How To Choose A Profitable Genre

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I want to teach you how to choose a profitable genre, but…

… I first have to teach you how to set goals.

And to do that, I need to reveal the real reason why I took this 60 hour per week job…

… even though I technically “retired” 6 months ago.

Trust me. It’s all related.

The 8% Secret To Success In Fiction (And Anything Really)

Here’s something nobody in the Make Money or Self-Help niche will ever tell you:

Goals are mostly worthless.

Think about that for a second.

How many times have you set a goal that looks like this:

“I want to make $10,000 a month by the end of this year.”


“I will release 6 books in 6 months.”

And how many times have you failed?

50% of the time? 60% of the time?

My guess is that 92% of the time you don’t hit the mark.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein

If I pitched you a book promotion service right now…

And told you that the service only made sales for clients 8% of the time…

You’d laugh in my face. Literally, you would find my address, drive to Portland, knock on my door and laugh right into my face.

And yet…

You continue to use a goal setting “system” that offers you the exact same pitiful results.


The 60+ Hour A Week Alternative To Goals

I don’t set goals anymore. Instead, I build daily practices.

There’s a difference.

6 months ago I “retired”. Got rid of my copywriting business, sold off my health biz, and quit publishing fiction.

My “goal” was to write fiction full time.

The result:

I did nothing for 5 months. Then I scrambled to put together 2 half-assed romantic suspense novellas because I had a “goal” of owning a romance genre.

The romantic suspense books were a total flop. I even used all my marketing magiks too. But nothing. Crickets.

I took this “job” with SUCCESS because I needed help. I didn’t need the money, I needed the daily routine and practice of working on my craft (in this case: Marketing and Copywriting). Of being engaged. Of keeping my tools sharp.

You see, to-date, copywriting is still my most profitable stream of income. It’s the thing I am best at. The thing I enjoy doing the most. And it’s the most in-demand skill that I have. Even after selling over 300k books inside a single year, copywriting still outpaced my fiction earnings within that same year.

But I didn’t take the job to get paid, I took the job to get practice.

And this is why MOST goals are impossible to reach.

The Fundamental Difference Between Selling 300,000 Books And Selling None

Most people want success.

Very few want to work for it.

To write fiction well enough to get paid for it, you have to practice.

Contrary to what fiction teachers (who charge you money to buy their stuff) want you to believe…

… you didn’t come hardwired to write blockbuster stories.

Just because you can tell a story, doesn’t mean you can (or should) get paid to tell one.

Lots of people play football in their backyard. Very few get paid to play professionally.

The difference is the practice.

The time spent reading and analyzing book after book after book after book.

The time spent typing word after word. Finding your own mistakes. Correcting them. Writing it again. And again. And again.

Don’t believe me?

Try this exercise:

Write a scene where your main character is trapped under a rock pile. Maybe it’s a mine shaft that collapsed.

Your MC is still alive.

Write it.

Come back in two days. Write it again without reading your original work.

Come back in two weeks. Write it again without reading your original work.

It’s getting better, isn’t it?

That’s because you’ve practiced the scene already.

I’m not saying that re-writing is the key to making a living with fiction in 2016.

I am saying that practice is though.

That’s why I don’t set goals anymore.

I set up a daily practice.

Want to know what I do for fiction?

It’s very simple:

1. I spend 15 minutes per day hand copying prose from books that I have already read. Because I’ve already read them, I can focus on the line level stuff.

2. I spend 1 hour per day reading, analyzing and summarizing (in my notebook) fiction books that I am reading.

3. I spend 2 – 3 hours practicing writing. No pressure. Just play. Practicing. Failing. Trying something different.

And the result (when I was doing it) is that I sold 300,000 copies of my science fiction work inside of a year.

When I stopped doing that, I didn’t publish anything for almost 6 months. Then I published some crappy romantic suspense novellas.

How To Use This Powerful Tool To Choose A Profitable Genre

The money you earn is a direct reflection of the value that you bring to the marketplace.

Let that statement be a guiding force in your life and you’ll never want for anything again. I can promise you that.

So, how do we put all of this together to pick the perfect genre for you?


Practice = Increased Ability To Deliver Value.

The better you get at storytelling, the more valuable your stories become to buyers of stories.

Think about your favorite authors/writers/directors.

They add value to your life.

They add MORE value to your life than other providers of that value (other writers/directors etc.).

Their work resonates deeper within you. Perhaps they write characters you love. Maybe they write the kind of pacing you enjoy. Whatever it is, they are better at it than the alternatives you have at your fingertips as a consumer.

They are able to do so because of the skill they have developed. The skill of storytelling.

To develop that skill, they had to practice.

They DIDN’T take a shortcut.

They DIDN’T find the perfect plot formula/training course/whatever thing that only they know about that gives them the perfect story every time.


They practiced. Everyday. Often for years and years.

And that is everything you need to know about finding a profitable genre.

Forget about analyzing Amazon. Books aren’t stocks (and honestly… unless you’ve been trading stocks for years and years, stocks aren’t even stocks).

It kills me that people who’ve never made significant money writing and selling fiction think they have the knowledge set to reverse engineer/decode/analyze Amazon’s marketplace. They can’t.

If they could, Hollywood would have scooped them up already and paid them millions to ply their trade in the film business (where risks and rewards are much higher).

Instead, look within yourself for the profitable genre.

Don’t ask, “What genre will make me rich?”

Instead, ask, “What genre can I happily practice every single day?”

The answer to that THAT question is YOUR most profitable genre.


Practice = Increased Ability To Deliver Value.


The Value You Deliver To The Marketplace = The Size Of Your Bank Account.

So, if you want to pick a profitable genre, find the one where you happily:

Read 2 – 3 books per week in the genre as a form of pleasure
Get excited by the ideas shared in the stories
Want to research the topics that need to be researched in your stories (example: Reading science magazines for sci-fi ideas)
Would spend 15 minutes per day hand copying prose, line by line

Pick a genre where MASTERY is the main motivation.

If you do that, then you’ll make more money than you can possibly imagine.

They call it “life changing” money. And it’s true.

What To Do If You Can’t Decide

Let’s say that you are like me and you would be happy to grind away in multiple genres. What do you do?

You commit. Make a choice. Decide.

Don’t wait for an outside sign.

Here’s a little secret about “passion” and “happiness”:

You are most passionate and happy doing the things you are good at.

In other words, mastery is the path to happiness and passion. Not the other way around.

Pick one and master it. Everything else will fall into place.


What if you can’t think of any genres that trigger this desire to practice? What do you do then?

Don’t write fiction.

Just don’t do it.

If you’ve read every genre (and I’m talking reading 30 – 50 books before you totally give up) and can’t find one that motivates you to become a master…

… then you (and the fiction audience) would be best served looking for somewhere else to add value.


Practice = Increased Ability To Deliver Value.


The Value You Deliver To The Marketplace = The Size Of Your Bank Account.

Maybe you are better off serving in some other capacity. Maybe you would make an excellent life coach. Or maybe you’d make a great copywriter. Or writer of non-fiction.


The point is, you’ll never make any real money, or make any real impact until you become a master.

Plain and simple.

Chat more tomorrow,

Mike “The Anti-Goal-Setter” Shreeve