You Might Want To Sit Down For This

…and I’m Back!


Yes, I’ve been gone for a while.    No, I did not intend for it to happen, and yes, I apologize profusely for vanishing on my fans yet again.   But this time was different.   This time I’ve got a potentially disturbing revelation concerning my activities during my recent absence.   You see, this wasn’t one of my normal “vanish for months/years while playing video games” hiatus things that I do.  This time I was actually up to something.


You see, my friends… I’ve been cheating on you.

Over the past few months I’ve published new books that you are unaware of.   Twelve of them, in fact.   It’ll probably be thirteen by the end of the month.


It gets worse.


After rejecting the idea of producing paperback books for my fiction for all these years, you’ll be even more shocked to learn that most of these new books not only exist in paperback, but over half of them are in audiobook format as well.


I wish I could say I did it for you, but the hard truth is that fiction wasn’t paying bills and everywhere I turned for advice on how to rectify that was pushing the idea that non-fiction was the way to go.   I encountered the phrase “Nobody Is Making Money Selling Fiction on Amazon” many, many times… mostly by people willing to sell me the secrets of how to pay my bills by pimping nonfiction ebooks.


So, in a moment of weakness, I decided to give it a try.


I found a niche that was profitable.  I decided on a pen name.     I wrote a book and followed some basic marketing/promoting instructions from a course that I paid my hard-earned money for.


It was… not a failure.   I made more from that one nonfiction book in one month than I’ve made from all  my fiction titles combined over my lifetime.   Not just a little more.    An Order Of Magnitude More.    That is not poetic license… it is fact.


It was one of those: “Oh, Shit… this stuff really WORKS!?” moments.


Yes.  This stuff does, in fact, work.


So I did it again.      And again.     And… again.


These subsequent books didn’t do as well, but they each far outperformed even the best of my fiction titles.      I don’t want to misrepresent my results here.   I am not making a life-changing amount of money.  I am not paying bills on an ongoing basis with my nonfiction profits.    Ignoring the initial spike from the first book, I’m making $100-$200  a month.   This is not free money.    The work, worry, and frustration that goes into that is substantial.


But I’ve done worse jobs for less money.   As a secondary income… it’s do-able.


Is it worth continuing?   All else being the same… yeah, probably.   I’m off to a good start and I could easily ramp up from here.    So, if you’re wondering if publishing nonfiction on Amazon can be profitable, I can honestly say yes.    It is more profitable than fiction?   Omg, HELL yes!


But things tend to change fast on the internet.


The diminishing returns with each book were a disturbing indicator that what I was doing wouldn’t work indefinitely.    The “self-publishing gurus” were saying the same things.    If I wanted to keep going, I’d need to make a few tweaks to my process, especially the part involving reviews and marketing.    Specifically, I would need to create a mailing list for every niche, get people to subscribe to it, engage with and grow a relationship with these subscribers, and then beg them to review my books when they came out.


In other words, if I wanted to keep going, I would need to become an email marketer.








I will always hate it.   I will never NOT hate it.   But apparently it is necessary to wade through that morass of rotting biological waste products in order to make any sort of a long-term business out of publishing nonfiction.


The irony that I had already arrived at this revelation regarding my fiction books was not lost on me.     So now I’m at crossroads in my non-fiction publishing.   The niche that I was publishing in has grown too crowded.   There’s money for more experienced people to make there, but I’m done.    I can either find a new niche and start email list-building… or I can go back to something I actually enjoy and start email list-building.   Either way, I’m going to get intimately familiar with that not-so-fresh feeling.


Hell, if I’m going to become the Pond Scum Of The Internet, then I might as well do it for something I enjoy.   It may as well be for something that I’ve always WANTED to do.    It’s not like the money was making pimping nonfiction was THAT much.   Compared to my fiction sales, it was a lot.   Compared to what I make in my day job it was nothing.    Even if I became wildly successful, it would NEVER have allowed me to quit my job without me transitioning into affiliate sales or something equally icky.


So… am I back?


Technically the whole nonfiction thing was an experiment that ended up having results that were deceptively positive at first, but later became mixed.    I could MAKE it work, I’d rather take what I’ve learned and put that effort into something else.   The internet self-publishing gurus would all howl at me about giving up too soon or lacking perseverance… ignoring that fact that I was Dark Icon first.   I have been here for years.    I may have a bad habit of putting it down… but I always pick it back up.     So now that the detour is almost over; it’s time to get back to work.


PS:    I will not be providing any links or titles to the non-fiction books I’ve published.   I want to keep that stuff separate from what I do here.   I also won’t be going into details on exactly what process I was following.    That stuff is all over Youtube, and I want to keep this site focused on my fiction rather than “how to make money on Kindle”.       I do intend to make a follow-up post soon about what lessons I learned and how much of it can be applied to fiction, but that’s about as much as I’ll do.




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