Izzard Ink Publishing has announced the roll out of AI enhancements to its publishing platform that will make writing and publishing books better and faster than before, says its CEO and Founder, Tim McConnehey.

In November 2022, TechBuzz published a profile article about the Provo-based company. That article, authored by Mattea Gygi, explained Izzard's value proposition: for $600 Izzard Ink offer hopeful and experienced authors a manuscript assessment (examples here and here) involving two independent editors who review the manuscript and record their thoughts, whereupon an in-house editor takes those ideas and puts them into an Action Plan for the author. The in-house editor and author meet and talk about what the author needs to do to make their book marketable. 

TechBuzz sat down with McConnehey to find out how and why Izzard Ink is applying AI in the latest iteration of its publishing platform and how AI is affecting Izzard's editing process.

“I believe that everybody has a story in them,” stated McConnehey. “I think everyone has a right to tell that story in a compelling fashion. And what our AI assessments are doing is helping people tell their story in a compelling fashion and keep to their own voice and style. Keeping the author’s voice is the most important part of what we do,” stated McConnehey.

Izzard Ink’s latest platform update utilizes AI to train itself and do an analysis of the author’s voice in order to make sure that the manuscript adheres to that author’s voice.

“AI has made significant advancements. Used correctly, it can be a tool that creates better projects. For publishing, AI is helping us with language translation, improving transitions and helping with accurate flow, so that when the book is presented to a lead editor, it falls within that top 10% of content and is more likely to be published.”

McConnehey says that in some ways AI is a tool like a word processing system, or even like the Internet in its capabilities as a research tool. “It is also a great editing tool that can help an author keep their voice and give the author solutions to create better transitions in their manuscript from section to section,” explained McConnehey.

“We give authors examples on how to make their manuscripts better. And that usually helps the author quickly identify solutions to problems in their manuscripts and cut down on time spinning their wheels.”

Izzard Ink has assisted authors in selling over 1,400,000 books, according to the company's latest estimates. In addition, 80% of Izzard Ink authors have written a second book or plan to do so with Izzard Ink, claims the company. Tim McConnehey clarified that his company definitely still uses human editors, "...but editors and proofreaders are about 70% correct when they edit a text," he said. “and editors and proofreaders are all human, and we all make mistakes. We think AI will reduce mistakes, make editing tighter, and in many ways, better. And it can still keep the author's voice intact, which for us is critical.”

Like many companies looking for ways to responsibly and effectively incorporate AI tools into their platforms, Izzard Ink has been experimenting with AI this past year. And for most of the year AI has been taking a backseat to our human editors. “But with this announcement and roll out of our enhanced AI features, AI is taking a more frontline position. We're still having human editors review things because a human is still very effective at catching errors and noticing problems. But we are finding that human editors can be much more precise and quick with the feedback that they're getting from AI."

McConnehey says that AI is also helping both writers and editors improve their own writing skills. “We have noticed that the folks who are using AI to figure out transitions are actually becoming better writers. AI is teaching them to write better and to write more quickly. This has been an interesting observation. We are seeing writers who use AI become more confident in their writing and communication skills."

Renowned author and teacher Jeffrey Dunn has enjoyed a forty-one year career as a writer. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Dunn turned to Izzard Ink when writing his book, Radio Free Olympia.

“I re-read and rewrote, re-read, and rewrote and eventually I found Tim McConnehey of Izzard Ink Publishing and his developmental editor Skye Loyd. That led to more rereading and rewriting, which led to Andrea Ho’s cover design and Daniel Lagin’s interior design. And that led to Radio Free Olympia being named an Editor’s Choice by Publishers Weekly and nominated for the Washington State Book Awards” said Dunn.

Photo credit: Tim McConnehey, with U.S. Congressman Burgess Owens (Utah 4th District), at the July 2022 Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Summit in Washington DC, the largest gathering of small businesses ever. 

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