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No one is buying any books. They don’t have the money. In the last 12 to 15 months, most of the people that I know have lost 50 to 100 percent of their income. Most of the people I know are writers, and they’ve gotten and they’re getting hammered by AI. And you’re thinking – But didn’t you just say AI for ME and not for THEE! I did. You’re the THEE. I’m the THEE. All the other writers are THEE’s. The businesses and corporations are the ME’s. And let’s think about that. What are they acting like? ME ME ME ME ME. Remind you of any particular age of person? If you guessed, screaming toddler in the checkout line at the grocery, you’re a winner! Unfortunately, there’s nothing to win here. Everyone’s losing. This is one big fat race to the bottom.

But Why Isn’t Anyone Buying *MY* Books?

You didn’t hear me in the top paragraph. No one has any money. Take a look at your own finances? How are you doing? Do you have enough money to pay all your bills and buy food and medicine and all the essentials you need? Can you put gas in your car? Do you have enough gas and gas money to get you everywhere you need to be until you get paid again?

Are you reading all these articles on how to survive on $1 a day for food? Is your thermostat set at a comfortable temperature or did you knock it down a few degrees and wear more clothes? Before November of 2023, what did you buy for food? I was eating dairy and gluten free. Now, I’m eating pizza and fries because two pizzas and a bag of fries for $15 will feed me for 2.5 days. Do my intestines love me? No, not at all. My Immodium bill has gone way up!

Have you changed stores? Did you used to order all your stuff for delivery and now you’re walking to the closest grocery with a basket on wheels? Or, if you can still afford your car and rising car insurance, were you once shopping at an organic store and now you’re shopping at a Krogers or Safeway or whatever general generic store happens to be near your house? Do you find yourself buying more and more stuff from dollar stores, which are no longer dollar stores. They’re more like $2, $3, $4 and $5 stores. Look at your own life. Is it better, worse, the same? Do you have any fun money left?

Well, Everyone Just Needs to Get Another Job!

What jobs!? I know highschoolers that can’t get their first job, let alone adults who need a second, third and fourth job. I’m currently looking for a fourth job, and I can tell you right now that no one is hiring. Retail isn’t hiring. I know. I’ve applied. I know other people who have applied. It’s not there. The jobs aren’t there. 

Well, they can drive for Uber or Lyft or one of these delivery places. If they still have a car they can, and most of them are. If they own a car, they’re doing whatever they’ve always done plus driving for a delivery service plus looking for another job. Notice I sad – ANOTHER JOB. I didn’t say a different job.

Then, think about this. If they’re working all these jobs, when do they have time to read your book? Let me be real honest here, it’s so bad, that they’re not even thinking about reading anything except the job boards. They’re scrapping to be able to pay these overpriced living expenses so some investor can cha-ching all the way to the bank and buy a 10th summer home and a 15th Bugati.

Well, They Just Need to Go Live Van Life! It’s Cheaper. Then, They Can Afford My Books.

Now, you sound like an elitist piece of shit. But, go do the math for that. I fully tricked out Class B RV is about $150,000. With a $30,000 down payment, you can pay a grand a month for that van for the next 20 years. For some people, that is going to be cheaper, but if you’re already living the bottom rung, and your current rent or mortgage isn’t $3,000 a month, it’s not cheaper. I’ve done the math 16 times, 16 different ways. It’s not cheaper than where I’m living, and if you want a dose of van life reality, then you need to go follow Wayward Abode or the Campulance Man. The Campulance Man has been doing this for years. He’s pretty well got it dialed in, and he’s out on the road because he wants to be. Wayward Abode just started this 3 months ago after losing her place to live, so she got thrown into it, but if you want the real shit on what it’s like living in your car, those are the two to follow. 

Van life is popular for the same reason people are moving into tiny homes. They are trying desperately to find more affordable ways to live because prices are out of control. 

Well, Crap. What Can I Do? How Do I Get More Book Sales!? I Really Need My Royalty Money!

I don’t know. I’ve been doing this for 14 years, and this is the worst downturn I’ve ever seen. Hang on. Try and trim your expenses. If you have the time, write faster. The best way to sell more books is to have more books available. Alternatively, you could just write at your pace and hang onto those finished books until things get better. I don’t recommend paid advertising. It’s a loss of $5 to $1, meaning you’ll spend $5 to earn $1, and the sales you get from advertising aren’t long-lived. Once you stop your advertising campaign, any increase in sales that you got will slow down. You’ll never get that money back. So, just hang on. Keep plugging away, and you, me and everyone else will hope that this catastrophic downturn turns around.