:21:00] chapter, I always go in and edit. And I haven’t seen anything yet that convinces me that, and I’m very good at creating my voice in a prompt and creating characters and character backstories. I do a whole session on world building and I can write a novel in five days from audience research through to first draft.

Okay. So I’ve got those capabilities, but after the first draft, I do a lot of infusion, because I don’t know how else to say this and it’s going to sound however it sounds, but I like my voice. And I don’t find that AI creates my voice exactly the way I create it.

I was a dictator before I was into AI. And after I did a few rounds of AI and did all that, I’m back to dictating. Like I do all my world building. And all of my outlining with the support. I do my research with the support of AI, but [00:22:00] man, I don’t even know where my phone is right now, but I grabbed my phone and I’ve got a crappy little app in my phone and I click on that.

And I just talk and because I’m a talker, it works and then I get my tone in and then instead of going to a dictation editor, I go back to AI I, I’m not paying a dictation editor, 150, 200 to clean up my dictation. Or the way it interpreted my dictation, I put it into an app, cleans that up, and then I read it again.

And I know this because I’ve done it, I’ve published things that I didn’t have a hand in as much as I should have, and the reviews weren’t good. And when I went back and read it, and especially now as your audience is getting more and more versed in what AI sounds like in its natural habitat, they’re going to understand how it was created. And there are some, for lack of a better word, sickly [00:23:00] ways that it rounds out a chapter or rounds out a scene. And those are really identifiable and you’ve got to take them out. I’m not plagiarizing somebody else and I’m not infringing on their copyright, but if Steph, Danica, and I, have created our own things. We’re all good and we all did a hundred percent on AI. You’re going to see a sentence saying they held hands and looked off into the sunset, knowing whatever the future held, they would be able to face it together.

Steph Pajonas: Face it together. I always imagine them like raising their fist

Melle Amade Melkumian: Yeah, I know, the sun is setting or rising over so it’s like

Steph Pajonas: of course the sun is setting. Yes,

Melle Amade Melkumian: because that’s a big thing in AI, right? And what’s going to happen is that, so not only as authors are we required to remove that and put our stamp in what we’re writing.

But we are also have to understand that the readers are getting more and more educated in what AI looks like. [00:24:00] Like my daughters and son, they both have iPhones and they’ve got Snapchat and they have an AI friend, like it’s an AI chat bot on Snapchat that they just have the craziest conversations. I digress. So does that answer your question a little bit?

Steph Pajonas: Oh, it was so fun. I agree that everything needs editing. I like the voice that I’ve cultivated in my own work over the last 10 years, and I don’t wanna lose that. So even when I’m going to AI and I’m asking for descriptions or, whatever it may be, I need to transition between this and that scene, or I’m not sure what my characters would say.

I, whatever I get back it, it all gets edited because it just. It can only go so far. It’s only meant to get you like over that hump that you need to get over and then, you pick it up and you take it and you run from there. So I hear you.

Danica Favorite: Yep. Yep. I feel the same way. Although I have to say fellow dictator here. Melle, when you [00:25:00] were describing your dictation process and how it’s, it evolved into what you went from dictation to AI and then back to dictation. I did the same thing because what I found is I enjoy speaking my books. Like that to me is the fun of it. And I love that we all get to have our own process and our own workflow of how now you use the AI to help with your dictation. Cause like I said, I do the very same thing. And I think that is the perfect segue into question number two is what does your workflow with AI look like?

Melle Amade Melkumian: So I love that question because what we have discovered from working with hundreds of authors is that everybody’s workflow is different and it is specifically relates to what’s going on in your head. So for example, I know of some authors that really love, like for lack of a better word, beat the crap out of AI and tell it delivers [00:26:00] exactly what’s going on in their head.

And they really enjoy that. That I consider it a struggle, but that’s not how they see it. They see it as like a puzzle that I’m going in and I’m getting all these different pieces from AI out, and then I’m going to put it together and then I’m going to weave it together and then it’s going to work and it’s going to be fabulous.

