So on March 10, I self-published my first book. There was the initial thrill of pressing the "publish" button, then the agonizing wait as it went through the vetting and reviewing process, then the final exhilaration of seeing my book for sale on Amazon. The culmination of seven months of work was finished... Now what?
Well, in my dream world, I sit back and watch my book sky rocket to the top of all the bestseller lists. Then it's a matter of which Brinks Truck I need to deliver all that money to the bank. In reality, it won't work that way. Your book will have a decent first day as your friends and family (hopefully) support you. After that, your sales will most likely be small or non-existent for awhile.
So rule number one is that after your book is published, you are not done. You're only beginning. You've got to get the word out to people. Hit the review blogs, do whatever it takes to get your name out there. Unfortunately, that book won't sell itself.
I have a theory about how an indie author ends up with a bestseller. The answer is first, the book has to be good. If it isn't, forget it, no amount of marketing can change the fact that a bad book is not going to sell. Second, it takes a certain amount of luck. Books that hit the bestseller lists, especially from unknown authors do so because of events falling into place, I believe. It takes hard work, but if Amazon suddenly displays your book prominently for whatever reason, you can be sure that your sales will take off. If Apple promotes your book as an up and coming author you are well on your way to being a bestselling author. All it takes is that one break to get you going.
So while I market and wait for my chance, I'm still writing. The more books you have for sale, the more books you can sell. Now it's just a matter of selling enough to buy me that Tesla Model S!
Good luck and happy writing!