I know I’m late for the party. I was away preparing my original work for publishing.
To answer your question, Timmarica.
In this digital age, we have all the tools and all the resources to be successful if we have a good story to tell. The problem is the majority is too lazy to do the research. They expect someone to come up to them, give them a hefty advance along with the pat on the back and publishing deal. Publishing is a ruthless industry. Whether you do it on your own or whether you do it traditionally.
In the past 6 months (while I was off Wattpad), I met a number of self-published authors whose books are New York Times bestsellers. I ask Google whenever I have a question. I do my own research. I network. I read, look for places, watch how others are doing it. I have 5 books written and I am not in a position to wait until someone notices me. I am very ill and I want to do this on my terms instead of being discovered and boxed into some trad category (if it even happens). I hired an editor, a proofreader, a designer. I learned how to created promo materials. I have a PR rep. I worked my ass off the whole last year (while I still could) to pay for all that but I like how it’s turning out. I’m just a few weeks away from my release and I’m right now working with bloggers to get some exposure BEFORE the release. I do giveaways. I have signed paperbacks. I have promo materials I shot myself (I am a photographer). I never had anyone telling me how to do any of these things. I just went online and started researching.
I’ll come back here in 2 months and let you know how the sales are, but the key for me with the first book is not the sales. It’s getting the name out there. Those who think they are going to snatch bank with the first book are mistaken. Be ready to give your first baby away for free to thousands of people to build a fan base. Once you have the fan base, you have your Facebook group, your Goodreads, your BookBub, then you can expect to start seeing some money, but be ready not to make any for the first year or two or three or five. If you really want to do, keep going. One day, it will all fall together. I’ve met tons of people who struggled for years before they started making six figured.
Good luck everyone. Don’t wait. Do research. Follow your dreams. The tools are all there. We just need to learn how to use them.