This Man Used AI To Write 97 Books – And Sold $2,000 Worth Of Them

A man’s claim of writing nearly 100 books using AI since August 2022 and earning around $2,000 has been detailed in a first-hand account he shared with Newsweek.

According to Tim Boucher, who wrote about his experience for Newsweek, he utilized OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Anthropic’s Claude, a competing text generator developed by former OpenAI employees, to generate ideas and text for his books.

Additionally, Boucher used Midjourney to create accompanying images for his stories. The books, available on Gumroad, vary in length from about 2,000 to over 83,000 words, with prices ranging from $1.99 to $5.99.

Boucher mentioned that he spends approximately six to eight hours to complete a book, with some instances allowing him to produce a volume in as little as three hours. At the time of writing his Newsweek article, which he admitted was 60 percent generated by ChatGPT, Boucher was preparing to release his 97th book.

The titles of Boucher’s books sound esoteric, such as “Mysterious Hum” and “The Zalachete Fairy.” However, upon reading one of them, “Inside the Hypogeum,” a story about an underground cave temple, it becomes apparent that the narrative lacks a discernible plot or well-developed characters to captivate readers.

In his Newsweek piece, Boucher acknowledged the challenge of maintaining a coherent storyline or character arc in longer written pieces. As a result, he embraced short “flash” fiction collections that focus on slices of life, complemented by fictional encyclopedia entries that provide world-building and backstory.

The majority of Boucher’s books have received no reviews, and the few that do have garnered low ratings of two or three stars out of five. Notably, his highest-rated book, “Conspiratopia: A Utopian Satire,” was published in November 2021, predating his utilization of AI-generated text.

While these AI-generated books lack substantial plots and character development, they serve as novelties that showcase the capabilities of AI or highlight the exploitation of new tech for limited sales. Tim Boucher’s experience sheds light on the challenges of maintaining coherence and engaging readers in longer written pieces, leading him to focus on shorter, flash fiction collections.

The mixed reviews received by his books and the highest-rated publication predating his AI usage demonstrate the limitations of AI-generated content in delivering compelling narratives.

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