I read interviews of authors and writers. One thing you won't learn in any school, is these people's experience in marketing themselves.
Robert J Sawyer, the Canadian sci-fi author often explained his success as merely a wise geograpgic and cultural move. While droves of Canadian sci-fi writers claim to be American or become Americans and even move to America, he stuck his gun and maintained his branding as a 'Canadian sci-fi writer'.
In the end, there were only a dozen or so 'Canadian sci-fi authors', including him. This put him in a prime position to then get known on the global platform.
Neil Gaiman, meanwhile, is a very special case. He has refused to position himself as any kind of writer. While Stephen King has excelled in the novel medium, Frank Miller in the hard-boiled, gritty urban crime genre, Brian Michael Bendis striving - and succeeding, perhaps surpassing - to be the Quentin Tarantino of the comics world, Gaiman has remained a writing chameleon.
And yet, as explained by Alan Moore or another God of Comics, most of the giant American comics publishers took British comic writers who were 'award-winning', but since the pool is around a dozen or so, and they award themselves the accolades, every major comic book writer in England was a recipient of an award or another.
History showed, though, that the likes of Grant Morrison, Warren Ellis, Moore, Gaiman, et al, are perhaps some of the best comics writers in the history of the medium.
Sawyer was advocating positioning, and Gaiman's actions demonstrated a writer who could redefine himself and his work many times over. What has Gaiman not written?
He has done comics, novels, short stories, documentaries, novels, TV (Neverwhere), film (Mirrormask, Beowulf), short films and even translations.
There is no set formula, really.
Me? I'd like to do as many varied things as possible. Test out lots of shit, and see how they unfold.