SFFMP 116: Strategies for Breaking out in 2017 and the 80/20 Rule for Writing, Publishing, and Marketing

On this week’s show, Jo, Jeff, and Lindsay chatted about some of the lessons they’d learned in 2016, some of the ways people are breaking out right now, even while other authors struggle to maintain what they’ve had in the past, and also applying the 80/20 Rule to writing and marketing books.

Here are a few more details of what they covered:

  • A lot of authors reported 2016 was a down year for them, with more competition in the marketplace, Amazon possibly underreporting KU page reads, and difficulty keeping the momentum they’d gained in past years.
  • How, despite reports of gloom and doom, some authors came out of nowhere and kicked butt in 2016.
  • Some of the mistakes our guys made in 2016 and some of the things they got right.
  • Writing to market and whether it’s a must if you want to break out and sell a lot of books.
  • The importance of craft and how you may have to hustle more to sell books if you’re not writing to market (but maybe that’s okay!).
  • Can pre-orders be leveraged to help break out?
  • Applying the 80/20 Rule to deciding what to write and publish and also how to market.
  • Tracking your marketing efforts to see what’s effective and what’s a waste of time and money.
  • How important publishing quickly has been for a lot of the authors coming out of nowhere and killing it (and another nod to Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K book — check out our past interview with her).

If you want to check out Jo’s and Lindsay’s work inexpensively, you can grab this StoryBundle for the next two weeks. You can also grab Jeff’s first fantasy novel for free on Amazon and in other stores.


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  • Steve

    This next week’s “what is new for you” should be interesting for Jeff! Can’t wait to hear his story after reading about it.

    When are you’all going to have Michael Anderle on for an interview?

  • I’m also looking forward to the next week to hear about what happened with Jeff, but I’m also a bit behind on episodes. I’m currently on episode 35/114. I’m catching up fast though.

    When are you guys gonna have Brian D Anderson on? I’d like to hear his thoughts. He’s a local epic fantasy author to me whom is able to write full time. Totally hope to get there as soon as I can.