I've had some people recently ask me for some advice on self-publishing, so I'm going to give whoever wants it some advice if they decide to go this route. I am still very happy that I self-published, and would do it again in a heartbeat. I've done well, better than most probably, but I think anyone can do well in this regard if the writing and presentation is good. So, without further delay, here's my advice:
1. Put out a polished, great product. When I first published Psion Beta, I was shocked that it had so many errors, and I vowed to never let that happen again. So I paid people to edit the book after that. Since then, I think I've cut down dramatically on internal grammar and punctuation errors. 2-3 errors in a book is understandable and forgivable, but more than that becomes a distraction. I highly recommend paying for this service if you can afford it.
2. Have a plan to put out books regularly. I have tried to self-publish a book a year. Psion Omega is the exception, mostly because of the Tale series that popped up unexpectedly. However, the book will be out next year, finishing the series. If you can't put out at least a book a year, you may find yourself losing your audience. Consider pre-writing the entire series, and then releasing them every 6-12 months.
3. Rely on word of mouth to advertise. People talk about books they read. They post about them in social media. Don't be afraid to ask your readers for reviews. A new authors NEEDS them. Be bold, but not annoying. I have seen little success in paid advertising for self-published books. Weigh the cost vs benefits of giving your book away from time to time in order to spread the word. Consider discounting it to attract readers.
4. Cover. Cover. Cover. I think my covers have improved as I've self-published more Psion books. Britta Peterson and I work together on them, and I know she's improved as well. I'm proud of the covers I have, and I know that a cover can make or break whether someone buys a book. Pay the price to get a solid cover.
5. Don't lose hope. My first month, I sold around 4 books. Then 11. Steadily it grew. It takes time. Believe in what you've written and continue to write. Series will sell better than stand alone books. People like series. I don't know why. They just do.
6. Consider your publications options carefully. I choose to distribute the Psion books through all ebook channels at first, then pull them exclusively under the Amazon umbrella because that's where I seem to make most of the money. However, Nook, Smashwords, iBooks, etc all offer different experiences. Try them all before deciding on one.
I hope this helps those of you who are considering this route. If I've missed anything or you have more questions, please sound off in the comments. In the meantime, Happy Reading and Long Live Sammy!