SSP012 What Makes a Story Sell

Contrary to popular belief, there is no vault in Hollywood holding the secret that turns a story into a commercial success. In this episode, Johnny, Sean, and Dave share how a story can be crafted to appeal to a wider audience and reach beyond the established boundaries of genre. You’ll learn:

  • How a commercial story is defined.
  • Why a good commercial story understands dramatic tension.
  • How to use character development to retain your audience.
  • How emotion can allow you to float a story that is mostly very kinetic and action-centric.
  • Why some characters endure and why others do not.
  • The cross-section between commercial and “good.”
  • Why “classic” and “commercial” are not the same things.
  • How extraneous elements can push away your audience.
  • Why stories that lack a good hook are likely to suffer commercially.
  • How posters, loglines, and social proof quotes can help communicate your vision to a broad audience.

Are you wondering what the ever-growing demand for superb storytelling skills means for your future? Check out our latest interview as Johnny and Sean dive deep into that question in “Storytelling Is the Future: How to Build On Your Self-Publishing Success.”
Download the interview from the info box or show notes in YouTube or head over to

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