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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Clemmer

The 80/20 Rule And Self-Publishing


If you like binging through productivity tips, you’ve probably already encountered the 80/20 rule. If you haven’t, then here it is:


80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts.


There’s a lot to mull down there, but let’s get to the heart of the matter: only about twenty percent of what you’re doing in self-publishing is actually effective. The rest is a composite of busywork fluff and failed attempts.


This is actually great news: if you ever feel like self-publishing is simply too much work… you’re doing it wrong!


In case you doubt me here, follow a few of your favorite self-published authors. Read their newsletters and try to figure out how they spend their day. Chances are, you won’t actually see a whole lot of publishing busywork, but more of an even split between writing and family time—with publishing mostly automated and in the background.

And no, not all of these authors started with a massive budget. The magic comes down to knowing how to spend your budget and your time as efficiently as possible.


This is the part where I’m supposed to tell you what that golden twenty percent is for you to focus on, but that really depends. No two authors have the exact same routine, and it’s up to you to figure out what works.

Also, your “perfect method” might change over time—and probably will—depending on life circumstances and situations outside of your control. Every so often, it’s a good idea to step back and look at your routine with a critical eye to see what’s still working for you and what isn’t.

Hint: if you can’t decide whether something is effective, then it probably isn’t!

This is especially true for promotions. If you notice one promotional tactic is getting results, but three others aren’t, take action. Drop the three ineffective methods (even though you might feel tempted to keep them so that you can say you’re doing more for your book). Then double down on the one that works. Do it more frequently and at higher levels.

How do you cut down the clutter in your publishing process? Please share your best tips in the comments section below. If this post helped you, you can let me know by donating a coffee at the button below.



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