Apple Books for Authors

Released: January 2023

Apple has launched Apple for Authors, an audiobooks service for authors to have their books narrated by artificial intelligence. The AI feature is currently only available for fiction and romance books and offers two voices, Madison and Jackson, for the listener to choose from.

Apple has reportedly approached independent publishers in the US and Canada; those who agreed to have their work turned into an audiobook were told they would pay for the cost of production and would receive royalties from their sales. 

The new feature is said to significantly cut costs for book publishers - who typically invest thousands of dollars to produce audiobooks - and will help promote independently published authors.

Yet some authors and publishers have been critical of the service, saying listeners want an authentic human voice that provides inflections and tones that AI software cannot generate. 'I choose humans,' bestselling author Jeff Vandermeer told Popular Science.

According to The Guardian, the service 'may mark the beginning of the end for human narrators' and 'promises to intensify scrutiny over allegations of Apple’s anti-competitive behaviour.'

Operator: Apple
Developer: Apple

Country: USA; Canada

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Narrate books

Technology: Voice generation
Issue: Effectiveness/need; Employment - jobs

Transparency: Marketing

Page info
Type: System
Published: January 2023