The reason why I went back to dictation is because that’s not how my brain works. It’s not that I don’t like a good puzzle, I’m get a little lazy with them and like my puzzles will be half finished and then put back in the box But I’ve always been a very fluid person a very flowy person right so what my process looked like before AI is I was doing a lot of driving around Los Angeles, like three hours a day in traffic. And that’s how I started using my phone to dictate. So I would sit down and write in paper over an hour, the outline for a book. So I’ve always been pretty fast at [00:27:00] delivering things.

For background, my degrees are in writing, so this has come together where I print that out and then I was driving down the road with 12 or 24 pieces of paper. Each one was a different chapter and I’d read a paragraph and I’d be like, yeah, I got this. And then I just talk about it. And for me, it was always a discovery process where it felt like I was looking out a window and then stepping through and I didn’t judge what I was saying.

Clarice walked into the room, her satin dress riffling around her legs, matching the painting on the wall or matching the wallpaper. And as I say that, like what’s going on in my head I like to think on my feet and I like to be like, okay, she’s walked into the room.

What happens next? What does that look like? And when I went to AI, I missed that. I missed that moment of discovery that I was having in my [00:28:00] head about what Clarice was wearing, which I didn’t know before, what the color of the wallpaper was, which I didn’t know before.

And so there’s a very different opportunity where AI can tell you that, and then you do a selection criteria process where you’re going like, yes, I like that. No, I don’t like that. Yes, I like that. But the way I work is that I just like to pick it out of my brain and be like oh, and that’s good. I like how that read. Matches her dress and that goes in with the theme and my brain is doing all this stuff while I’m continually talking because talking is my thing. I think we’ve clarified that.

So what does it look like now with AI? Here’s the things that it helped me with. I would do 200 page world building documents before I wrote the outline and before I wrote a word in the book. [00:29:00] I would do an entire series. Outline. I know a lot of very successful authors who don’t do that. And they swear by not doing that. It was just my workflow.

What AI does for me is it allows me to create more intricate subplots that I hadn’t thought about before to mirror the main plot. So it’s not really helping me do a lot of the world building. I was missing some of the consistency of subplots, some of the mirroring of subplots, and some of the ways that I could tie secondary characters into the main story and have it be really reflective.

And then how I could get the character arcs and the subplot arcs to carry through the entire series. So I do a lot of work in AI to get those points. But I did go back to dictation and then I use AI for editing. But I’m going to try with this trilogy, not using an editor and we’ll see what my beta and alpha readers say about that.

Steph Pajonas: That’s super interesting. I [00:30:00] love the fact that you’ve used AI for a lot of your background information, but then you’re just dictating the actual prose of the book based on, what you found. And, AI really helps during that process. Are you uploading your sound files to Whisper and having it process it that way?

Because that’s another thing that AI is really good at is processing these audio files. And then if it skips something or something like a truck went by you while you were on the street and you were out talking, it can figure out what was missing.

Melle Amade Melkumian: I’m gonna name the crappy little app I use , Write On. I hope that’s accurate. I usually have to look at my phone cause I know the icon and I never actually see what it is. So I, I dictate using the iPhone functionality and it goes straight to text in the app.

And the reason why I love this app is because you create a project, you create chapters. It does the word count. You set a word count for the project. Now I can actually go back and look at [00:31:00] all of my first drafts for the last 8 years and there’s a lot of them.

And the reason why I like it is because I dictate to word count. So I will know that I’m writing a 25, 000 word sweet romance or I’m writing a 50 or 60, word paranormal women’s fiction novel. And so then I’m like, okay, this chapter needs to be 3, 000 words.

I’m going to break it down into three scenes. I’m going to do a thousand words per scene. And that’s going to take me 15 minutes because I talk at about a thousand words every 15 minutes. And therefore in this drive. From here to my son’s soccer practice to pick him up, I’m going to be able to dictate half a chapter or a third of a chapter, one scene.

