Lessons Learned from the Evolution of the Travel Industry: Why Authors Should Embrace AI

As a self-proclaimed geek-in-heels, technology has been a mainstay in my life and career for over three decades. Since my first job out of travel agent training school in 1987, I was the office nerd, the one who could fix the printer or reboot the network. The agents I worked with were “old school,” knowledgeable about the best restaurant in any country and how to get the hottest Broadway tickets, but they resisted even the most basic tech tools, like email.

Retail travel agencies had to evolve quickly with the introduction of the internet. I built my first website in 1995, heavily pregnant with my second daughter, and convinced my then-boss that this new thing called the world wide web would revolutionize our business.

Fast forward to today, and the traditional idea of the travel agent is all but dead. In its place are evolved travel professionals who command higher wages for their expertise and understanding of how to employ technology to serve their customers.

I see parallels between the mainstream use of AI in our industry and the evolution of the travel agent. If authors can adapt to the reality that AI is already changing the world, they will have the best shot at career longevity. AI can be used to outsource busy work, marketing tasks, and even help draft novels, write outlines, or create imagery.

Are there problematic issues around the legal and ethical ramifications? Absolutely. In this special issue of Indie Author Magazine, we aim to present a balanced journalistic perspective and provide resources and tools to monitor them. As a magazine, we neither advocate for nor against the use of AI.

As a technologist, however,  this feels very familiar, and I hope we can bring some levity to the hotly discussed issues and shine a light on a hopeful path for our creative colleagues.

Picture of Chelle Honiker

Chelle Honiker

Chelle Honiker is an advocate for the empowerment of authorpreneurs, recognizing the importance of authors taking charge of both their craft and careers. In response to this need, she has founded a media and training company dedicated to supporting these creative professionals. As the co-founder and publisher of Indie Author Magazine, IndieAuthorTraining, Indie Author Tools, and, Chelle’s team of more than 80 writers, editors, trainers, and support staff provides resources and insights that help authors navigate the complexities of self-publishing. Her role as the programming director for Author Nation, an annual conference in Las Vegas, further exemplifies her commitment to fostering a community where authors can grow and succeed. With a career spanning over two decades in executive operations and leadership, Chelle has honed her skills in managing complex projects and delivering impactful training programs. Her experience as a speaker and TEDx Organizer has taken her to many countries, where she has shared her insights with diverse audiences.

Make an Appointment with Chelle

Start or Join a Conversation About This Article:

When Writing Means Business, Storytellers Read Indie Author Magazine

Read Indie Annie's Latest Advice:

Dear Indie Annie,

I’ve just hired a new cover designer for my series, but English is not their first language. I want to make the process run smoothly. Any tips for working around a language barrier? Lost in Translation Dear Lost in Translation, Oh, poppet, collaborating across cultures can feel as daunting as decoding hieroglyphics! But with patience and open communication, you can transcend language barriers. View this as a thrilling expedition with your design sherpa! What you

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie,

I know it’s important to understand who you’re writing and marketing to, but how do I develop my ideal reader avatar? Every time I try, it feels like I’m limiting myself. Needing to Niche Down Dear Niche,  Oh darling, focusing on your target audience feels as frightening as finalizing a paint palette for your parlor. Why choose when there are so many gorgeous colors to pick from? But defining your ideal reader liberates your creativity

Read More »

Dear Indie Annie,

In the past, I’ve hired editors, cover designers, and even a virtual assistant. Passing off those responsibilities makes sense, but internal formatting always seems so straightforward. At what point is it worth investing in professional formatting services? Frugal Formatter Dear Frugal, Oh my, that moniker sounds like you’re an inhabitant of Middle Earth, but I digress. Formatting your own manuscript seems as simple as building a bookcase from IKEA: just insert tab A into slot

Read More »

Follow Us

Weekly Tutorial

Sign up for our Newsletter

We’ll send you our best articles, special offers, and industry updates

Would You Like a Free Issue?

Hello! I’m Indie Annie, and I would love to send you a copy of this month’s issue of Indie Author Magazine. Just join our email list and I’ll drop it in your inbox!