And so I’m constantly calculating these things. This particular tool has really helped me in that way. I don’t think they’re savvy enough to install AI in that tool specifically, but because I’m using the recording [00:32:00] technology of the iPhone, That will have AI in it in some way in the future, but I probably am going to end up having to migrate, but I’m scared because I love the app.

Steph Pajonas: Yeah. That’s great. I also write to word count as well. So I completely understand that. I’m like, Nope, this chapter has to be 2000 words. It needs to hit this, that, and whatever it may be. That’s exactly how I work too. That’s awesome.

Danica Favorite: Yeah. And see, just to again, go back to the whole, we all have our own process. I do not write to word count. I was actually going. Wow, that’s really fascinating that you do that. I should work on that. Interesting. Cause mine varies so much. But also to point out, like you were saying this app it doesn’t have AI.

Technically the speech to text is AI. And I think that we forget that that’s the thing that I think we have to get in our minds is that. We think that something doesn’t have AI, but then when you really think about it, you’re like, oh, no, wait, it’s there. It’s there. It’s just been in the background so long.

And we haven’t been calling it out as [00:33:00] that. And so it’s really interesting to me, because I think that a lot of people listening. Or who are curious about AI who keep thinking I’ve never used it. I’m never going to use it. But then when you start looking at every single thing you use, there’s something running in the background.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Yeah. And one thing I’ll say to that is, is I think that the sophistication of generative AI tools specifically rather than the machine learning tools is different. So there are speech to text AI apps that they get the information in text, but then there’s an AI component that cleans up the text better than the speech to text actual functionality.

So I think that was more of what I was thinking about.

Danica Favorite: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s really a good point as well. Because we talked about this in the last episode. I have a Google pixel phone and I am so excited because the pixels voice recorder function has an [00:34:00] amazing speech to text thing that they just launched for just the pixel. And I am so impressed with how well it’s been cleaning up my text.

Melle Amade Melkumian: There’s something when you showed your Google pixel phone, I just want to talk about that for a second because the big thing that’s going on in the technology industry in Silicon Valley here is that everybody is currently looking for what is the next iPhone. Everyone’s looking for that AI physical tool that will hold all of our AI tools. And they don’t think it’s the iPhone. They think that there’s a new market that will be coming from that. And so they’re all racing to find the physical answer to all of our AI concerns.

Danica Favorite: I think you’re dead on. Just from my perspective of not being in Silicon Valley, like that’s what I’m seeing elsewhere. So I think that’s awesome. And so our last question, which you did already say that [00:35:00] you hit on. But let’s talk about it just as we finish up here. What is your favorite tool?

We’ve talked about a lot of tools. We’ve talked about things. You gave it away a little bit in the beginning, but let’s go down to the down and dirty of your favorite tool and why you love it so much.

Melle Amade Melkumian: I call him Zane, you might know him as ChatGPT, I have him draw pictures of himself and he is a sexy romance hero who does anything I tell him to do.

That, that’s my baby. I get that there’s all these other tools. I use a lot of them in various circumstances and ChatGPT is going to give me a table that maps out my social media plan. There’s new social media management tools coming out with AI that are just like crazy phenomenal. So there’s all these things coming out, but I really feel like you need to understand the capabilities and the limitations of where generative AI is [00:36:00] now, and it will grow and change, but it’s always going to grow and change in a master tool like Chat GPT.

And I know a lot of authors use Claude. I do too. But I’ve got five things in my fridge, what am I making for dinner? I get the recipe from Chat GPT. So that’s my quick and dirty response to that.

Steph Pajonas: Love going to chat GPT for dinner ideas.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Or market research. OMG, put in your competitors. And I don’t mean, it’s always co op petition, but put in the authors that you want to be like, say, what is their marketing strategy?

It will tell you that you’re not going to get that from a writing tool. Social media tools might be able to tell you what people who look like you in social media are doing but you’re going to be able to get some real reader profiles, which we call avatars in the business world about what they’re doing, where they are, what’s their age, what’s their interest, all of this stuff.

And if you know, I mean, the cool thing about [00:37:00] Chat GPT, if you don’t know what a reader profile is or what an avatar is or what a marketing plan is, ask it. And then after it tells you what it is, tell it to build you one.

Danica Favorite: I love that.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Learn about the business of it and you can ask ChatGPT, it’s the best tutor you’ve probably got without the experience of somebody like Steph or yourself.

So that’s why I’m always going to default to Chat GPT or something better comes along that blows me away. I’ll cheat on Zane. But one thing I wanted say and this kind of goes back who we are as authors to the podcast that we’re doing. I’ve mentioned it for Jamie’s a six figure author. I’m not. I do well financially in a lot of avenues. I have not been able to crack the author publishing world in the way that I would like to. And I think whether we admit it or not secretly the way anyone who’s written a book probably is thinking like, Hey, I’d really like to crack that nut. That’d be great.

So one of the [00:38:00] things that we’re doing this year, and I’ve learned genre, I’ve learned consistency. I’ve learned a lot of these things, but for a number of reasons, we’re going to go into that a little deeper in the podcast, we’re going to end up doing this year, a case study on my publishing business and because I’m very comfortable sharing everything I do.

And so we’re using my marketing and writing, using Jamie’s publishing insight. We’re going to work to take my Amazon, which I’m a KU writer. That’s what I make today. And multiply it by the end of the year, and we’re going to do that in a combination of the business side of it, the publishing in the market. And how do I do this when I’ve got all these other things going on as well as where do we use the AI tools to make that actually possible?

And we’re going to do it. We’re going to plan on doing three books this year. It’s a trilogy. They will be written by me in my dictation style. I [00:39:00] already have the genre, but I think it’s going to make a really interesting case study to how does an author who lives like we all live. Actually use AI. Not just to drive efficiency but to make real money while still creating their voice in the marketplace and their brand. I’m very big on brand and I think AI is an amazing tool to help people build consistency and a brand in the marketplace.

And I’ll end on this note. People are scared of AI and they’re like, how’s my business going to last as an author, especially because we’re all excited. Look, I can translate this into German, Spanish, and, in seconds. But you know what? The Chinese, the Japanese, the French, the Germans can also translate into English now.

So whether people use AI to write the prose in their books or not, and maybe you’re like, that stuff sucks. It’s never going to compete with my work. And you could be right, but you’re going to [00:40:00] see other really great authors translate all their work into English like that and enter our marketplace.

So how do we as authors build a safety net around ourselves?

Steph, this goes back to what you and I were talking about earlier. It’s about your voice. It’s about your brand. It’s about how you present in the marketplace. It’s about how you engage with your readers. It’s about how well you know your readers.

So if I’m selling to a conservative American, that’s going to be very different than selling to a liberal New Zealander. We’re going to be talking about different things on social media. So you’ve got to get really clear about what your brand is. And it’s not just genre. It’s not just book covers. It’s not the cute logo. You had somebody designed 10 times to make sure you felt like it represented you as an author.

It’s literally how people think of you when they come into contact with anything from your publishing [00:41:00] company in the world. So if you don’t reply to an email for three weeks, if you don’t post on your Facebook page for 10 weeks, I’m guilty of all these things. I wanna be really clear. If you put out a book that has a lot of typos in it, all of these things are building your brand in a negative way, and the AI has the opportunity through chatbots, through social media posting, through helping you write the social media, through editing your book, all of these things, it has the ability to elevate the individual author’s brand.

So we don’t have to give up our voice, but we can capture more of the market place.

Steph Pajonas: I 100 percent agree that it’s really important for authors to be honing their brand right now, being as human forward as possible to their audience. You can use AI tools however you want in the back end, but, being that face, being the brand is [00:42:00] going to be super, super important as we move forward into this age where so much is going to be either AI or digitized or whatever it’s going to be. I agree.

All right. This was such a great conversation. I think probably we could have gone for like days at this point, right?


Melle Amade Melkumian: I love talking about it. I care much about our industry. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the minutia and just to end on a dark note, cause I’m thinking of writing dark fantasy if I wanted to get a whole nother genre going, it’s I don’t think as humanity, we have to worry about generative AI creating books. Okay. Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. Where we have to worry about AI is in these other places like military. Now, do we want to say, and I’m going to go off a little bit here because this is some of the world I work in.

You send in a robot to gain ground in a war, can that robot tell the difference [00:43:00] between a child with a stick and a guy with a gun? These are the things that we should be concerned about.

Today they’re currently getting one brain to talk to another AI brain and they’re querying each other and they’re creating this conversation about how to drive efficiency in the business and make more money, there’s not a human involved in that conversation.

And that’s what the business world is doing with AI. A lot of the companies I work with are just trying to find ways to fit their workflow, but there are real things to be scared about with AI. And I don’t think authors have much to be afraid of.

Danica Favorite: I think that’s a really good point. And I love that perspective because I think that as much as a lot of authors are afraid of what this will look like for their business. There is a bigger picture and that bigger picture is happening, whether or not we choose to use AI tools in writing our books. And so I think that we really have to be clear [00:44:00] that, it is everywhere and it is pervasive and yeah, and so the way we do that is say, okay, it’s everywhere else in the world. We can’t bury our heads in the sand. We have to take a look at it and see what that’s going to look like for us. So I’m so glad you came and brought us that perspective because I think it’s much, much…

Melle Amade Melkumian: Thank you so much, It’s been such a great pleasure to talk with you guys today. I tell you, I have studied AI at MIT and what we’re doing there is looking at digital transformation and how is it going to impact the world. And then coming back to this it’s impacting us. In just the, in, in our careers as authors. And I love seeing as individual authors and publishers, we get to grow our business and change our lives with the use of AI. And we get to choose. And this I think is really important piece. We get to choose how much and how little we want [00:45:00] to bring it in to both our business and our creative world.

Danica Favorite: Yep. I absolutely agree. And the thing too, that I was thinking about as you were talking is that. And because we are the creatives, because we are the creators of ideas we do get to choose those ideas and we get to be that voice out into the world. And so people do get to grab our books and they do get to learn those perspectives and those visions.

And so it’s really important that. Our voice, like you were talking about the two AIs talking to each other, our voice within those AI conversations is so important. And I love that we get to put that there. So very cool.

But before we end, Melle, Could you please tell our listeners where they can find you? We’ll also have that in the show notes, but for anyone listening, how can they find you online, your writing AI4CES, all your podcasts, all that great stuff, we really want to make sure that people get to connect with [00:46:00] you.

Melle Amade Melkumian: Thank you so much. I’m really excited for this year in publishing. I publish under Melle Amade, M E LL E. A. M. A. D. E. I’m all on Amazon at the moment. I don’t see I’ve got the bandwidth to go wide, so that’s not gonna happen. The company and podcast is AI Publishing Formula. So if you want to follow my path as we see what if you’ve got a great coach and some AI. What that can do. That’s what we’re going to be exploring this year as well as a lot of other topics in our AI Publishing Formula. But I’d love to hear from people and hear your experiences or your questions. I’m very happy to engage with people.

Steph Pajonas: Excellent. Thank you so much for coming and talking to us. I’m so glad we got a chance to talk about this stuff and hopefully we can have you back again and we can go over anything else that might be happening, a couple of months down the line that would be fun to look back and see what things…

Melle Amade Melkumian: That’s a great Steph. And because it’s going to, it’s changed it. Like we’ve got to rewrite books [00:47:00] that we wrote last in in nonfiction because things have changed. Thank you guys so much for inviting me. I look forward to catching up with you again and we’ll see what happens next.

Steph Pajonas: Thank you so much for coming. We’re going to sign off now. Me and Danica will be back with more talking, more interviews, lots of other good stuff coming up in the future. So thanks for joining us today on the Brave New Bookshelf.

Bye. everybody.

Danica Favorite: Bye.

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